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Italian Chocolate Bundt Cake

This Italian chocolate bundt cake is a ring-shaped ciambellone that combines the rich flavors of chocolate with the moist and tender texture of traditional bundt cake. Sprinkled with chocolate chips and a dusting of powdered sugar, it’s a decadent dessert that pairs perfectly an espresso! 

Chocolate bundt cake on a white plate.


Unfussy but delicious all the same, a slice of ciambellone is often served with espresso for a simple Italian breakfast. While this Italian chocolate bundt cake may be a bit decadent for breakfast, it resembles a traditional ring cake with its doughnut shape and can be served for dessert, although I won’t tell if you sneak a bite before then!

This simple sponge cake is effortless to put together and results in a tender, moist cake that is irresistible! Ready in only 50 minutes, you will wonder why you don’t make homemade cakes more often.

Once you nail the basics of this cake preparation including obtaining the perfect ratio of wet to dry ingredients, baking time and correct oven temperature making bundt cakes will be your new favorite way to spend time in the kitchen.

Try this Italian chocolate chip cakebrown sugar bundt cake and Italian chocolate chip ricotta cake, next! 

Ingredients Needed

  • Cake flour: Cake flour is best for this sponge cake as it results in a tender crumb and fluffy texture.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Natural or unsweetened cocoa powder tastes best in this chocolate bundt cake.
  • Baking powder, baking soda and salt: Baking staples used for leavening and to enhance taste. 
  • Plain yogurt: Adds moisture to the cake without weighing it down.
  • Milk: I used 2% milk for the best rich cake flavor.
  • Eggs: One large egg and 2 large egg yolks add moisture and binding.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract is best to use.
  • Granulated sugar: Adds a sweet taste that is not overpowering.
  • Vegetable oil: Any oil can be used including a light olive oil or corn oil. 
  • Mini chocolate chips: You can use dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
Recipe ingredients.

How to Make Italian Chocolate Bundt Cake

To start, sift together dry ingredients of cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl to remove any lumps then set aside.

Sifting the dry ingredients into a glass bowl.

In another mixing bowl, whisk the wet ingredients including yogurt and milk then set aside.

Mixing the yogurt and milk in a glass bowl.

In a large bowl using an electric mixture, beat together egg and yolks with sugar and vanilla for 5 minutes. Slowly add the oil and beat to combine.

Beating the wet ingredients and adding the oil.

Alternately add the dry ingredients with the yogurt and milk mixture and beat to combine.

Adding the milk and dry ingredients into the beaten ingredients.

Pour batter into the prepared greased and floured bundt pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips.

The batter in the cake pan before baking.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

The cake baked in the pan.

Cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar if desired before serving. 

Bundt cake on a white plate.
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What is an Italian Bundt Cake?

When I first arrived in Italy and was introduced to friends and family it always involved a cup of espresso with a slice of homemade ciambella. The Italian explained that this cake was similar to bundt cake, as they both have the same ring shape.

After one bite, I knew that an Italian bundt cake was nothing like the chocolate cake my mom made growing up! It was not layered with frosting and although delicious it could be a bit on the dry side. 

This Italian chocolate bundt cake recipe is made in the traditional style of Italian cakes including beating sugar and fat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy, sifting the dry ingredients, using vegetable oil rather than butter and including yogurt for moisture. It is an Italian chocolate ring cake but is also a soft and moist bundt cake!


  • Chocolate glaze: Instead of dusting with powdered sugar after the cake has cooled add a decadent chocolate glaze
  • Orange zest: Add aromatic orange zest to the batter like I do with this orange bundt cake for a fresh taste that pairs well with chocolate. 
  • Add sliced pears: Add sliced pears to the top before baking like I do in this chocolate pear cake.
  • Marbled: Only add cocoa powder to some of the batter for an easy Italian marble cake.
  • Garnish with fresh berries: Fresh raspberries or strawberries would look so elegant plated with a slice of this chocolate ring cake.
Bundt cake on a white plate with aslice of chocolate cake on a white plate.

Baking Tips

  • Oil: Vegetable oil can be substituted with light olive oil or melted butter if preferred. 
  • DIY cake flour: To make your own cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour replace two tablespoons of flour with two tablespoons of cornstarch.
  • Yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used but will need to be reduced to ¼ cup. Sour cream can also be used in place of yogurt. 
  • No mixer: You can mix the cake entirely by hand but an electric hand mixer will make things easier!
  • Prevent chocolate chips from sinking: Toss mini chocolate chips with flour before adding to the batter to prevent them sinking to the bottom.
  • Cake pan: You can use a plain tube pan, fluted tube pan or a shallow tube pan called a savarin pan. I love this Nordic ware tube pan.
  • Serving options: Dust with powdered sugar, serve with fresh berries and whipped cream or plate a slice with a scoop of vanilla gelato

Recipe FAQs

Why is my bundt cake dry?

