Chocolate Mess


I had such super high hopes for my tunnel of fudge cake and it sadly turned into a pile of fudge.  The premise was good, and it tasted delish, but the construction was seriously warped.

The original 1966 Pillsbury Bake Off  winner recipe calls for a box of Pillsbury frosting mix, which of course they discontinued so I was thinking I would never get the chance to make it and then I discovered that my favorite store in the whole wide world carries a dry frosting mix. I also read online that you could uses the jiffy frosting mixes (you’d need 3) if you can find them locally.

Armed with my dry frosting mix and my dreams of fudge tunnels, I set out to recreate THE highlight of 1966 (besides the release of ‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon & Garfunkel).

It started out okay, the whole cream the butter, sugar, eggs together thing.

It calls for 3 sticks of butter.



Luckily I had been to San Francisco over the weekend and climbed the steepest hill on earth, so my pants were kind of loose.

And I know you are thinking it doesn’t really look that bad, but that is because you are just sitting there on your butt (which by the way would shrink significantly if you had to climb this Kilimanjaro type hill) and reading this whereas I had to hoof it up there on my two little feet. I gave it my all and was desperately wishing for a couple of crampons or a drive by shooter or something to end the misery.

We climbed back up the crooked street too, which incidentally, when I win the lottery, is where I am going to live and I’ll be super rich and my butt will be non existent, and really, what else could you ask for?

Now that is a tunnel of fudge…..

I am not sure where I messed up on this cake. I added about 1/4 cup of dark cocoa to the mix because I adore dark chocolate. I also omitted the pecans and added chocolate chips because even though the recipe said they were crucial to helping the cake hold together, if I had added them my kids would gag and retch and roll around on the floor in their protest of nuts.

So maybe that was the problem?

Or maybe it was the stupid fluted bundt pan.


It could have been because I did not wait until it had cooled enough because I was so eager to see the tunnel of fudge.

Folks, make no mistake, there was a tunnel.

I had to hack it out of the pan like I was a member of the Texas Chainsaw family.

It was still REALLY good, so you know, you totally cannot judge a book by it’s cover.

Or a cake by it’s tunnel.


(good luck)

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened (three sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3-1/3 cups dry fudge frosting mix powder
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


Generously grease a 12 cup fluted bundt pan with solid shortening and set aside, OR use baking spray containing just before you pour the batter into the pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, with mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and brown sugar, beating until light and combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each until mixture is smooth. With a spoon, add flour, dry frosting mix and nuts to batter until combined. Now spray the bundt pan with the baking spray, and pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes. Test after 60 minutes by looking for a dry, shiny brownie crust. You can’t use traditional doneness tests for this cake because of the soft fudge center. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack until lukewarm (this is important!). Then turn onto a serving place and cool completely.


About Janice

I am 40 years old. Loving life and (finally) being a grown up. I have 3 great kids that sometimes make me want to drink copious amounts of wine. I have been married to my amazing husband since 2001. I have more great girlfriends than you can shake the proverbial stick at. Join me in this adventure that is my life.
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6 Responses to Chocolate Mess

  1. monogirl says:

    THREE STICKS!!! Mmmmm…butter. I had a similar situation recently with a chocolate angel food cake in a glass bundt pan. Turns out bundt cakes in general are just a pain in the ass. My suggestion would be try it in one of the bunt pans that is like a springform, where the bottom pops off for easy cake removal. I would also tell your kids to suck it up and eat the nuts! (Or pick em out.) 🙂

  2. Cousin Mary says:

    I haven’t made this in years but if I remember right to get past the nut thing you have to pulverize them so you can’t tell they’re nuts. My girls also hate nuts and react to them like the devil to holy water. Chop the life out of them. M

  3. Pingback: Thrift Share Monday….AND on to DALLAS!!!!! | Feels Like Time

  4. Betty says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post, but when I got to crampon, I was mystified. All I could think of was cramp + tampon, lol.

    • Janice says:

      Crampon is one of those things that rock climbers use to hook into the side of a mountain and pull themselves up. At least I think that is what they are called, not ever having climbed a mountain before….

  5. Lori says:

    Oh my gosh!!! I’m so excited you posted this recipe! My mom made this cake every year for my sister and me on our birthdays…until they stopped making the frosting mix =( My favorite cake EVAH!!! We discovered the uglier the cake, the better it tasted…so with that being said, you never want it to come out pretty…pretty = dry, big mess = delicious. I can’t wait to make this! Love you, love your blog!!

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