We hopped into the way-back machine for this week’s recipe for the Tunnel of Fudge Cake.
In 1966, Ella Helfrich invented this cake to win the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. The cake was so popular that sales of Bundt pans skyrocketed after the contest. At the time, only Northland Aluminum Products made Bundt pans, and reportedly, the factory had to go on a 24-hour production schedule to keep up with demand.
The original recipe called for a box of frosting mix, which was phased out by Pillsbury in the mid-1980s, leaving bakers clamoring for a new version of this cake. It wasn’t until 1999 that the company re-created its most-requested recipe.
If you decide to bake this cake, don’t use the toothpick method to test doneness. You will intersect the tunnel of fudge and keep the cake in the oven too long. The cake is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and springs back when lightly touched.
So here’s to a happy reunion with an oldie but goodie.
Tunnel of Fudge Cake
Makes 16 servings.
1¾ cups sugar
1¾ cups butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
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¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups pecans or walnuts (do not omit)
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
4 to 6 teaspoons milk
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan.
2. In large bowl, combine sugar and butter, and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar, blending well. By hand, stir in flour and remaining cake ingredients until well blended. Spoon batter into greased and floured pan, spread evenly.
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until top is set and edges are beginning to pull away from side of pan. Do not use toothpick to test. Cool upright in pan on wire rack for 90 minutes; invert onto serving plate. Cool for at least 2 hours.
5. For glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, adding enough milk for desired consistency. Spoon over top of cake, allowing some glaze to run down sides. Store tightly covered.