Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This chocolate fudge cake has a light, fluffy, moist crumb and rich, fudgy buttercream icing, making it a chocolate lovers’ dream. Great for so many special occasions!



I made this cake for my father in-law’s 80th birthday and let’s just say it was a great success. Everyone really enjoyed its moist cake layers and the rich chocolate fudgy buttercream. The addition of honeycomb shards just gave it that wow factor. I am not a professional cake maker, but this cake is so easy and quick to make, I recommend it for any occasion.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


RECIPE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ease: easy.
  • Diets: check my substitutions section for gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan options.
  • Great for: weekend baking, celebrations, friends and family visiting.
  • Taste and texture: moist chocolate sponge layers with a rich chocolate fudge buttercream and crisp honeycomb shards.
  • Serving: great on its own or with a little whipped cream on the side.
  • Quantity: 16 slices (3 x 20cm / 8inch springform pan or sandwich pans)
  • Time: 45 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling.

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    INGREDIENTS

    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Plain (all-purpose) flour – adds structure.
    • Cocoa powder – adds a rich chocolate flavour and builds structure. I prefer to use Dutch cocoa powder, although for this cake batter recipe, natural cocoa works better as it hasn’t been neutralised. Meaning the cocoa still contains its original acidity which reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and helps the cake to be light. For the buttercream you can use either, I used Dutch cocoa powder.
    • Soft light brown sugar (muscovado) – adds a sweet, caramelised depth to the cake.
    • Caster sugar – for structure and sweetness.
    • Bicarbonate of soda / baking soda – is a chemical raising agent. When it comes into contact with the vinegar in this recipe, it expands and creates a light and airy cake batter prior to baking.
    • Baking powder – is also a chemical leavening agent, which increases the volume of the ingredients, creating a nice light texture during baking.
    • Neutral tasting oil (sunflower, vegetable) – makes the cake moist, when the cake is chilled it will not firm up like butter.
    • Eggs – create structure and taste, use room temperature eggs for best results.
    • Milk or plant-based alternative – this cake needs lots of moisture and the milk adds flavour too. If you want, you can also use buttermilk.
    • Hot water or hot coffee – We use hot water or coffee to break down the protein of the flour, this gives the cake a nice crumb. If you go with hot coffee, which you really don’t taste that much, it helps bring the chocolate taste out.
    • White vinegar – I use white vinegar as it has a slightly higher acidity level than apple vinegar, meaning that it reacts more with the bicarbonate of soda in the cake batter. If you only have apple vinegar it will also work to some degree, just not as well.
    • Dark chocolate – is used to create the ultimate chocolate fudgy buttercream that is deliciously rich and creamy. It is also used to create the chocolate drip around the edge for decoration.

    Chocolate recommendations: bars – Lindt Excellence Dark 70% bar 100g, Montezuma’s darkside 51% bar 90g, Menier dark cooking chocolate 100g. 1kg bags – Callebaut dark chocolate, Callebaut milk chocolate, Callebaut white chocolate.

    • Icing sugar – is ideal for making the buttercream as it is nice and fine, meaning we don’t get a gritty finish.
    • Milk (or cream) – helps to thin the buttercream, making it more pliable and easier to frost the cake.

    TIP: Here I want to add how just a pinch of salt can make a difference to eating cake. With the addition of salt, all the intrinsic flavours of the chocolate are brought to the surface faster. In a seemingly absurd or contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouth’s ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells in our tongue. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.


    SUBSTITUTIONS

    I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.

    GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS

    • Flour: replace the gluten flour with a 1:1 alternative gluten free flour, such as Doves Farm Free plain gluten free flour. As this type of flour does not contain much protein you do not need to use a hot liquid in the recipe. Simply use room temperature water or coffee for the batter.

    SUGAR-FREE AND LOW-CALORIE OPTIONS

    • Brown sugar suggestions: Pure Via Baker’s soft brown sugar or Sukrin Gold’s natural brown sugar alternative.

    VEGAN OPTIONS


    WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE?

    • Alternative flavoured chocolate – flavoured chocolates can add a surprising taste to the butter cream. I practically like orange or raspberry.

