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. This is the best cake I’ve ever baked. I was worried that it wouldn’t turn out well because the batter was so runny. It was so moist and fluffy.

    1. Thank you  for saying  that! I just put mine in the oven and  was extremely  nervous  because  the batter looked so thin. I thought  I missed a step  somewhere!

  2. Do you use the espresso powder AND black coffee in place of water? Or if you’re using hot black coffee in place of the water, do you omit the espresso powder also?

    1. I wanted to use both as well, but tasted it after I added the espresso powder (and mixed everything together) and it’s a strong enough coffee/chocolate flavor. Think it would be too dark tasting if use both.

  3. Sally, could you use vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt as a sub for the sour cream, or would that not work? I’ve made this before with the sour cream and it was fine, but this week I don’t have sour cream in my pantry!

  4. Cake is great but this batter was way to thin to hold the filling,  so it was more of a “Blackbottom” bunds cake. Next time I would skip the boiling water. Otherwise it was delicious, even with the filling in the wrong place! 

  5. Hi Sally I got question I have a fancy bundt pan from King Arthur flour it’s a star bundt pan. Do you think it might work? Jane

  6. Cake was very good everyone complimented. Well,one problem the cream cheese filling all ended up on the bottom. I followed directions exactly. What could of went wrong?

  7. This is a wonderfully moist cake with rich chocolate flavor. My first attempt did not come out of the pan, because I used a different pattern Bundt brand cake pan. I suggest, to those experimenting with pans other than the one recommended in the recipe, to GENEROUSLY GREASE & FLOUR the pan. I can’t serve my first try to company, but I can easily enjoy this cake all by myself.

  8. Looks delicious! And I love your new blog format with all the video content. Question about the lovely, shiny, chocolate topping: Could I use this for petite fours, or does it remain wet and/or sticky?

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment on the new website format, Molly! I appreciate it. The chocolate glaze will set. It won’t be wet or sticky after a few hours.

  9. Hi Sally!
    Can we use Betty crocker chocolate cake mix instead?
    How much baking time will be required then?

    Thank you!

  10. Made this today. Turned out perfectly! Topped with a cherry sauce and chocolate ganache…instant Black Forest Cake! So good. Thanks!

  11. What size bundt pan or, how many cups of batter total? The pan size does make a difference. The problems some people are having may have to do with the wrong pan size.

  12. Sally,
    Thank you!! I tend to up having successful and beloved bakes from your recipes. I am actually baking this cake right now for my daughter’s Fall Festival tomorrow. The school promised all cakes with be in a fridge for safe keeping. My bundt pan is 10″ across but using water I measured to the tippy top at 10 cups. Do you think this will work?
    I thought about restricting both the batter and cheesecake to have enough room for expansion but there is a bit more than an inch of pan above the batter so I took the plunge instead throwing out excess batter or baking one small muffin shaped cake. I have all my toes and fingers crossed it doesn’t overflow. If I need to adjust a cake recipe because my pan isn’t exact, is the main idea to leave room for the rise?
    I’d like to bake it again for my husband’s RN class now that its all exams and projects. I will let you know how it turns out, but if you have any advice on how to replicate this for my size bundt pan I am listening.
    I am proud to pass along this recipe, so thank you as well for creating a printable recipe I can include for whomever “wins” this cake.

    1. Hi Catherine! So happy to read this and I’m glad to help in any way I can. It sounds like you’re on the right track. Less is more because I’d rather have a short cake than an overflowing cake, you know? Fill the bundt pan only about 2/3 – 3/4 full and make a few cupcakes on the side.

      1. It worked BEAUTIFULLY!! Flat bottom, rose to the edge of the pan, and because of your baking tips I read before I started, it came right out of the pan, no crumb left behind. I glazed it with a salted chocolate ganache and decorated with some sparkling sugar. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I will be baking it again soon. The world is a sweeter place with you in it!

  13. I baked this today for Christmas. It was very easy to make. I appreciate that I didn’t have to use a mixer for the chocolate batter.

    Unfortunately the cream cheese layer showed through the top of the cake in spots. Not sure if it the batter was too thin or if it was the pan I used. I used the Nordic Ware anniversary swirled bundt pan.

    The cake was delicious though! I made a chocolate ganache instead of caramel.

  14. I just put mine in the oven so I will let you know how it turned out. I did not use as much boiling water because it did look runny . I think if you put more Chocolate batter on the bottom and the thinner layer covering the cream cheese it might not sink to the bottom as much.

  15. I made this cake for one of my Easter desserts. My father in law has a gluten intolerance so I tried the KA all purpose gluten free flour in it. He was raving about the cake and so was everyone else. Thank you! I’m so happy I was able to fit his needs with it as well since all of my desserts didn’t work with being gluten free

  16. Hi Sally,
    Could I use the store bought ready to use whipped cream cheese frosting, as I have some left at home?

    1. Not inside the cake, no. You don’t want a frosting-type filling. For best results, I recommend following this filling recipe.

  17. I agree with one of the comments above. All my cream cheese was at the bottom. Any idea what to do next time. Cake was very good and moist

    1. Oops! Sorry, the question got typed a second time!
      Thanks for your reply. Happy to know that even the cream cheese filling can be made in advance!

  18. I made this for my husband’s birthday yesterday and it turned out absolutely fantastic. The cream cheese swirl added a lovely twist, though it wasn’t like a thick ribbon as seen in your picture, but a thinner ribbon swirl.
    Overall, great taste and so moist! Thank you for this lovely recipe!

  19. Hi Sally, can the cream cheese filling be left out of the recipe and can chocolate chips be added? would the bake time be the same? Thanks!

  20. Sally, I’m loving all of your recipes. This cake is delicious, and the cream cheese filling makes bundt cake more fun! Thank you for sharing.

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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