This cake has made it back around the block! Back in the day it was one of the most popular cakes around. I have made and eaten my share. Just the other week it came across my inbox from The New York Times, but it’s a little different from the original. In the 1960’s this cake won 2nd place in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. How did it not win first???? Anyway, its most famous ingredient was a box of Pillsbury Chocolate frosting. When Pillsbury stopped producing the frosting there was an outcry from all the Tunnel of Fudge lovers so Pillsbury enlisted the help of a chemist-baker to come up with a Tunnel of Fudge from scratch. In my book it is a 1st prize winner.
You will need a bundt pan for the best results. In fact, I have never made it in another type of pan. You will also need a heavy baking sheet or a pizza stone . The cake is baked in the bottom third of the oven. The bundt pan is placed on top of the heavy baking sheet or a pizza stone. I used a pizza stone and it worked out perfect. Love, love, love this cake!
If you are still baking for the holidays may I suggest that you try this. It will be a hit!
Tunnel of Fudge Cake from The New York Times * I changed nothing in the recipe
- 2 ½ cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 ¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup natural cocoa powder
- Place a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone on a shelf in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (see note).
- On a large baking sheet, roast nuts in the oven for 10 minutes. Keep watch that they do not burn. Pour into a bowl, and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss well and set aside.
- Generously butter the inside of a large 12-cup Bundt cake pan.
- In a mixer, beat butter to soften until it becomes fluffy. Add sugar, then the brown sugar and continue to beat until airy. While beating, if the bowl does not feel cool, place it in the freezer for five minutes, then resume beating.
- Beat in 3/4 teaspoon salt, vanilla and vegetable oil.
- Beat in two egg yolks. Crack the four whole eggs into a large mixing bowl. With a small knife, cut yolks and barely stir the eggs, minimally blending the whites and yolks.
- With the mixer on the lowest speed, beat the eggs into the batter in three batches.
- Mix in confectioners’ sugar and the cocoa.
In a large mixing bowl, stir flour and nuts together. Then with a spatula stir the flour-nut mixture into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place the Bundt pan on the pizza stone to bake.
Bake for 40 minutes. You cannot use the toothpick test because the cake contains so much sugar that the center will not set but will remain a tunnel-of-fudge. You are dependent on a correct oven temperature and the 40-minute cooking time.
- When removed from the oven, the cake will have a runny fudge core with an air pocket above the fudge. About 30 minutes after taking the cake out of the oven, press the inside and outside edge of the cake bottom down all the way around to minimize the air pocket. (My cake did not have this air pocket)
- Let the cake, still in the pan, cool on a rack for two to three hours. Invert the cake onto a platter and let cool completely.
This cake is supposed to have an oozing center, so a poke test will not accurately test doneness; you are dependent on a correct oven temperature and the 40-minute cooking time. Because of this, we recommend using an external oven thermometer and also making sure your oven is properly calibrated.