The Best Recipe For Crack Cake

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The Best Recipe for Crack Cake

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Boxed Yellow cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, wine, and a butter glaze make up this outrageously decadent Crack Cake recipe. This cake should come with a warning–you won’t be able to put your fork down!

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Ok, I’m going to level with you about this Crack Cake Recipe. It’s legitimately the most delicious cake I have ever eaten.

I don’t care who knows it and it’ll explain why I need to purchase more sweatpants.

This cake is as addictive as the name suggests. There is nothing redeeming about it, it is unapologetically rich, sugary, and decadent. Oh, and did I mention it’s baked and soaked in wine? This cake is so moist, light-textured, and incredibly fluffy.

And for the amount of sugar in this recipe, it actually has a lovely amount of sweetness and terrific flavor. The added salt, the dryness of the wine, and the warmth of the cinnamon help to cut and balance all the richness.

This cake is perfect for a special occasion or potluck–it’s portable, great made ahead, and easy to slice!

Just be warned, you won’t be able to stop yourself from eating the entire cake in one sitting.

Here are the deets:

What Is Crack Cake?

A slice of Crack Cake with strawberries

Crack Cake is basically an over the top white wine bundt cake. The ingredients are super simple: one box of basic yellow cake mix, one box of vanilla instant pudding, brown sugar and white sugar, cinnamon, and of course, white wine!

You mix all the cake ingredients up and bake it in a bundt pan. THEN, once the cake comes out of the oven, you pour a buttery, sugary, wine syrup over the whole cake and let it sit for an hour. The syrup soaks into the cake and glazes the outside and just melts your heart.

All the additions to the cake mix make this cake super moist, delightfully light and fluffy–and super addictive. Probably why this recipe is named Crack Cake! It’s literally one of the easiest cakes to make and has a terrific flavor!

How to Make Crack Cake:

10-12 Servings

How to Make Crack Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (15.25oz)
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup of water
  • ¾ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for the wine butter glaze:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of salt

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350º. Generously grease a bundt pan with “Pam Baking Spray” or with cooking spray/butter and flour (see the section below about prepping your bundt pan). 

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl or large mixing cup, combine the eggs, water, oil, wine, and vanilla and mix until well blended.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for about two minutes, until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture has thickened slightly.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake in a 350º oven for about 45-50 minutes, until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately make the wine butter glaze.

Pour the wine into the saucepan for the glaze

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, wine, vanilla, and salt. Melt and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down so the mixture doesn’t boil over and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the alcohol evaporates.

With a skewer or a long toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the cake. 

Pouring the syrup all over the bundt cake

Slowly (and carefully because it’s hot) pour the butter wine glaze over the top of the hot cake. It’ll look like too much syrup, but that cake will absorb all of it. So don’t skimp on the syrup!

Allow the cake to sit for an hour in the pan soaking up the glaze.

The syrup getting absorbed into the cake

While the cake is still warm, put your serving plate over the top of the bundt pan and turn over, inverting the pan. The cake should slide out.

Allow the cake to sit on the serving plate until fully cooled. This will give the cake a chance to distribute the rest of the glaze.

Slice and serve with whipped cream and homemade strawberry compote!

What’s the best cake mix for this Crack Cake Recipe?

You can’t go wrong when using a good ol’ fashioned yellow cake mix.

I’ve made this Crack Cake recipe a few times now and I found I really liked the Betty Crocker “Super Moist” mixes–I used both the basic “Yellow” and the “Vanilla” versions and they worked really well.

I did try the “Butter Yellow” cake mix, but I didn’t love it for this recipe. It didn’t rise as well or get as fluffy.

I’ve also read in other recipes that Duncan Hines mixes are great too! So feel free to give those a try if you can’t find the Betty Crocker ones I listed above.

What Wine Should I use?

For this recipe, I used a Sauvignon Blanc. But you can use any white wine you like.

Other recipes have used Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, so those would be great options too.

I personally aim for a dry, not very sweet wine since there’s a ton of sugar in this cake already.

And don’t worry if you’re not a wine drinker. All the alcohol cooks out in the end and you can’t taste the wine at all.

But by no means should you use anything labeled “cooking wine”. That’s a lesson for life as well as a tip for this recipe. Cooking wine is seasoned or salted and it’s just not tasty.

A slice of the cake

Can I make this Crack Cake Recipe without wine?

If you don’t want to use wine for this recipe, go ahead and try white grape juice, non alcoholic wine, or apple cider!

