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

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

(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, so sorry!)

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

The chocolate batter is a lot like my favorite chocolate 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 bundt cake.

How to make chocolate cream cheese bundt cake on

How to make chocolate cream cheese bundt cake on

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

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

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

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This chocolate cream cheese bundt cake is completely over the top and is finished off with salted caramel.


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) boiling hot water*

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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10-inch bundt pan that holds 12 cups of batter.
  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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Baked cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Mixing Bowls | Nonstick Fluted Bundt Pan | Stoneware PlateEat Dessert First Fork
  3. Room Temperature Ingredients: 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.
  4. Coffee: 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!
  5. Adapted from chocolate cake and pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake.

Keywords: chocolate bundt cake, bundt cake

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

More bundt cakes to love:

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


  1. Hi Sally, I wanted to try this cake because it looks so delicious but I have one question, do the cream cheese melt during the baking process and is the cake left with a creamy cream cheese filling? Also can you use this cream cheese filling in other cake recipes other then chocolate cakes? I wanted to try to use it in a yellow batter cake and see how that would turn out, please let me know, THANKS.

    1. The cream cheese layer is like a cheesecake texture so it doesn’t melt into the cake. See the photos in the post of the beautiful white swirl inside the cake! I use the same method in other cakes like carrot and pumpkin cakes. The batter needs to be thick/sturdy enough to hold up the layer while baking so it doesn’t sink.

      1. Caramel sauce excellent. Cream cheese at room temp is pourable, not spreadable. I dont ever suggest room temp. if it needs a little softening, micro a few secs. Choco tastes good.

  2. I made this cake yesterday as a thank you for my sister and brother-in-law. I dropped it off today and we each had a slice. It is so pretty and rich, and so moist that it doesn’t even need a topping. We loved it. I can’t wait to make this again. Absolutely perfect. Thank you Sally!

  3. Hi. I love your recipes, they are so yummy and easy to follow. I made this chocolate bundt cake, followed the directions, and baked it for more than the time allotted but it came out soupy. Thinking I didn’t bake it for enough time I put it bake in the oven and it still stayed the same way. I looked at the directions again and processed what I could have done but I couldn’t figure it out. The flavor was still yummy but wondering what I did wrong. I hope you can help me for next time. Thanks!

    1. If it was just that the batter was still not baked it was likely just under-done. Bundt cakes are huge heavy cakes so depending on your oven temperature and the pan you are using it’s possible for them to take a lot longer!

  4. Good grief. This recipe is fabulous. I cannot say enough. The cake is incredibly moist. I was a little scared when the cheesecake part started to float to the top after I poured in the second half of the batter but I closed my eyes and just baked it. The batter just enveloped the cheesecake. I am making it again for a friends birthday this week and I’m bringing it to my daughters at Thanksgiving. I want to spread this recipe around. It does not even need the caramel or ganache topping. It’s the perfect cake.

  5. Sally, all of these recipes look so fabulous! I was wondering if the cheesecake center of the Bundt cakes would do ok being frozen. I’d love to make some of these ahead of Thanksgiving, if possible. Thanks

  6. I’ve just baked this cake and it looks fab!
    When cooling in the Bundt pan it sunk quite a bit (the cake was fully cooked – knife came out clean!)
    Can’t wait to eat it tomorrow!

  7. Hi Sally, just wondering if this recipe can be made into cupcakes? I’m thinking the quantity would translate to about 12? Or would some modifications (other than oven time) be required?

  8. I wanted to make this for a work
    Christmas party and considered adding some peppermint extract to the cream cheese filling but wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. What do you think? How much should I add if so?

    1. Sounds delicious! I would recommend starting small – perhaps a 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon depending on how strong you would like the flavor. A little bit of peppermint extract can go a long way. Let me know how it turns out!

  9. This is the most delightful, delicious amd decadent baked good I think I’ve ever had. I’m so impressed with the final result. Oh my goodness, you’re too talented Sally. Thank you so much for sharing. This will forever be a staple in my home along with many of your other items. Wow!

    1. Hi, Stephanie! This cake will be okay at room temperature for a bit while out for serving, but it is best to store in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for a few days. Hope this helps!

      1. My daughter wants to enter it in a baking contest, in which she would need to prepare the day before. Some cakes taste dry after refrigeration. Do you serve cold or at room temp? How long should you wait before serving for it to reach that desired temp? Thank you!

      2. Hi Stephanie, This cake shouldn’t dry out after one day in refrigerator. Just make sure it’s covered tightly. Pull it out an hour or two in advance (depending on the temperature where you are), garnish and serve! Have fun!

  10. Hi Sally!

    I have another question for you. My daughter made the cake and it was delicious!! However the center where the cream cheese is had a large air pocket. Is there anything we can do to prevent that from happening?

