Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top-- and is finished off with salted caramel. EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

We’re heading up to the mountains with some friends for a weekend getaway! I’ve been so consumed in my book the past 2 months and, to be honest, I feel like I’ve been hibernating since Christmas. Even though it’s not supposed to be a super cold winter weekend like we hoped, it will still most definitely be a cherished vacation.

But before I go! I made a bundt cake. And it turned out 105% better than I hoped.

This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top-- and is finished off with salted caramel. EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

(One quick thing! I’ve gotten questions about this large sprinkle plate. My sis-in-law made it for me in a ceramics class, so I don’t have any links for where you can purchase one. BUT I just ordered these adorable cupcake shaped dessert plates that I think you’d love too.)

This chocolate bundt cake! First, I apologize that I’m giving you more chocolate after the chocolate-iest holiday of the year. But I truly don’t foresee any complaints considering this isn’t just chocolate. It starts with chocolate, but ends with salted caramel. Somewhere inside that super moist chocolate crumb is a swirl of cheesecake. Because what better way to end Valentine’s Day week than with a pant-tightening chocolate calorie fest.

One thing to know: while this bundt may look fancy, she’s anything but a diva. You’ll need just 3 bowls: 1 for wet ingredients, 1 for dry ingredients, and 1 for the cream cheese swirl. The salted caramel sauce is completely optional, but you can make that ahead of time and just warm + drizzle when serving.

How to make chocolate cream cheese bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The chocolate batter is a lot like this triple chocolate layer cake. When I first tested this recipe, I found the cake batter to be too thin to hold up a cream cheese center. It was A MESS! I removed some of the liquid and replaced it with sour cream. If you’ve tried that chocolate layer cake before– you’ll be happy to know this chocolate bundt cake is equally (if not more!) moist and rich. The chocolate flavor is enhanced with a little espresso powder but that addition is completely optional. Instead of using hot coffee like I do in the layer cake, I opted for hot water. I made this switch because I get a lot of questions about subbing out the coffee. Of course, you can use either! And I’ll add that to the notes below so you don’t forget.

Why do you need a hot liquid in the first place, you ask? It helps the cocoa powder, where all the chocolate flavor comes from, dissolve into the batter with ease. It also helps bring out its flavor; it helps the cocoa “bloom” –that’s the technical term!

Speaking of cocoa, make sure you’re using natural unsweetened cocoa and not dutch-process. Remember why?

After you make the chocolate cake batter, beat the cream cheese layer together. This is only 4 ingredients: cream cheese, a little sugar, egg, and vanilla. Then layer it all into the bundt pan like we did with this pumpkin cake.

How to make chocolate cream cheese bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make chocolate cream cheese bundt cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top-- and is finished off with salted caramel. EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cake must cool completely then just chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing/serving. This is so we avoid any chance of biting into warm cheesecake. Have you ever had warm cheesecake??? Don’t.

Instead of salted caramel, try a silky chocolate ganache. But honestly, this bundt cake completes melts in your mouth and is already so decadently awesome that it doesn’t even need an accessory on top. I just wanted it to look extra glam for you. ♥

This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top-- and is finished off with salted caramel. EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Before you bundt:

  • I love this bundt cake pan. I’ve had it for 4 years and it’s the only bundt pan I use. It’s nonstick, but I still always add a little coat of butter or nonstick cooking spray to grease it. The bundt cake releases so easily. NEVER a crumb stuck. Plus, the shape is pretty. Pretty bundts.
  • You need a mixer when preparing the cream cheese swirl, but it’s not required for the cake batter. But since you already have it out, I suggest using it to mix the cake batter too. Ensures no dry clumps.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (180g) full fat sour cream, at room temperature1
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) boiling hot water2

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 12 ounces (336g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional Toppings

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using) together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or you can use a whisk) mix the oil, eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the hot water, and whisk or beat it all until the batter is completely combined. Set aside as you prepare the cream cheese filling.
  3. Make the cream cheese filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until no lumps remain. Beat in the remaining ingredients on medium-high speed until combined.
  4. Pour half of the chocolate batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Spread all of the cream cheese filling evenly on top. The cream cheese batter is thick, so you'll have to spoon it on top and do your best to spread it around-- avoid it touching the sides of the pan. See photo above for a visual. Pour the remaining chocolate batter evenly on top.
  5. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with just a couple lightly moist crumbs. This is a large, heavy cake so don't be alarmed if it takes a little longer in your oven.
  6. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours inside the pan. Then, invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack or serving dish. Allow cake to cool completely, then refrigerate for 2 hours. Garnish with optional toppings, then slice and serve.
  7. Leftovers keep well stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

Make ahead tip: Baked cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Why room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information. Instead of sour cream, try using plain yogurt. The cake won't taste as rich, but it's a fine sub. If needed, you can use whole milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice instead of buttermilk.
  2. Instead of boiling water, try using hot and strong black coffee. The cake won't taste like coffee, but the chocolate flavor will definitely be accentuated!

