Amazing Solan Family Chocolate Cake (Aka 3-Hole Cake)

"This is a Swedish cake recipe; I got it from a dear friend who made it at several parties during college and always got rave reviews. Now I'm the one who gets all the credit when I make it : ) My family loves it; I play the "guess-the-secret-ingredient" game (the vinegar) and no one ever has... though they've guessed everything from peanut butter to cheese! I love it because it's relatively "healthy" (no dairy, no eggs, low-fat), while it's still amazingly moist and chocolaty and dense. (You can make it even lower fat if you use only 1/4 C oil and sub. 1/2 C applesauce)."
photo by Rosa O photo by Rosa O
photo by Rosa O
photo by Marlene. photo by Marlene.
Ready In:


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 34 cup oil
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Mocha Glaze

  • 12 cup powdered sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa (optional)
  • 12 teaspoon decaf instant coffee (optional)
  • 1 - 1 12 tablespoon milk, of choice (works with regular, soy or rice or whatever) (optional)
  • 14 teaspoon almond extract (I usually use almond, but have tried & like coconut, orig. glaze recipe calls for peppermint) (optional)


  • Instructions for Cake:

  • Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.
  • Mix wet ingredients together in separate bowl.
  • Add wet to dry a little at a time, stirring as you add.
  • Pour batter into WELL-GREASED bundt cake pan (well-greased is key--this is a sticky cake; I use Pam with great results), bake at 350 for 35-40 minute.
  • Serving suggestions: with fresh whipped cream& strawberries, or drizzle with warm caramel or Kahlua, or glaze with mocha glaze (or some combo thereof!).
  • Instructions for Glaze:

  • Mix dry ingredients together in bowl.
  • Dissolve coffee in 1 tablespoon of milk; add extract.
  • Whisk coffee liquid into dry ingredients; whisk until all blended and if needed, add 1/2 tablespoon more milk.
  • USE GLAZE IMMEDIATELY OVER CAKE. It will harden quickly.

Questions & Replies

  1. I'm curious as to why "3 hole" in the name of this cake?


  1. Did this recipe for work for something Swedish "Diversity Day" It was a winner! I used the original peppermint in the glaze and added a little vanilla to it too! Turned out awesome! Oh I also went the low fat version with applesauce so moist and delicious! I will definitely be doing this one again.
  2. My daughter and I made this cake for a school project. I used a regular 9 x 13 pan and didn't bake for quite as long, just made sure the center springed back. It was DELICIOUS! I added 6 HEAPING tbsp. of cocoa and about 1 1/2 c. of semi-sweet choc. chips. For the glaze, I used the milk, powdered sugar and cocoa. It was chocolately, but I love chocolate, so I thought it was fabulous! Only thing - like other reviews, I found this cake hard to get out of the pan without falling apart. Otherwise, I thought it was the best chocolate cake I had ever made from scratch!
  3. I made this cake tonight and I have to tell you that it was disgusting. The middle was runny and it tasted like raw cake batter. I know I did everything just the way I should. The reviews I read described it just the way it turned out, but...yuk!!!! those of you who thing that this is a healthy cake...considering the white flour, white it isn't for anyone. Eggs would have been the healthy portion of the recipe. Thanks
  4. Came out perfect!! I also used dark chocolate for a richer chocolate flavor. So simple too. This will be the new stand by recipe for last minute company.
  5. Love it!!! Came out moist and so so chocolatey! Such comfort food for a chocolate hearted person as me!


  1. My Aunt used to make this cake when I was a child and it has always been one of my all time favorites. I made a Zone/Adkins version of this for my friends birthday by using Splenda instead of sugar, Canola oil instead of vegtable oil, and Adkins bake mix instead of flour. I added sliced strawberries as a filling and topped with a cream cheese frosting. It was a huge hit! Everyone was gobbling it up and there was nothing left over, not even a crumb.


Though I live in NYC, my heart belongs to MN where I grew up. My favorite cookbook is...actually, it's the dilapated old file folder of recipes my mom has (it's literally falling apart...but so wonderful to riffle through and find childhood favorites). Hmmm...if I had a month off of work, all responsibilities, I would see what there is to see all over our country from the helm of a Streamline trailor.
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