Vienna Chocolate Pie

I love recipes that involve magic. Take for example, Impossible Pie. You dump the batter into a pie dish, bake it, then pull it out of the oven to find that it has miraculously separated into a crust with filling. There are variations – cheeseburger impossible pie, taco impossible pie, chicken enchilada impossible pie….the list goes on, but you could eat Impossible Pie for weeks and never have the same dinner twice.

Vienna Pie

Tunnel of Fudge cake is also magic. In this case, you pour a plain batter into a bundt pan, then bake it into a cake which when cut, reveals a decadent tunnel of fudge. The Tunnel of Fudge Cake is an old Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe. I don’t think it ever won anything, but it’s probably one of the most popular Bake-Off recipes today. Not to mention what it did for Bundt pans.

There are other magic recipes, but it’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll get to the one that we tried yesterday. It’s called “Vienna Chocolate Pie” and like the Tunnel of Fudge, it is an old Bake-Off recipe. The magic is that when you bake it, the pie morphs into two distinct layers. From the picture below, you’d never guess that the filling was one big bowl of chocolate batter.

This is a good pie. As we made it, I imagined a frazzled fifties housewife whose husband calls at 3:00 to say “The boss is coming for dinner.” Working quickly, she could assemble this pie, throw it in the Frigidaire to chill, put dinner in the oven (probably pot roast), bathe the children, change clothes, put on some pearls and re-do her make-up. Too bad this pie wasn’t invented until 1959. Maybe she’s a sixties housewife.

Vienna Chocolate Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An old Pillsbury Bake-Off winner
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp instant coffee granules or instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the sugar, flour, instant coffee, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed until light in color. Beat in sugar mixture. Beat in buttermilk, vanilla, butter and chocolate until well combined (filling may look curdled). Pour into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with almonds.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set and crust is deep golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.
  5. Note: Mine took 30 minutes. It was still jiggly when I took it out of the oven, but once it cooled it was fine. It was even better after it had chilled.

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  1. Wendy says

    I love your blog. Been following it since I saw you on the Pillsbury bake off on Food TV. Congrats on your win. I made the Tunnel of Fudge cake today and I used the rubber type Bundt pan. Not to sure what they are called. What I ended up with was a mess. The cake cooked on the outside part of the pan but the part of the cake by the tube part of the pan wasn’t cooked at all. When the cake cooled I inverted it on a dish and all the fudge drained all over the place. It tasted great but what a mess. I plan on making this cake again when I get a metal bundt pan and I just wonder if the problem was the pan or the cook? Love your blog. Wendy

  2. Anna says

    Hi Wendy,

    Sorry your Tunnel of Fudge cake didn’t work out. I’m assuming you made the one on the Pillsbury site, am I right? My guess is it was that silicone bundt pan. I’ve had some problems with those pans myself. In fact, I threw all of mine away. One particular problem with the silicone tube pan was that it smelled bad. I’d bake a cake and it would smell like we were baking Shrinky Dinks or something. So no more silicone.

    Since we’re on the topic of Tunnel of Fudge, I just emailed you another Tunnel of Fudge recipe. Let me know if you make it!

  3. Terri says

    This pie looks really good (of course, that may be because today is the first day of my diet!). What is the bottom layer that looks kind of gooey? It looks like caramel.

  4. Anna says

    Tea, the bottom layer tastes kind of like a cross between caramel/buttermilk and pecan pie filling. The pie is made from one batter and that bottom layer forms on its own…like magic.

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