Chocolate Syrup Swirl Cake with Ganache Glaze

One nice thing about state fair competitions is that in most cases, it seems the focus is on execution rather than originality. For instance, if I controlled the state fair I’d surely have a Chocolate Chip Cookie category and everyone could enter their version. I might even have a “Thick Chocolate Chip Cookie” category and a “Thin Chocolate Chip Cookie” category. But I don’t control the fair and I didn’t make cookies today. Instead, I made this cake which won in the 2003 Abilene State Fair and Rodeo. It also happens to be from Hershey’s.

But back to the execution issue, I made the cake this morning and had problems getting it out of the pan. Big problems that were probably due to the flour added cooking spray. Next time, I’ll use shortening and flour. I also found the icing recipe I used too thick to drizzle, so I just slathered it on and called it a day, For the version below, I’ve typed up a better icing/glaze. You may recognize it from my the previous Bundt cake and it’s a winner. I also typed the so-so version I used if you’d like to avoid the syrup and butter. It didn’t flow well, but it still tasted good.

So my cake wouldn’t win best of show prizes, but if I’d turned it from the pan and used a better glaze, it might have. Luckily, it had an intense buttery vanilla flavor and the chocolate swirl, which I worried would be too sweet, was actually just the right level of sweetness and very chocolaty. I added a half cup of chips to the chocolate swirl part, but think they might have contributed to the sticking. Then again, it might have just been the cooking spray.

chocolate syrup swirl cake

Chocolate Syrup Swirl Cake with Ganache Glaze

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda, DIVIDED USE
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temp (230 grams)
2 cups granulated sugar (380 grams)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (240 ml)
1 cup Hershey’s Syrup (312 grams)
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Ganache Glaze:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (84 grams)
1/3 cup heavy cream (85 grams)
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup or golden syrup (10 grams)
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter (7 grams)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup (10 inch) Bundt pan. I used flour added baking spray and the cake stuck, so make sure you grease it well. If you are using a black Bundt pan, use 325 degrees F.

Mix together the flour, only1 teaspoon of the baking soda, and the salt; set aside.
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla, using high speed of an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, beating 30 seconds after each egg. Stir in flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two so that you add the flour in 3 parts. Don’t overbeat the batter, but make sure it’s thoroughly mixed.

Measure out 2 cups batter and put it in a medium bowl; stir in syrup and remaining 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and the chocolate chips (if using).
Pour vanilla batter into pan, then pour chocolate batter on top of it. The vanilla batter will bubble up over the chocolate to give you the swirl, so don’t mix it.

Bake 60 to 70 minutes (I baked for 70) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool l5 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely; glaze or frost as desired.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. In a heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 3 ounces of chopped chocolate with the corn syrup and butter. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let the ganache glaze cool until thick but still pourable, about 5 minutes.
Pour the ganache over the cooled cake. Let the cake stand until the glaze is set, at least 30 minutes, before serving.

If you don’t want to use the recipe above, you can follow the steps above but use ¼ cup cream, a little less than 2/3 cup chocolate chips and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. I used this second recipe today and thought it was too thick, but it tasted good and was spreadable.

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  1. says

    I’ve only bought one can of that flour cooking spray before and didn’t care for it. Bummer about the sticking. It does still look good and taste is what matters.

  2. says

    Too bad about the sticking. I thought that vegetable sprays (with or without flour) were supposed to be better than greasing and flouring by hand because it’s easier to get all of the nooks and crannies in the pan? Although, me of few bundt cakes wouldn’t really know.

    I think the cake looks very tasty, and no doubt it tastes good despite the too thick to drizzle glaze.

  3. Karen says

    I’ve seen versions of this recipe and always wondered if it would be chocolaty enough with the syrup rather than cocoa or melted chocolate -I guess I should just finally try it and see, since I am very into marble cakes.

    I’ve had luck with Baker’s Joy but not with the other brands of cooking spray with flour.

  4. says

    My concern was the same as Karens — that it would be too sweet and not have enough chocolate flavor. It did, but that might have been because I added the extra handful of chips. I think they kind of melted into it. So if you can coat your pan well enough to handle what the melted chips might cause (if that’s what caused the stickiness), then I recommend those as well. As for the syrup, I think it added kind of an interesting flavor all its own.

    About the cooking spray, I used Pam for Baking which until this point, has been very reliable. I like how it smells, it works, and I haven’t had a problem. Now I think I’m going to try Baker’s Joy.

  5. Amanda says

    I’m guessing you are right about it being the cooking spray. Did you let it cool and relax at all before removing it from the pan?

    You had me at “intense buttery vanilla flavor” 🙂

  6. Pam says

    I find that plain cooking spray works just as well, and in many cases, better than the flour added type. I never grease and flour cake pans any more — just spray them with regular cooking spray. I haven’t had anything stick yet; even things I bake in a Bundt pan come out great.

  7. says

    Amanda, thanks for appreciating my attempt at being more descriptive. I read somewhere that we food bloggers should stop using words like “good” and “delicious”. Yikes.

    Pam, that’s very interesting. I can’t recall any good experiences using non-flour added baking spray, but maybe I should try it!

  8. says

    I second Pam in that I always only spray bundt pans with cooking spray (no flour) and they never stick and that’s definitely intense! 😉

  9. Trish says

    Never heard of it…oh well…I am looking at that cake and thinking…you know what?! I would serve it mushed and crumbled just to get at it! Looks absolutely scrumptious!

  10. Dionne says

    Could be the best cake I’ve ever had! I didn’t make the chocolate glaze because the cake is so moist already.

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