Adapted from triple chocolate layer cake and pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top-- and is finished off with salted caramel. EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Kitchenaid Hand Mixer | Mixing Bowls | Nonstick Fluted Bundt Pan | Stoneware PlateEat Dessert First Fork

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This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top-- and is finished off with salted caramel. EASY recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

98 comments

  1. Ment to say cream cheese

  2. Someone gave me a bundt pan and I think this will be its maiden voyage. Oh my, it looks delicious!

  3. That looks yummo. Instead of using cream cheese, do you have a good peanut butter filling that can be used?

  4. oh my gosh..I’m drooling! I know I’d eat too much of this if I made it, but oh, I want some!!

  5. Hi Sally,
    Cake sounds great! Can this be made in a tube pan?
    Thanks in advance for your answer.
    Grace

  6. I don’t own a bundt cake pan, but I think this convinced me that I need to go out and buy one so I can make this recipe. Thanks!

  7. Between the cheesecake filling and salted caramel topping, this is one perfect chocolate bundt!

  8. Made the cake twice, first time i forgot the suggar and the second sticked to the pan and was too sweet and tasted disgusting….i think the cocoa powder here in Austria doesnt work in this recipe 😉

  9. My cream cheese filling turned into a very small line of cream cheese at the top of the pan. It seemed to be absorbed into the cake. Yours shows a thick layer of it. Any ideas what’s went wrong?  Thank you!

    • The cake was delicious!! But this same thing happened for me as well. Any clue as a baking guru?

    • Did you alter the recipe at all? Any slight change? Use “light” cream cheese? Evenly layer it in? Room temperature ingredients? Trying to figure out how that could happen. I’ve now made the cake 4x and always have a thick ribbon of filling!

      • Same for me. I have a very thin layer of the cheesecake filling sticking on the top of the pan. I followed the recipe all along. The chocolate dough was very thin, probably too thin to support the thick cheesecake filling. Plus it’s very, very sticky and wet on top of the cake although the toothpick inserted came out totally clean. I hope it’s drying out a little until tomorrow when I want to serve it. I’ll put a thick layer of chocolate on top in order to hide the cheesecake spots that are showing. Cross your fingers that it’ll work out 😉

      • Hi Sally,
        Thanks for a scrumptious cake! I have one question though. When I placed the cheese filling, it was clear that it’s so thick that it sank a bit into the chocolate mixture, so consequently, when I flipped the cake after it was done, the cheese was at the top. What do I do? 
        Thanks for helping! 🙂 

    • My cake is in the oven now – both the cake batter and the cream cheese filling were thin – I hope it turns out. I wonder why both batters were so thin. Did this happen to anyone else?

  10. I’ve had some issues lately on your site with viruses/pop-ups. It’s completely random when stuff pops up; sometimes it’s almost immediately and other times I’ll have been on your site for several minutes before something happens. My phone vibrates and tells me I have several viruses and that my files are damaged, and my computer (which has good virus software) pops up a box that won’t go away. I have to go into the task manager to stop it. I don’t click on anything to cause this, and this only happens on your site. Has anyone else been having this problem? I’m almost afraid to get on your site now because I don’t know whether or not this is damaging my phone and computer.

    I love your recipes by the way! I was just wanting to let you know what was happening in case you didn’t know. 

    Thanks,

    Crystal

  11. hi sally – how to cut the recipe in half? there’s only 4 of us but would love to make it tomorrow! thanks!

  12. Made this last night and it is so delicious. One question though: my cream cheese center is more cheesecake-like in texture – is that the correct texture? The picture looks more cake-like to me.

  13. It was delicious. I will do it again

  14. this was too good and yummy loved this one

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  15. Love this cake!
    My cream cheese filling hollowed out after baking though.
    Any thoughts on why this happened?
    Thanks 🙂

  16. This I will make for our Easter lunch. Se have sill (herring) for Easter in Sweden. And I make Greek bread with coulored hard boiled eggs in. Like the nest bread you have.

