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Chocolate Butter Cake

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Chocolate Butter Cake is a rich chocolate cake that starts with a cake mix. It’s full of butter and has a gooey chocolate butter sauce poured all over the top. This is the perfect easy cake recipe!

Thanks to Challenge Dairy, I’m using some of the best butter to make this rich and gooey Chocolate Butter Cake!


chocolate butter cake slice on plate

I think Bundt cakes are my favorite ones to make: they’re easy to throw together and they finish off so pretty without a thick frosting!

Last year I made a Lemon Butter Cake and a Key Lime Butter Cake and they were both huge hits so I decided to make a CHOCOLATE Butter Cake too. This easy cake is rich and thick and topped with a buttery chocolate glaze that soaks into the warm cake. If you love chocolate this is the cake for you!!

What is a butter cake?

Not to be confused with a gooey butter cake, the St. Louis specialty, a butter cake like this one is also called a Kentucky Butter Cake. Traditionally, it’s a rich buttery pound cake that’s soaked with a sugary buttery syrup when it comes out of the oven.

When I made the lemon and lime butter cakes, I added citrus to the cake and the syrup. For this chocolate version I added – you guessed it – CHOCOLATE!

An easy Chocolate Butter Cake starts with a cake mix and is infused with butter and lots of chocolate, then glazed with a rich chocolate topping while it’s hot!

overhead shot of chocolate butter cake

While I love making chocolate cake from scratch, I also love using cake mix. It makes my life easier, especially when I’m making a Bundt cake. Bundt and pound cake recipes are different from your traditional chocolate cake so when you’re in a pinch and need a cake, starting this with a cake mix is the way to go.

This chocolate butter cake recipe starts with cake mix but it’s doctored so much no one will know you started with a box mix!

I love doctoring cake mix! It’s so easy to add flavor and change up ingredients to make them taste really homemade.

How do you make cake mix taste like it’s from scratch?

  • I always add pudding to my cake! Adding a box of instant chocolate pudding amps up the flavor of a chocolate cake mix.
  • Use milk instead of water.
  • Instead of using oil, like the box calls for, I always use Challenge Butter. Butter tastes so much better in cake than oil, plus it amps up the flavor of this chocolate butter cake!

chocolate butter cake slice on plate

When you’re making a cake or any recipe, really, you need to use good quality ingredients, especially if you’re starting with a cake mix. Using a good quality butter will ensure that your butter cake tastes authentic and rich!

As you know, Challenge Butter is my favorite butter. I’ve been using it my whole life (it’s the only brand my parents buy!) Challenge is a cooperative of California family-owned dairies that was founded nearly 100 years ago. Having grown up in California I love that it’s local to me, but since it’s the 2nd largest butter brand in the country you can also find it nationally.

Challenge Butter is made the old-fashioned way, from the freshest milk and cream from happy cows. Challenge is the only dairy product company that controls the whole process when it comes to making its butter, from milking the cows to transporting the milk, to making the butter. I love that they have a hand in all the steps of making their butter. Plus, with no hormones, additives or fillers, it’s healthier and better tasting butter.

This chocolate butter cake has butter in the cake and in the rich chocolate glaze that you pour over the top!

Once the cake comes out of the oven, you invert it hot onto a rack. Then you make the most glorious glaze of boiled butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. It’s a thick and rich chocolate sauce that’s poured all over the top of the cake. Poke holes in the cake first and you’ll ensure that the cake gets filled with this rich syrup.

chocolate butter cake slice on plate

Here are my tips for how to make a chocolate butter cake:

  1. By starting with melted butter you don’t need a mixer! Just whisk the cake batter together.
  2. Be sure to grease and flour your Bundt pan (or use the cooking spray with flour).
  3. I always substitute milk for water in my cake mix recipes. You can use regular milk or non-dairy milk if you prefer.
  4. Butter extract amps up the flavor of the cake but it’s optional!
  5. The glaze is HEAVEN! Pour it over the cake while it’s hot or it’ll thicken too much. If it gets grainy or thick, just reheat it.

Chocolate Butter Cake is the perfect rich chocolate cake recipe for any occasion!

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chocolate butter cake slice on plate
5 from 1 vote
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Servings: 10 servings

Chocolate Butter Cake

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Chocolate Butter Cake is a rich chocolate cake that start with a cake mix. It's full of butter and has a gooey chocolate butter sauce poured all over the top. This is the perfect easy cake recipe!


For the Cake:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix — about 15-16 ounces
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix — about 3.4 ounces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Challenge Butter — melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract — optional

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted Challenge Butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (I like using the kind with flour in it).
  2. Whisk together cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl. Add eggs, melted butter, milk, and extract if using. Whisk until mostly smooth.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the center of the cake.
  4. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, make the sauce: melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cocoa, and water. Stir and bring to a boil, cooking until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is no longer grainy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  5. Even though the cake is still hot, we’re going to remove it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack set over a cookie sheet.
  6. Using a long skewer, poke several small holes all over the cake. Carefully pour hot chocolate butter sauce over the cake, allowing any extra to drip onto the cookie sheet under the rack. (If you want, you can scoop this extra sauce up off the pan and drizzle it over the cake again.)
  7. Let the cake cool then transfer to a serving plate. Store loosely covered for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If the sauce gets too cool and starts to get grainy or thicken, just reheat for a minute or two over medium low heat.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 serving) — Calories: 407, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 395mg, Potassium: 206mg, Carbohydrates: 48g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Protein: 5g, Vitamin A: 560%, Calcium: 106%, Iron: 2.3%

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  1. This cake is fantastic!

  2. Try using buttermilk instead of water in a chocolate cake mix and it will be moist and tender.

  3. My husband bought the cook and serve pudding instead of instant. Can o still use it in my cake mix?

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