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Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Make a rich, chocolate cake with a ribbon of fudge that runs through the middle.

Becky Low shares her recipe for a Tunnel of Fudge cake.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake
1 ¾ cup milk, divided
1 package (3.5-oz) cook-n-serve style chocolate pudding mix
1 cup (6-oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa, divided
2 cups flour
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ¼ cups butter, softened
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Ganache Glaze Ingredients:
½ cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (3-oz)
½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1 ½-cups milk with pudding mix in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted. Cool.

Generously grease a 12-cup fluted bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan; dust with 2-3 tablespoons cocoa; set aside. Whisk together flour, remaining cocoa, salt and baking powder; set aside.

Combine white sugar, brown sugar, and softened butter; cream or beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla and ¼-cup milk. Stir in flour mixture and nuts.

Set aside approximately 2-cups of batter, spread remaining batter in bottom of prepared pan. Carefully create a trench in the middle of the cake batter. Spoon cooled pudding in the middle of trench. Spread reserved batter over top to seal in pudding. Tap pan on counter to settle out air bubbles. Bake in the middle of oven for 45-55 minutes or until crack forms on top of cake and cake springs back when touched. (NOTE: The traditional method of checking doneness by inserting a toothpick in center will not work with this recipe.) Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 1 ½-hours. Invert cake on serving plate and cool at least 2-hours.

Prepare Ganache Glaze by heating cream and corn syrup to a simmer. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted and glaze is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Allow glaze to cool until slightly thick (consistency of soft pudding – will still run, but keeps its shape for a moment when spooned on top). Drizzle glaze around top of cake allowing it to run down sides. Cool 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Strong chocolate flavor. Delicious with cold milk or served with a scoop of ice cream.


The most famous bundt cake was originally made by Ella Rita Helfrich, a home baker, for the1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. Her recipe included a frosting mix, which is no longer available. Pillsbury adapted her recipe and posted it on their website – but fans who loved the original recipe are still looking for the perfect Tunnel of Fudge. Pillsbury recipe:
My cake was created after analyzing reviews on other versions of the cake. It creates a moist fudgy center without under baking. The cake is a strong chocolate and a bit drier than a common cake mix. Excellent served with ice cream or a glass of cold milk. Recipe serves 12-16

* Milk and pudding mix may be replaced with 1 ½-cups cooked homemade pudding.

Becky Low represents The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada. For delicious dairy recipes and nutrition information go to or Facebook . For nutrition research go to

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