Chocolate Rum Bundt Cake with Chocolate Syrup {churned by Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall}


Exactly 7 days ago, our school hosted its annual Edible Book festival! And you bet your chocolatey pants that I entered.


After last year’s Calvin and Hobbes success, I gave myself exactly two days before I started brewing up ideas for this year’s festival. The idea behind the Edible Book Festival is simple: pick a book, create a food display inspired by the book, and show it off to a happy, hungry public. Perfecto, no?

Now is a self-proclaimed amateur connoisseur of both children’s literature and baked goods, you can imagine the sort of schoolgirl high I get every time the end of March rolls around. I mean, edible books? You might as well slap my name all over the marketing flyers and call it a day.


This year I decided to go the literal route and use the book that’s chock filled with edible references. Growing up, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn’t on my list of favorite books–it wasn’t even on my radar until the seventh grade, and by then I wanted nothing to do with the grotesque author who had written abominably disturbing works such as The Witches. (I mean, have you read that book? Yeesh!)

In fact, it wasn’t until I began teaching children’s literature at the university level that I read the novel in its entirety – once, then twice, then five times and ten. I couldn’t get over all the zany demises of Charlie’s rivals, or the wonderfully awful Quentin Blake illustrations accompanying these descriptions – and let’s face it: a book all about chocolate? Twelve-year-old self, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???


Once the cogs started turning, there was no chance in holy fudge tarnations that they were going to stop. I knew I wanted to do a display inspired by my favorite part of the books: the tragic disappearances of each of the four naughty children who enter Willy Wonka’s factory. This insanely gooey, drippy Chocolate Rum Bundt Cake was among the first pieces I conceptualized complete with a chocolate syrup waterfall where the unfortunate Augustus Gloop is swallowed up by a giant chocolate gathering tube.

The cake is one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes that maximizes fudginess with a literal tunnel of fudge running through the base of the Bundt cake. Then, while the cake is still warm, you poke a bunch of holes all over the surface and drench it with this amazing golden rum glaze in which I would happily bathe myself, if I could find enough syrup to fill a bathtub and if it wasn’t extremely unhygienic to do so. (And even then, I might consider it.)

The best part for me, though, was hearing guests audibly moan when they saw me serve up a slice and dunk it full on into that gorgeous, rich puddle of chocolate syrup. I mean, not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty darn sure satisfaction was not an issue that afternoon.




As always, it was so worth it! The library does a great job of hosting this event every year, and this time around was no exception. Over 200 people came to gawk, talk, and chow down on all these wonderful edible book entries. My display was even lucky enough to take home an award for Best Tasting! Next time, I have to remake and share the coconut tres leches cake that really won the judges – after working over 72 hours on this display, I didn’t even have a second to spare to take a picture!


The best part was seeing all of my friends show up to support and – let’s be honest – stuff their faces at this incredible event. One of my friends took the picture below, and it’s the closest documentation I have to what my display looked like before all three cakes and nearly 12 dozen cookies were devoured. On the left, you can see this chocolate rum Bundt cake and chocolate waterfall with the blue jacket of the Augustus Gloop at the very edge. The second platter – filled with grilled cheese bites and brownies – is the Inventing Room where Violet Beauregarde eats a three-course chewing gum meal that turns her into a giant blueberry; guests could make their own three-course meal-on-a-stick complete with appetizer fruit, entree, and dessert.

The cake on the right is the coconut trees leches cake, and included a decoder that would give nutty jokes as an homage to Veruca Salt’s place of demise, the Nut Room. And I really wish there was a picture to document this last one (you can see my Instagram video), because it was my personal favorite: a movable, spinning TV set into which you could reach and actually grab from a selection of candies, cookies, and other treats. The kids were really wowed by that one, and I daresay some adults, too!


Another year, another amazing festival. I think even Willy Wonka himself would have been proud about how this one turned out!


What are you waiting for? Chocolate-fy yourself!


