February 20, 2014

Dark Chocolate Five Spice Bundt Cake - #BundtBakers

It is time for a little bundt baking.  This month the theme for #BundtBakers is Chocolate and as soon as I heard this I immediately thought of this little Himalayan restaurant we enjoy.  My favorite dessert there is a dark chocolate five spice ice cream, which I have been meaning to make for my blog.  I decided that I would translate that ice cream into a cake.
I love using spices in my cakes, and was excited to incorporate Chinese five spice into this cake. Although there are variations, the most common spices in Chinese five spice are Chinese cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. This is definitely a spice that pairs well with chocolate desserts. In this recipe I used a commercially purchased product, but I am looking forward to experimenting and coming up with my own formula for this spice mix.

A quick search of my cookbooks led me to Cake Simple by Christie Matheson. She has the perfect recipe for a Dark Chocolate bundt cake, so I knew with a few little tweaks I would have a winner.  I decided to use Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder and add a little instant espresso powder to really enhance the chocolate flavor. It was a little harder to decide how much of the Chinese five spice to use, but because most times I like to taste the spice in my baked goods, rather than have it as a background note, I decided to add 5 teaspoons, and I thought this was just about right (maybe one more next time for good measure ;)).  Feel free to cut back on this amount if you prefer a less prominent flavor of spice.

My cake did come out a little dry, but I feel this may have been an error on my part.  The cake was definitely not cooked at the 45 minute mark, so I baked it for 10 minutes more.  It still seemed a little moist at this point but I really should have pulled it out right then instead of letting it go for another 5 minutes, because it was still baking a little more whilst it was cooling down on the rack. So keep an eye on your cake, and take it out of the oven when there are just a few moist crumbs on a cake tester.

Dark Chocolate Five Spice Bundt Cake
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 ounces very dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cocoa powder or powdered sugar for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray.
  3. Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it, then whisk until the chocolate has thoroughly melted and the mixture is uniform. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, five spice powder, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, vegetable oil, and melted chocolate mixture on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  6. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing only until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-low and mix for another 3 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool for at least another 30 minutes.
  9. Use a sifter to dust the cake lightly with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve.
  10. The cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days (or wrapped well in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil in the freezer for up to 1 month)
Recipe slightly adapted from Cake Simple.


BundtBakers is hosted this month by Vonnie from My Catholic Kitchen - thanks Vonnie for all of your hard work. Our theme and ingredient of choice is Chocolate - milk, semi sweet, dark, and white chocolate, in the cake, in the glaze and every way you like it! Below are the 10 delicious bundts from our group members all baked to perfection ~

We have nine fabulous cakes for the #BundtBakers this month, and it is all about chocolate. That is right, our theme and ingredient of choice is Chocolate. We've got milk, semi sweet and dark chocolate. In the cake, in the glaze and every way you like it! All baked to perfection in delicious Bundt cakes.


  1. Oh, you used Chinese five spice powder and dark chocolate. . I am so intrigued!!! I love this!!! yum! Pinning this. . and will be baking with you guys next month!

  2. Looks like espresso has surely made a difference. Your cake looks so dark and delicious, absolutely lovely!

  3. I love pairing chocolate with spices. I've been playing around with various ones in my microwave mug cakes. I've never used all of the ones in a traditional Chinese five spice though.

  4. Oh doncha hate it when that happens? I too have overbaked a bundt like that on accident. Boy you can't tell from the way it looks though, it looks super moist and chocolatey! Pinned!

  5. Oh my what a heavenly cake and what a great source of inspiration. I wish there was a Himalayan restaurant near me. Lucky you!

  6. Oh Felice...this looks amazing! I love adding a little spice to chocolate and I just love the richness of the dark chocolate in this cake! (love hersheys's special dark chocolate!). And it doesn't look dry at all! Love your pretty cake stand, too!

  7. awsome recipie....my whole family loved this.


Thanks for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.