img_5739I had to smile when I came across this recipe in one of my new baking books.  It has been around since the early 1960s.  It was the runner up in the 1966 Pilsbury Bake Off.  Funny how it became more famous than the winner.  Do you even know who the winner was.  It was a recipe called Golden Gate Snack Bread.  This was quite a sensation back then.  It’s secret ingredient was a box of Pilsbury Double Dutch Chocolate frosting mix.  It was also one of the first cakes to use the new bundt pans.  Pilsbury stopped making the Double Dutch frosting mix years ago and for as many years there have been many attempts to recreate the recipe without the frosting mix.  This one is from Shirley Corriher, author if Cookwise and Bakewise.

img_5740My mom made this cake for us a few times but it wasn’t  staple in her repertoire so I don’t really have a clear memory of what it is exactly supposed to taste like.  I just remember it being chocolatey with a gooey fudge center.  It’s not really one of my favorites as I am not especially found of the lava type cakes and this is an early version of those.  It is however rich, moist and fudgey so it is certainly worth at least one try making it and then you can decide for yourself.  Maybe many of you have a clearer memory of what the original tasted like.

img_5737Tunnel of Fudge Cake

2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
Butter or vegetable shortening and flour for prepping the pan
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter,slightly cool, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Place a heavy baking sheet on a shelf in the lower third of the oven. Pre- heat the oven to 350°F.
  1. Place the pecans on a large baking sheet, and place in the oven while it is heating. Toast the nuts until nicely browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Keep watch that they do not burn. Turn the pecans into a small bowl, and add the 2 tablespoons melted butter and salt. Toss to coat and set aside.
  1. Grease and flour a 10″ Bundt pan. Shake out the excess flour, and setthe pan aside.
  1. Place the 1 1/4 cups butter in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft and fluffy, about a minutes. Add the granulated and brown sugars, and beat until creamy. While beating, if the bowl does not feel cool, place it in the refrigerator for S minutes, then resume beating. Add the vanilla, oil, and salt, and blend until incorporated.
  1. Add the egg yolks. Crack the 4 whole eggs into a medium-size mixing bowl, and blend with a fork lightly. Add to the batter in 3 batches, blending on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, just until combined.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour and toasted nuts. Fold them into the batter, and turn the batter into the prepared pan.
  1. Place the pan in the oven, and bake exactly 4s minutes. You cannot use the toothpick test to check doneness because the center will not be set. Remove the cake from the oven. It will still have a runny, fudgy core and an air pocket above the tunnel of fudge. Let it cool for is minutes. Press down on the cake with a clean kitchen towel to deflate the air pocket. Run a knife around the edges of the cake, and invert it onto a platter to cool for 4s minutes. Slice and serve.