Chocolate Rum Bundt Cake with Chocolate Syrup {churned by Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall}

Chocolate Rum Bundt Cake with Chocolate Syrup {churned by Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall}

This is chocolate and fudge TO THE MAX. You won't miss a chocolatey beat with this fudgy tunnel cake Bundt cake, soaked in a Kahlua golden rum syrup, and drenched again in a rich chocolate syrup sauce! Recipe slightly adapted from Annie's Eats.


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the rum syrup:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum or Kahlua

For the chocolate syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over chocolate chips. Allow chocolate to soak for one minute, then whisk until smooth.
  3. In a second medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Beat until light and fluffy about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, then be in until just incorporated. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake just began to pull away from the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake (but not to the bottom) should come out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it.
  6. Remove the cake to stovetop and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving plate. Poke as many holes as possible (all around--on top, on the sides) into it with a chopstick or other small to medium sized stick.

For the rum syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, combine butter, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for five minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in rum or Kahlúa.
  2. Use a brush to soak hole-poked cake with rum syrup. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to really get the syrup in each of the holes – the more the cake soaks up, the better. Continue until you have finished most or all of the syrup.

For the chocolate syrup:

  1. in a saucepan, combine water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Serve immediately with cake, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.



41 Replies to “Chocolate Rum Bundt Cake with Chocolate Syrup {churned by Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall}”

  1. What a terrific event and what an amazing cake! There’s so much going on to please a kid of any age. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you think so! I actually had 3 groups of elementary school students come by and I think they really enjoyed being able to fill up the chocolate waterfall and dunk things straight into it. Thanks so much, Maureen!

  2. Willy Wonka would be SO proud!!

    1. Aww that’s the HIGHEST praise anyone can give this cake. Thanks, Joanne!!

  3. Congrats! Well deserved — this looks terrific! 😛

    1. Thanks so much, John!!

  4. I would be oohing and ahhhing if I had a slice of this gorgeous, mouthwatering cake too!

    1. aww that’s the sweetest. Thanks so much, Shashi–hope you have an awesome weekend!

  5. Looks heavenly, I think one of my dreams has come true with your post! 😀

    1. hehe daw, thanks so much, Lily! Lovely to meet you 🙂

  6. Wow! What a fun event! I loved reading this post. And congrats on the win! As soon as I read the title of this post, I knew it was something that needed to appear in my kitchen…and soon. I’m not sure what part excites me more…the chocolate or the rum sauce. Thanks to your creative culinary imagination, I don’t need to choose…I’ll take both the rum AND chocolate, please. Awesome post!!

    1. Aw, I meant to reply right away, David, but the week got away from me! Anyway, thanks SO much for your kind words–I am definitely on board with you on the whole chocolate and rum combo. I mean, why EVER choose? 🙂 that’s my philosophy, at least. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! See you on the flip side 🙂

  7. Holy chocolate waterfall cake!!!! oh my gawd, so much fun!!! and love that you guys have an annual Edible Book festival! that is so awesome!!!

    1. hahaha I KNOW, I still can’t get over the fact that our school hosts this crazy (epic) event. It’s such a blast, Alice–wishing I could send all the wonderful tastes to you! 🙂

  8. This looks decadent and amazing. I actually do not own a bundt pan and now I see the light– I MUST buy one soon so I can make this! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. GREAT idea, Elizabeth–I didn’t own one for the longest time, until somebody just caved and said that I *needed* to have one. Most of my extra pans and appliances came about that way, actually 😉 hope you snag one up soon!

  9. Congratulations! No surprise that you got an award for best tasting! What an awesome display!! And a tunnel of fudge cake with a chocolate slide? You outdid yourself!!!

    1. Dawww, well thank you so much, Liz! That means a lot coming from a wonderful woman like you. Have a lovely week!

  10. As both a food blogger AND a children’s book editor, I am officially in awe of you! SO FABULOUS!! Almost too good to eat…but who could resist??