  17. Have you tried piping the cream cheese layer on? I saw some of the comments about that layer. I’m making it for the first time today, I’ll try it and let you know w how it goes! Thanks for all the amazing recipes! 

    • Piping the cheesecake layer inside, you mean? Just trying to understand the question. I wouldn’t see the point if it’s just going to be baked inside?

      • Hey Sally! I’ve made this twice now, turned out great both times! Sorry for the confusion about my question before. The first time when I put the cream cheese filling in the batter I piped it with a bag and then put the rest of the batter on top. My thought was maybe it would be easier to not touch the edges of the pan and be more even through the cake once baked. The second time I made it I used a spatula to spread the cream cheese filling. Both times the cake turned out great, didn’t notice a big difference between the two methods of putting the cream cheese filling into the cake before baking it. Thank you again for the delicious cake recipe! My family and I enjoyed it! 

  18. I made this cake! It was (mostly) a success!  I didn’t have many problems adding the cream cheese; just add more of the initial chocolate cake batter than you think necessary.  My cream cheese sat awfully close to the top of the cake.
     I couldn’t decide between chocolate ganache or salted caramel so I did both!  YUM!  I also added heath bits.  
    For others out there, I used COCONUT OIL.  Melted.  I have 3 babies & I can’t bring myself to put vegetable oil or similar into their food.  It worked just fine!  I can’t even buy those other oils.  Awful!
    My cake baked in about 45 minutes but I’m wondering if it’s because my oven is smaller than a conventional. It’s a double oven & therefore smaller.  I have a thermometer in the oven.  Anyway, maybe a couple of spots that were a touch overdone but all in all a success for try numero uno.  Thanks, Sally! 

  19. Sally,  my cheese filling disappeared into the cake?  What happened?  I put half the chocolate batter in the bunds pan, the cheese filling and topped with the remaining batter.  When I sliced the cake, it was all chocolate and no filling

  20. I tried this yesterday for my husband’s birthday… what a disaster… Followed the recipe precisely, did not change any ingredient! The cake overflowed in the oven, scooped everything away hoping I could still save it. Took way longer to bake (which you did mention in the recipe) and the result was horrible: a sponge cake with white sponge cake-ish filling that completely fell apart and even the taste was just pure sugar. I seriously have no idea what happened, I suppose the baking powder was too strong, I added exactly the amount you wrote down though. Glad we had an extra cake!

    P.S.: This is not meant to mean your recipe sucks, it just didn’t work for us and I think bloggers should hear it too when their readers have a bad experience with their content. I still follow your blog and will try other recipes! Thank you for making these! I’ll go clean my oven now hahaha

    • Thank you for your feedback! I’m wondering what made your cheesecake filling taste like white sponge cake? What size bundt pan did you use?

  21. Made this today with a Crown Cake pan so it was less ‘bundt’ shaped. Topped with chocolate ganache and decorated with whipped Ganache. O…M…G!!!! It was amazing!!  

    • So happy you liked it, Jackie! Be sure to upload a picture to one of my social medias and tag me so I can see it!

  22.  This bundt cake was the hit of the gourmet dessert table at a game night for about 125 women.  I gave everyone who asked for the recipe your web site information so I think you’re going to have some new readers.  Thank you for this wonderful recipe.  I followed the directions exactly as printed and the cake was perfect.

  23. Hi….can we make cupcakes with creamcheese filling with same recipe??

  24. Hi Sally,

    Just wanted to check, for this step:
    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the hot water, and whisk or beat it all until the batter is completely combined.

    Is it whisk by hand or?
    Thanks!

  25. Hi, Sally! I’m wondering how long this cake can stay unrefrigerated. In a reasonably air-conditioned building, how many hours could the cream cheese survive with only ice packs? Thanks!

  26. The cake looks delicious and I plan on making it soon. 1/4 of a cup of sugar to 12 oz cream cheese for the filling seems like very little sugar. Can I add more if I like it a little sweeter? 

  27. Hi, Sally.

    Can I turn this into a Mexican chocolate cake by adding cinnamon and ditching the cream cheese filling? If so, how much cinnamon would you suggest? May thanks!

  28. i haven’t tried this cake yet, but i have tried your Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese frosting and that is amazing!!! i just added some oreos to the decoration of the cake and everyone loved it, so i’m commenting here because the comments for that Cake is closed, but not to worry this Cake is next on My Food Bucket List.

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