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Dad’s Super Rich Chocolate Fudge Cake

Yields12 ServingsPrep Time1 hr 30 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time2 hrs

My Dad's rich chocolate fudge cake is legendary in our family. Was often the cake of choice for birthdays, or any celebration. I found two versions in his journal, and after several test runs, I find this to be the closest to what I remember. I tested the cake using several cocoa powders and found I really liked Guittard's Dutched Cocoa Rouge the best. It has a wonderful color and intense depth of flavor. The fudge frosting was more of a challenge, as the ones in his journal involved many steps, and many places where disasters could take place. Fortunately, my sister had his easier version, and that is what I have used for this recipe. I did take a bit of creative license with the espresso flavored chevron pattern on the top. The cake is intensely chocolate, and I found that the tiny bit of deep coffee flavor blended nicely and rounded out the overall flavor.

chocolate fudge

For the Cake
 ½ cup unsalted butter (114g)
 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
 3 Grade "A" large egg yolks
 1 cup vegetable oil (237ml)
 1 cup half & half (237ml)
 1 tsp vanilla extract (4.3g)
 2 ½ cups all purpose flour (300g) I prefer King Arthur
 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (80g) Guittard's Dutched Cocoa Rouge
 1 ½ tsp baking powder (6g)
 ½ tsp baking soda (2.5g)
 3 Grade "A" large egg whites
 ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g) for beating the egg whites
For the Creamy Fudge Frosting
 6 oz Bittersweet chocolate (57g)
 ½ cup unsalted butter (114g)
 1 lb powdered sugar - one box (454g)
 ¾ cup heavy cream (178ml)
 1 tsp vanilla extract (4.3g)
For the Buttercream Frosting
 1 recipe of the Italian Buttercream
 2 oz melted semi sweet chocolate (57g)
Drizzle for Chevron Pattern
 1 tsp espresso powder (mixed with 1 teaspoon hot water)
 ½ cup powdered sugar (60g)
 1 tbsp soft butter (14.g)
 1 tbsp whipping cream (15g)

Line two 9" cake tins with parchment paper

Bring the butter, eggs and milk to room temperature

Preheat your oven to 325° for convection and 350° for Standard bake


Place the sugar and the room temperature butter in the bowl of your mixer. Use the paddle attachment and beat until it is light and fluffy. Now add the vegetable oil and continue to beat at medium speed. Add the room temperature eggs yolks, one at a time, completely absorbing each before adding the next. Switch to high speed and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is light and airy. Now mix in the room temperature half and half.


Use a fine mesh strainer and sift together the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Scoop the flour into the cake batter and mix at low speed until completely combined. Avoid over mixing. Pour the batter into a large mixing bowl.


Wash and dry the bowl of your mixer and use the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites. Turn the mixer on to high, and beat the egg whites until they start to foam, then slowly add the 1/4 cup of sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.


Scoop 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter, and stir to lighten the batter. Now, add another 1/3, and gently and quickly fold into the batter. Once folded in, repeat with the remaining 1/3. Not to worry if there are a few remaining streaks of the egg whites. It's preferable to over mixing the batter.


Divide the batter equally between your two 9" prepared cake pans. Bake on the center rack of your preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. When baked the cake should spring back from a light touch to the center, or a cake tester, when inserted in the center comes out clean.


Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

For the Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Place the chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Allow the chocolate and butter to melt. Use a rubber spatula to mix the two ingredients together. Remove from the stove.


Shift the powdered sugar to remove any lumps. Once shifted, pour in the cream and mix vigorously until the mixture is smooth and silky.

NOTE: Sifting the powdered sugar is a very important step. If you add the cream to unsifted powdered sugar it is almost impossible to get a very smooth mixture and your finished frosting will have little dimples rather than be silky smooth and shiny.


Pour the powdered sugar/cream mixture, along with the vanilla extract into the bowl of warm melted chocolate and stir until all have completely combined and the fudge is smooth and shiny.

NOTE: If you make this ahead of time, you may need to warm it over a pot of simmering water to bring it back to a pourable consistency.

For the Italian Buttercream

Make the buttercream per directions. When you have added the last of the butter, now is the time to add the melted chocolate. The chocolate should still be pourable, but not hot. Mix until completely combined. This buttercream may be made a day or two ahead and kept in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. if refrigerated, you will need to bring it to room temperature for it to easily spread over the cake.

For the Espresso Drizzle

Place the shifted powdered sugar, soft butter, cream, espresso mixture in a bowl. Use a small, flexible spatula to mix into a smooth glaze. It should be the consistency of honey. If it is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar, and if too stiff, add a touch more cream. Scoop the glaze into a small pastry bag with just a very thin tip. The opening should be about the diameter of a piece of kitchen twine.

To Assemble

Spread some of the Italian buttercream on the bottom layer of the cake. You will want an even layer about 1/4" thick (you can certainly use a bit more if you love the buttercream) . Place the top layer and coat the top and sides with a thin, smooth and even layer of buttercream. It's important to fill any open spaces particularly that area between the two layers. If you have gaps, the chocolate fudge frosting will not adhere to those areas. If the buttercream is very soft you may want to place the cake in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to allow it to set.


Place the cake of a rack over a sheet pan. As you will be pouring the fudge frosting over the top and down the sides, you need a way for the excess frosting to easily flow down the sides of the cake.

on the rack


If the frosting does not evenly cover the sides of the cake, use your spatula to smooth the sides and the top.


Once you have frosted the cake with the chocolate fudge frosting, pipe parallel lines of the espresso glaze, about one inch apart across the surface of the cake. Then, lightly drag a skewer, toothpick or the tip of a small knife through the lines in alternating direction. First up, then down and so on until you have created this Chevron pattern across the entire top. Allow this to dry at least 20 minutes before cutting into the cake


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 slice

Servings 0

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