    1. Kate – NO. WAY. I had no idea you were children’s book editor!! That revelation just made my day – I’m so glad to birds of a feather really flocking together now 🙂 I’m definitely going to have to keep following you now so we can update each other on our children’s books’ shenanigans! Thank you thank you thank you so much for your all too kind words!

  11. Lady… this is outta control, crazy GOOD! 🙂
    High fives, fist bumps & a cheeky happy dance for winning too. Totes deserved!
    I’ll have to bookmark this beauty for later in the year, I overdid it with my Easter eating on the weekend, got me a serious sugar hangover. LOL!

    1. haha! Thanks so much, Anna – you’re such a gem, I am SO glad we met! What does the cheeky happy dance look like? Because that’s exactly what I want to be doing right now while I’m reading your comment 🙂 and LOL I’m actually on a post-sugar crash myself, I think I tasted about five dozen cookies’ worth of batter last weekend, ugh! I may or may not still have the shakes….oh, woe is us 😉

  12. Whoaaa this is so kewl! Chocolate + rum is my favorite! You totally deserve the best tasting award for this bundt cake. The display is fantastic and you totally did an awesome job. Congrats to you!

    1. hahaha that means so much coming from you, Linda, thank you so much! You’re the best! xo

  13. So much fun!! What an amazing event and an incredible cake! Congrats on the win, Ala! You did an amazing job – love the tunnel of fudge!

    1. Aww THANK you, Kelly! That means so much. I’m just glad it went off without a real hitch! 🙂 have a lovely weekend, lady!

  14. This is probably the coolest type of food festival! I love your creativity with this cake. Rum cake is so delicious. I’m a teacher and am always looking for new ways to get students excited about literature. Food is always one of those ways. 😉

    1. First off, props to you as a teacher!! Seriously, it’s a tough job 🙂 and us teachers have got to unite somehow, right? Do you teach lit then? I want to give you every cake so you can walk your students through all of literature, ever. Hope you guys can host something similar of your own!!

  15. This cake is simply glistening with joy and pure imagination! 🙂

    1. dawww coming from you, the queen of imagination, that means a lot! Thanks, girl!

  16. Hello! What a wonderful idea … a cake that tells a story. And a chocolate one at that – what could be better?
    How I’d love to dive head first into that chocolate pool!

    1. Hehe I’d love to have a chocolate pool for you to dive into ASAP! (Seriously though, party idea, anyone?) Thanks for the sweet words, Helen–I hope you have a lovely, lovely weekend!

  17. I loved almost all of Roald Dahl’s books as a child. I still have my favourites on my book shelf: The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mathilda and The Witches (I know that last one freaked you out as a kid but I love it!) You are so inventive – I love every single item you made for your booth. Especially this incredible, moist, chocolatey, boozy bundt cake. It’s got everything an alcoholic chocoholic like me would want! Keep me away from that chocolate waterfall, otherwise I’ll be planting my face in its deliciousness!

    1. hahaha well, I do like the Witches now! It was just such a creepy book for me as a kid (but totally genius as well). I totally knew you’d appreciate the chocolate booziness going on here, Nancy! You’re a gem. I hope you’re doing well–catch up soon! I still need to catch up with your posts xoxo

  18. You are SO creative Ala!! Seriously, this has to be the FUNNEST cake ever!

    1. Aw, your comment totally made my day. Thanks so much, Trish!! I think we did have fun playing with it 🙂

  19. Whoah!! Talk about a chocolate-lover’s dream cake! This cake looks delicious 🙂

    1. Daww thanks, Matea! I’m totally off to go check out your blog – it was so sweet and lovely 🙂 have a wonderful week!

  20. I love books and food and the idea of combining the two is adorable! What a great event! So fun. The cake sounds fantastic.

    1. Aw, that puts us in the same boat (I almost wrote “book,” oops!)–any fellow fan of books and food is fine by me! Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Andrea. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

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