While this Crack Cake recipe does call for a fair amount of wine, all the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process. So no one will be getting drunk off this thing!

Prepping Your Bundt Pan and getting your cake out

Grease the bundt pan really well

Greasing your bundt pan well is essential for this Crack Cake recipe. There’s no frosting or anything to cover the top, so getting the cake out in one piece is necessary for presentation purposes.

I’ve had a couple of topless cakes due to low effort greasing, so here are my favorite methods for ensuring this baby comes out in one piece:

  • Use “Baking Spray”. This is my number one recommendation. I used Pam Baking Spray–which has flour in it–and my cake slipped right out. The best part about this method is that you won’t have the flour clumps on the outside of your cake once it’s out of the pan. This is especially important for chocolate cakes like my chocolate Spider Bundt Cake or mini bundt cakes.
  • My second choice is the grease and flour method. And I mean really grease and flour generously. I used this method on the first cake I made and it came out great! But I ended up with flour caked to the outside of the cake. And once you pour that syrup over the cake, there’s no getting the flour off. It’s not harmful in any way, it just doesn’t look super pretty, but if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a great method!
  • Grease and flour your pan with almond flour. My friend Liz at owlbbaking.com did this for her Gingerbread Bundt Cake and it worked well!
  • Grease the pan with cooking spray or butter and add chopped nuts to the bottom (which will end up being the top) of the pan.

Another important tip: when you’re ready to flip the Crack Cake out of the bundt pan, do it while it’s still warm. You don’t want the cake to cool completely, because the sugar glaze will have hardened and there’s no hope of getting it out then.

STORING YOUR CAKE

I leave my cake out on the countertop with just the cut ends covered in plastic wrap. It’ll stay soft and moist for about 4-5 days at room temperature. There’s a lot of moisture in this Crack Cake, so if you live in a particularly humid climate, you may need to store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

The Best Recipe For Crack Cake

Looking for more decadent recipes like Crack Cake? Check these out below:

Sea Creature Birthday Cake

Rich and Creamy Chocolate Cream Pie

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

Tools You May Need:

Bundt Pan

Baking Spray with Flour

My Favorite Hand Mixer

The Best Recipe For Crack Cake

The Best Recipe For Crack Cake

Yield: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

Boxed yellow cake mix jazzed up with instant vanilla pudding, cinnamon, and white wine, topped with a butter wine glaze to make an outrageously decadent cake.

Ingredients

For The Cake

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (15.25oz)
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For The Wine Butter Glaze

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Generously grease a bundt pan with “Pam Baking Spray" or cooking spray/butter and flour (see the section about prepping your bundt pan). 
  3. To make the cake: In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl or large mixing cup, combine the eggs, water, oil, wine, and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  6. Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for about two minutes, until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture has thickened slightly.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake in a 350º oven for about 45-50 minutes, until a cake skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately make the wine butter glaze.
  9. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, wine, vanilla, and salt.
  10. Melt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down so the mixture doesn't boil over and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the alcohol evaporates.
  11. With a skewer or a long toothpick, poke the top of the cake all over. 
  12. Slowly (and carefully because it's hot) pour the butter wine glaze over the top of the cake.  It’ll look like too much syrup, but that cake will absorb all of it. So don’t skimp on the syrup!
  13. Allow cake to sit for an hour in the pan soaking up the glaze.
  14. While the cake is still warm, put your serving plate over the top of the bundt pan and turn over, inverting the pan. The cake should slide out.
  15. Allow the cake to sit on the serving plate until fully cooled. This will give the cake a chance to distribute the rest of the glaze.
  16. Slice and serve!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 1gSugar: 54gProtein: 5g

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The Best Crack Cake Recipe: Yellow Cake Mix, Instant Vanilla Pudding, White Wine, Cinnamon all topped with a butter wine syrup. This easy cake recipe is super moist and super addictive. It's the best cake you'll ever eat!

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9 Comments

  1. I accidentally got the extra moist yellow cake mix so I went back to the store and bought the same one again 😒 should I omit the pudding from the recipe?

    1. Hi! I used a Sav Blanc for this recipe, but Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio works too! Don’t use anything labeled “cooking wine”, it’s usually seasoned or too sweet.

  2. I make my own version of this cake (cinnamon allergy) I use a tablespoon of orange flavoring and leave out the brown sugar. I also also reduce the amount of wine in the glaze by replacing it with orange flavoring. I also make a 1/2 recipe of the glaze for the top for that added sweetness and look.

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