    1. Hi Stephanie! You can try to add another egg yolk (just 1 extra yolk, not the white) to smooth out the cream cheese filling, as well as try to avoid over-mixing it.

  11. This was excellent and turned out perfectly! Moist and tender with distinct cocoa and cream cheese flavors, but not overly sweet, and very pretty on the plate. I made the recipe as written but skipped the caramel drizzle. It didn’t need it! We served the cake on NYE with a homemade chocolate chip ice cream. Everyone loved it! The only thing I’ll do differently next time (and there will be many next times!) is to increase the cream cheese filling to 1.5, or maybe even double it.

  12. I need a sturdy, moist, delicious chocolate cake that will stand up to stacking (like a groom’s cake), and I LOVE all of your recipes!! I just wondered if you could possibly tell me which of your awesome chocolate cake recipes would be the best for stacking (I am doing a 6″, 8″, and 10″ stacked cake). I had a recipe ten years ago that was awesome for this purpose and tasted like brownies, but I can’t for the life of me find it. So, any help you can give me would be awesome! Thanks

    1. Hi Karen, I have never made a tiered cake before! However this is the cake batter I suggest to try it! It’s the same batter I use for a few different layer cakes also (like my Tuxedo Cake) and has the same moist rich taste as my favorite Triple Chocolate Cake but I sub some sour cream for some liquid to make it a bit sturdier. If you decide to stack it just make sure that each layer is properly supported by cake rounds a dowels between each layer. Let me know if you try!

  13. Hey Sally, I’ve never made a bundt cake before. Do you think it would it be possible to pour this chocolate batter at the bottom, the cream cheese in the middle, but put batter from your pumpkin bundt cake on top (or vise versa)? Would the cream cheese sink causing the chocolate batter to mix with the pumpkin? Might it remain somewhat separated? Is it worth a try?

    1. Hi Veronica, I have never tried this before but it’s worth trying! I would cut each recipe in half, put the pumpkin batter in first as it’s probably a bit thicker, then layer with the cream cheese mixture and then then chocolate batter. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!!

  14. Hi Sally,
    Can’t get buttermilk where I live so I typically just avoid recipes that call for it. But who can avoid this luscious thing?!? Substitute suggestions include adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk or subbing plain yogurt alone. Do you have an idea about which of these choices is better? I’m thinking the texture of milk and yogurt are quite different, but I don’t know what might be the effect of this difference. Thanks.

    1. Hi Alice! Replacing the buttermilk with DIY soured milk is the best option. Use whole milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Replacing the buttermilk with more sour cream (or yogurt) will produce a slightly denser cake.

  15. I’m planning on making this but for the life of me I don’t understand the boiling water! Do I add the espresso powder to it and then add it to the batter? What am I missing?? Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Marla! The hot liquid is added–as is– to the batter. It helps dissolve and bloom the cocoa powder, bringing out its flavor. You don’t mix it with espresso powder. The espresso powder is optional, the hot liquid is not.

  16. This was wonderful! Everyone loved it! I made it as described, but using 75% of the espresso powder, in the pan you recommended, and it was ready at 55 minutes for me. The texture and flavor are wonderful! Just like another reviewer, I became concerned when some of the cream cheese filling began to float towards the top of the batter, but it the batter enveloped it just fine! I will make this again.

    By the way, your pie crust recipe (adding the vodka as the link recommends) is now my go to, it never fails and tastes great! Thank you for your help and hard work! I want to make so many things of yours; I think I may do the coconut cake next!

  17. I made this cake yesterday and it tastes great. However, like someone else said, it sunk quite a bit in the bundt pan. What did I do wrong?

  18. Sally, this recipe is PERFECT. I too tried the Hershey recipe and ended up with a mess. Thank you so much!!! One question. All my cheesecake filling rose to the top during baking. Any reason for it? Thanks again!

  19. This was really good, we did end up making extra cream cheese icing though! For the second batch of the icing, we used cream cheese and sugar. For the second batch of the icing, we just used cream cheese and sugar. We topped it with Hersheys Chocolate shell syrup (the kind that hardens if you stick it in the fridge).

  20. We are social distancing and truly staying at home. This put a damper on my son’s first day of spring 18th birthday. He was sad he couldn’t celebrate it with friends, but at least he had a delicious homemade cake. Not the usual, festive Publix cake, but it was pretty and wonderful. I had no trouble with the cream cheese part except I only had 8 ounces and didn’t notice until too late I needed 12! Still worked out fine. Thank you, Sally!

    I did try the caramel sauce which was fun to make, but I screwed it up and it turned out bitter. I googled and found out I likely stirred it too much and caused burned bit’s of the sugar to fall into the mixture from the sides of my pot. Next time I’ll know! You should make this cake!!! Highly recommend! Oh…I didn’t use espresso, just cocoa.

1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love



Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally