For summer picnics and get togethers, nothing stops the show quite like a giant Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake.
I’m sure you all remember my good friend Cathy from her amazing cake pop tutorial. She’s back again this week with a recipe perfect for a #SundaySupper picnic! Cathy made this crazy good Punch Bowl Cake then brought it over to my house so I could
stuff it in my face photograph it. We make a good team! If my coworkers are any indication, this dessert is sure to be devoured wherever it goes.
When I was little whenever there was a picnic at my dad’s job or a party at a friend’s house or a family reunion, my mom would debate what to take. Dessert was always a safe bet, and so was a punch bowl cake, or as my family called it Crow’s Nest. Recently I thought about making one and looked online for a recipe. I looked through several, and they were fancy. Super fancy. Fresh fruit and made to look prettier than they taste. I remember my mom’s being simple.
Boxed cake mix.
Ok, maybe I want mine a little more homemade, but I want to be able to make it without a trip to the store to buy something fancy. This is perfect for a work picnic, church potluck, family reunion, and so on. It’s not exactly picnic-basket-friendly, but it serves a lot of people. With the rich chocolate cake, fudge pudding, and fresh whipped cream, everyone will love you.
My version of punch bowl cake starts with a homemade double chocolate cake. This cake is a big recipe. It’s made for a 1/4 sheet, but I sometimes use a 9×13 AND a 7×11. It won’t matter what shape the cake is, so use any combination of pans that gets the whole recipe baked.
The next layer is made with 2 small boxes of Chocolate Pudding – yeah, I still use a box
The last layer is fresh sweetened whipped cream. Because, let’s face it, nothing beats the real thing.
Once each of the layers are made, all you have to do is assemble.
Start by breaking up the cake and laying about 1/3 of it at the bottom of a big ol’ bowl. Follow that with a thin layer of pudding, then a thin layer of whipped cream, then repeat. I like the look best if it repeats three times. The very top layer should be whipped cream and should be thick enough to cover without seeing through. Top with strawberries, raspberries, or – like mom always did – maraschino cherries. Or skip the fruit if you don’t have any handy.
Guys, I had never had punch bowl cake before and I have to say, this stuff kind of blew my mind. I recommend making it a few hours ahead of time. The longer it sits, the more the layers mesh together into one thick, rich, ultra fudgy cake. I would take this cake over the typical frosted version any day of the week.
Be sure to check out all the other amazing picnic dishes from the #sundaysupper family below! And if you need some help using up that leftover buttermilk after you’ve made the punchbowl cake, be sure to check out my collection of 40 leftover buttermilk recipes!
Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake for #SundaySupper
For the Double Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/2 Cups hot brewed coffee
- 4oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 Cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 Cups well shaken buttermilk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 3 Cups sugar
- 2 1/2 Cups flour
- 1 1/2 Cups cocoa powder - regular, not dutch
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
For the pudding
- 2 (3.4 oz) boxes instant chocolate pudding
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup cream
For the whipped cream
- 2 Cups heavy whipping cream
- 6-8 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1tsp vanilla
- Fresh berries, optional
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Finely chop the chocolate (or cheat and use chips) and place in a heat proof bowl. Pour hot coffee over the chocolate and let stand, stirring occasionally until chocolate is melted.
- Beat eggs in mixer until thick and lemon colored. Slowly add oil to eggs, followed by slowly adding buttermilk and then vanilla. Add chocolate mixture SLOWLY and beat until well combined.
- In another bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, soda, powder, salt. Add this mixture gradually to liquids and beat on medium speed just until combined.
- Pour into lightly greased pans and bake 40-60 minutes - until center is set (time depends on size pan). Don't overbake.
For the pudding:
- Place pudding mix, milk, and cream in a large bowl and whisk together until mix is totally dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Chill until ready to assemble.
For the whipped cream:
- Put all ingredients in stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat until firm peaks form. *Note: the amount of powdered sugar just depends on personal preference.
To assemble: Break up cake into bite sized pieces. Place about ⅓ of the cake in the bottom of a large punch bowl or trifle bowl. Follow that with ⅓ of the pudding then ⅓ of the whipped cream. Repeat 2 times, ending with the whipped cream. Top with fresh berries if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
A Picnic Sunday Supper!
Salads and Slaws:
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad from Juanita’s Cocina
- Caprese Spinach Salad from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Chicken Chopped Salad from Table for Seven
- Cold Pea Salad from Shockingly Delicious
- Creamy Potato Salad with Roasted Pears, Cilantro and Romano Cheese from Gourmet Drizzles
- German Potato Salad from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Hawaiian Cole Slaw from Curious Cuisiniere
- Italian Chopped Salad from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Kale Pasta Salad from Hip Foodie Mom
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad) from From Fast Food to Fresh Food
- PA Dutch Pepper Cabbage from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Pineapple Slaw from I Run For Wine
- Spaghetti Salad from Country Girl in the Village
- Tortellini Pasta Salad from Supper for a Steal
Sandwiches and Mains:
- Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich from Momma’s Meals
- Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Tomato Sandwich from Magnolia Days
- Grilled Bratwurst and Onion Open-Face Sandwiches from The Urban Mrs
- Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Green Goddess Sauce from Foxes Love Lemons
- Herbs-Garlic and Parmesan Croissants from Basic N Delicious
- Indian Spiced Chicken Drumsticks from Soni’s Food
- Japanese Picnic Bento Box from The Ninja Baker
- Mini Chicken Salad, Avocado and Cheese Subs from Big Bear’s Wife
- Moroccan Fried Chicken from MarocMama
- Pepper, Spinach and Goat’s Cheese Quiche from Happy Baking Days
- Picnic Basket Buttermilk Fried Chicken from Noshing with the Nolands
- Salmon in a Jar from Healthy. Delicious.
- Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Spam Musubi fromKimchi Mom
- Apricot Oat Nut Bars from Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treat Pops from In The Kitchen With KP
- Cocoa Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fruit Salad from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Fruit Salad with Honey Port Drizzle from Family Foodie
- Loaded Butterscotch Bars from Vintage Kitchen
- Nathan’s Cookies from What Smells So Good?
- Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treat Truffles from Chocolate Moosey
- Shandy Popsicles With Raspberries from Ruffles & Truffles
- Texas Sheet Cake with Pecan Frosting from Food Lust People Love
- Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake from Neighborfood