My Dad used to take us fishing on Sundays after we got home from church, which gave Mom 5 to 6 hours of precious alone-time, or at least time without us shouting and fighting and making a mess. We would come home to a clean house, a cake on the counter, a roast in the oven, and Mom napping on the couch.
It seems I am following in her footsteps.
Sundays are promising to be a great baking day for me. The boys have started curling lessons. And as it happens, one boy is in the first age range practice and the other boy is in the second age range practice. This means I get 5 hours all to myself now on Sundays. Yay!
I had intended to just read my book and surf the Web while they were gone, but before I knew it I was thinking about those Bundt cakes that Mom used to make. Sure they came from a box, but they also had those pudding packets that made a tunnel of filling. I would eat all the cake and save the pudding for last. It was like getting two desserts.
Happily, I was already on the Web and found a couple of different recipes for Bundt cakes – both filled and unfilled. I wasn’t completely satisfied with any of them so I took a bit from all of them and made up my own recipe for a Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cheesecake Filling.
I chose a cheesecake filling instead of pudding because I wanted both the cake and a creamy filling that contrasted with a rich chocolate cake. Also, I had cream cheese in my fridge, but no whipping cream. It certainly does the job! Nice and creamy and just like cheesecake nestled inside chocolatey goodness. You will need a special Bundt cake pan for this. You can find them anywhere – Target, Amazon, Williams-Sonoma – and in a variety of fun shapes.
Here’s how to make it!
Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cheesecake Filling
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 & 1/2 cups white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or a packet of vanilla sugar)
- 1/2 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, room temp and soft
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or one packet of vanilla sugar)
- 2 teaspoons of flour
For the frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon room temperature butter
- 1 – 2 tablespoons milk (it depends on how runny you want it)
Making the Filling
In a small bowl use a whisk or an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Then add the egg, vanilla, and flour. Beat very well until completely mixed together and smooth. Set aside.
Making the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350F or 175C.
Take your special Bundt pan and butter it really well. This cake pan needs a good greasing in order for the cake to unmold perfectly and capture all those beautiful ridges. You can also sprinkle the pan with cocoa powder after buttering it to help it unmold. It works just like flour, but because cocoa powder is dark like the chocolate cake it will help the cake still look dark instead of flecked with baked flour.
Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar in a large bowl. Once that is nicely creamed add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each egg is blended in, and beat until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and gently blend it in.
In a glass measuring cup measure out the milk and then add the yogurt. Give them a little stir together, but it isn’t important that they be totally mixed together.
In a small to medium sized bowl measure out the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Give them a stir together, making sure the cocoa powder is evenly distributed through the flour.
Now in the bowl of the mixer with the egg and sugar mixture in it, add half of the flour and cocoa powder mixture. Turn the mixer on to low and slowly beat in the flour. If you turn it to ‘high’ cocoa dust will go everywhere, so take it slow. Then add the milk and yogurt and mix it until it is almost blended. Finally add the last half of the flour and cocoa powder mixture.
Once this last bit of dry mixture is incorporated take the bowl out of the mixer and give it a good beating by hand. I find this makes sure none of the flour escapes and hides at the bottom of the bowl. This will be a thick batter.
Next we take our prepared Bundt pan and get to assembling the cake. First put about half the batter in the pan. Use a rubber scraper to help make it nice and level. Then take your cream cheese mixture and put it on top of the cake batter in a ring, making sure to leave about an inch of space on either side of the ring. You can use either a spoon or a piping bag for this. A piping bag will give you a smoother ring and better control over where the cream cheese goes.
And very, very carefully spoon the rest of the chocolate cake batter over the top and smooth it out. As I said above, the chocolate cake batter will be very thick. A Bundt cake needs to be thick so that it won’t break apart during unmolding. The thickness of the batter also helps the cheesecake filling to stay in the middle and not sink to the bottom of the pan.
Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Gently loosen the sides with a butter knife and then flip it out onto a cooling rack.
Once the cake is completely cool make the frosting glaze by just whipping all the ingredients together. You want to have enough milk that the frosting runs, but not so much that it soaks in and slips completely off the cake. Drizzle it over the top in a way that pleases your aesthetic. (I’ve also been known to take a jar of Betty Crocker frosting, heating it up to be runny and pouring that over the top, too, for a delicious result.)
Be very careful not to over bake this cake. I did and the cheesecake filling ended up having a gap in it. It was still fantastically delicious, however, and the kids didn’t seem to mind the gap at all.
This is a crowd-pleaser for sure. And I will be making it again to figure out what that gap is all about (so look for an update here….).