Nana Recipe Wednesday–Kahlua Cake

by Sarah on June 1, 2011

It’s that word again.


It’s haunting me.

I hate that word.

I guess there’s no other way to describe it though.  Wet?  Absolutely not.  Dense, yes, but certainly not a dry cake.  Damp?  No that just sounds like wet dish towels.

It’s just going to have to be moist fer crissakes.

This beautiful, MOIST, dense, chocolatey cake embodies everything fantastic about the 60’s.  Kahlua, cake mix, Kahlua, pudding mix and Kahlua.  I know Nana made it often and traded the recipe a lot because there are about 10 copies of this recipe floating around my house.

I once knew someone that used Kahlua in her morning coffee regularly.  Her daughter called it “her medicine”.

The batter on this one is super dense.  I think that is the secret of the moistness.  I just wanted to show you the picture so you wouldn’t worry about how thick the batter is.

One secret tip I will give you for a chocolate Bundt-type cake:  When instructed to grease and flour your plan, use cocoa powder instead of flour.  Then your cake will be luscious and dark brown and not have unsightly floury white blobs on it.

And I can see why Nana shared this recipe so often:  It’s a snap to put together, it’s great for pot lucks and you can easily make it the day before.

After you bake the cake, cool it slightly and poke holes all over it with a skewer.  A lot of holes.

Why, you ask?  Because we are going to fill the holes (and the whole cake, really) with a glaze of more Kahlua, butter and sugar.

It is a lot of glaze, but the cake will soak it up.  Just keep pouring it on until it won’t absorb any more. Trust me!

After that, put your serving dish on top (upside down) and flip the whole thing over so that the cake plops onto your serving dish.  Brush the top and sides with more glaze.

This is so perfect for taking to pot lucks because it stays moist for so long.  No need for frosting, though you could serve it with whipped cream if you were so inclined.  In fact, you could make some vodka-laced whipped cream and make a White Russian kind of a combo.

The Dude would totally approve.

I think Nana would approve, too.

Nana's Kahlua Cake


  • For Cake:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 3-oz pkg chocolate pudding mix (instant)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Kahlua
  • For Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua


  • Preheat oven to 325*. Grease and flour a Bundt-type or tube pan. (I recommend flouring with cocoa powder).
  • Mix cake ingredients together. Batter will be very thick. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer comes clean. Let cake cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, or while you make the glaze.
  • To make glaze, heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, cooking until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake (while still in the pan). Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, using a brush to push it all over the cake. It should absorb about 3/4 of the glaze. Invert the cake onto the serving plate and brush the rest of the glaze on the top and sides of the cake.
  • This cake keeps exceedingly well for a few days.

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