If you have followed this Italian chocolate bundt cake recipe exactly as written, it should turn out moist with a tender crumb. If you have altered the ingredients or baked the cake at too high of a temperature or for too long it can result in a dry cake. Test the temperature of your oven as well as remove the cake when a toothpick comes out clean.

Should I cool my bundt cake in the pan or out?

A little of both! For best results, cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes before inverting to a wire rack to cool completely. 

How to store leftover chocolate bundt cake?

Store leftover chocolate bundt cake in an airtight container or well wrapped at room temperature for 4-5 days. 

Can I freeze bundt cake?

To prevent freezer burn, wrap cake in plastic wrap then foil and freeze for one month. Thaw wrapped at room temperature before serving.

A slice of chocolate cake on a white plate.

As with most Classic Italian cakes, I also sprinkled this Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with a little powdered sugar before serving. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and have a slice. I hope you enjoy it!

A slice of chocolate bundt cake on a white plate.

Italian Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Rosemary Molloy
Italian Chocolate Bundt Cake, an easy soft moist Chocolate Ciambellone sprinkled with Chocolate Chips. Serve it plain or dusted with powdered sugar. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings
Calories 244 kcal


  • cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour (163 grams total)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa dutch processed
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon plain yogurt** (75 grams total)
  • ¼ cup milk (I use 2% or whole)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used corn oil) (87 grams total)
  • cup mini chocolate chips (dark or milk or mixed) mixed with 1 teaspoon of flour

**You can substitute with Greek yogurt but use only ¼ cup (60 grams) + an extra tablespoon of milk.


    • Pre heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour a 9 inch (23 cm) Bundt / Tube Pan.
    • Sift together the flour (corn starch if substituting), cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    • In a small bowl mix together the yogurt and milk. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl beat together the egg and yolks, sugar, vanilla and sugar until light approximately 5 minutes, then slowly add the oil and beat to combine. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the yogurt/milk mixture. Beat to combine 1 minute.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips (mixed with 1 teaspoon of flour) and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool 15-20 minutes in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired before serving. Enjoy!


    Store leftover chocolate bundt cake in an airtight container or well wrapped at room temperature for 4-5 days. 
    To prevent freezer burn, wrap cake in plastic wrap then foil and freeze for one month. Thaw wrapped at room temperature before serving.


    Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 0.7mg
    Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

    Updated from January 23, 2019


    1. Hi Rosemary,
      I am looking to do the 2x of this recipe and was wondering if the 9in. Bundt cake pan will still work.
      I too love all your recipes… they are my first go to when preparing for guests. Thank you for your contributions, Italy is our all time favourite place to visit.

      1. Hi Monica, thanks so much, so glad you enjoy the recipe. If you double the recipe then you will need to use a bigger pan or two pans. If you don’t then it will overflow. Hope that helps, let me know. 🙂 Take care!

    2. Where did you get your pan? I’ve looked all over for one. I only have a traditional bundt pan (dome) or an angel food/chiffon cake pan. I love your recipes! I assume my bundt pan would work for this, but the chocolate chips on top won’t be the same!

      1. Hi Lori, these pans are everywhere in Italian stores, not expensive and they do the job. I’m sure your pan would work ok. Let me know how it goes.

    3. I have made this just now …waiting for it to come out of the oven! I didn’t have plain yogurt so used sour cream instead! Will let you know how it turns out!

    4. I am wondering why you did not use buttermilk( 1/2 cup) in place of the 1/4 cup each of yogurt and regular milk.
      I am guessing the result would be pretty much the same and you have the necessary baking powder and baking soda.
      The cake looks delicious and I might give it a try substituting buttermilk to see what happens.
      All the recipes I have tried from your site have been delicious and get compliments when served to friends.
      Thanks for sharing!

      1. Hi Nancy, good question and the reason being you can’t buy buttermilk in Italy and I had some leftover yogurt in the fridge. I also wanted to try it with something a little different. If you use buttermilk, let me know how it turns out. Thanks so much, glad you enjoy the recipes.

    5. 5 stars

      1. Hi Carol, haha thanks, funny thing is one of the first recipes I got when I first came to Italy was my Easy Yogurt Cake, so there you go. Thanks so glad you enjoy the recipes. Have a great day.

    6. 5 stars
      Oh my gosh, i just have to tell you that i randomly chose your Italian Lemon Bread receipe last week to make a gift for a friend who shared a box of lemons grown from her tree here in Northern California. Well, let me tell you….one thing or make that one friend led to another and i made 5 yes FIVE Italian Lemon Breads to share! One lemon remains! Not one was wasted as after juicing and zesting the lemons went into the fridge for everyday water use. Thank you so much! They were a big hit!

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