If you don’t yet own a copy of The Secret Lives of Baked Goods by Jessie Oleson Moore, I highly recommend that you order it now! This incredible cookbook not only offers some amazing classic recipes, but it also gives the baker the history of America’s most beloved treats. So far I’ve whipped up the Boston Cream Pie, German Chocolate Cake & Brownies all with great success. I had never heard of the Tunnel of Fudge Cake until I came across it in this book. Apparently, it took second place in the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-off. It was Ella Helfrich’s 12th attempt at the contest, before she finally took home a prize. What she didn’t know was that her recipe would pave the way for the modern day molten cake and make the Bundt pan a necessity in every baker’s kitchen. Although the secret ingredient in the original recipe, Double Dutch Cocoa Frosting mix, has been discontinued by Pillsbury, I can guarantee this homemade version will fulfill all of your chocolate fantasies.
The key to this cake is to underbake! It’s almost like a brownie, the gooey center is the best part. I used a mixture of pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts & cashews that I toasted in a skillet pan, but you can use any nuts that you have available. The chocolate glaze is the perfect topping, but if you really want to take it up a notch try sprinkling on some chopped toffee or chocolate. I just so happened to have a bag of Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Bark (a mix of white chocolate, ginger snaps, pretzels, cranberries, almonds & peanuts yummm!) and well you can figure out the rest…..
If this is not decadent enough for you, warm up a slice in the microwave and serve it with vanilla bean ice cream. I promise I won’t judge!
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1¾ cups (3.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 large eggs, room temp
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 2 cups toasted chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts or a mix)
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Bark, heath bar or chopped toffee/brittle for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10 inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a standmixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until well combined and remove the bowl from the mixer.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour and the cocoa powder. Add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time to the butter mixture. Stir by hand until just combined. Stir in the nuts.
- Pour and evenly spread the batter into prepared Bundt pan.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until top is set. A cake tester will not work in this case because the center remains gooey. Do not overbake this cake or you will lose the molten center.
- Cool upright in pan for about 1½ hours and then invert on serving plate and cool an additional 2 hours before serving.
- Combine the glazed ingredients with a whisk. Spoon over cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle with desired topping.