    Flavoured recommendations: Lindt Excellence dark orange or Raspberry chocolate bar

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    NUTRITION

    Serving: one slice (16 slices, without honeycomb)

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Chocolate fudge cake

    STORAGE AND FREEZING

    This cake will keep in the fridge for 5 days – if it lasts that long!

    Pre-prep stages – allows you to make some of the components of this recipe in advance.

    • Cake – bake the sponges and then wrap them individually once cooled. They can then be placed in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen up to 2 months.
    • Chocolate fudge buttercream – can be prepared 2-3 days in advance and kept in the fridge. When required bring to room temperature and beat with an electric hand whisk to create a nice smooth creamy frosting which can then be used to spread onto the cake.

    Freezing: The frosted cake freezes well for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before serving. (If using, honeycomb is best made the day before or on the day to ensure it remains crunchy.)


    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

    Here is some kitchen equipment that I use and recommend for this recipe.

    TIP: If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because you’re using inaccurate measurements. I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements for example. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂


    RECIPE TIPS

    • Room temperature ingredients – to ensure that the ingredients blend together smoothly and are easier to work with, I highly recommend removing chilled ingredients from the fridge a couple of hours prior to using them, so they can come to room temperature.
    • Lining the springform or sandwich pan – I recommend lining your pan with baking / parchment paper, as the sponges are very moist and fragile.

    READY TO MAKE YOUR CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE?

    Chocolate fudge cake

    Chocolate Fudge Cake

    Preparation:50 minutes
    Baking:25 minutes
    Cooling:1 hour 15 minutes
    Total:2 hours 30 minutes
    Servings: 16
    Tools you’ll need:
    • 3 x 20cm (8inch) springform pans or 20cm sandwich pans
    This chocolate fudge cake has a light, fluffy, moist crumb and a rich, fudgy buttercream icing, making it a chocolate lovers' dream. Great for so many special occasions!

    INGREDIENTS LIST
     

    • 240 g cake or plain (all-purpose) flour
    • 60 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
    • 150 g soft light brown sugar (muscovado)
    • 200 g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda or baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp fine sea salt
    • 120 ml neutral-tasting oil (sunflower or vegetable)
    • 2 medium eggs (50g each)
    • 240 ml milk (or plant-based milk)
    • 240 ml hot water or coffee
    • 2 tsp white vinegar

    Chocolate fudge buttercream

    • 300 g butter (room temperature)
    • 200 g dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids) (chopped)
    • 300 g icing sugar
    • 8 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder (65g)
    • 60 ml milk (or cream)

    Chocolate drip

    • 50 g dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids) (chopped)
    • 25 g butter

    Honeycomb / cinder toffee – see my recipe

      Preparation
       

      • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 170°C fan / 375°F / Gas 5. Line three 20cm (8inch) springform or sandwich pans with baking/greaseproof paper.
      • Cake sponges: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugars, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
      • Whisk in the oil and the eggs, followed by the milk and then the hot water (or coffee). Continue whisking until everything is well combined and smooth. The batter will be thin but that's normal.
      • Baking: Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
        Remove the cakes from the oven and allow time to cool for 10 minutes before inverting them onto wire racks to cool fully.
      • Buttercream: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water to create a double boiler. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is fully melted.
        In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy (approx. 2 minutes). Add the melted chocolate, then beat again and finally add the icing sugar, cocoa and milk. Continue mixing until the buttercream is nice and smooth.
        Set aside 1/4 of the cream to pipe star shapes around the top edge of the cake later.
      • Honeycomb: If you would like to add this you can follow my simple recipe which can be found here!
      • Assembly: Once the cakes have cooled, place one on to your cake stand or serving plate. Using an offset spatula, evenly cover the top with buttercream. Place another cake on top and repeat with another layer of buttercream. Finally, place the last cake on top and spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides to create a smooth coat. I used a bench scraper to finish the sides, to get them nice and straight.
        Place the cake in the fridge for about 15-20 mins at this stage to chill slightly, meanwhile make the chocolate drip.
      • Chocolate drip: Melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan, then allow to cool slightly before use.
      • Remove the cake from the fridge and drizzle the chocolate drip slowly around the top edge of the cake, allowing a little to drip down over the sides.
      • Place the remaining buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and decorate with small dollops around the top. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30-60 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake hold its shape when cutting.
      • Optional: I topped mine with honeycomb shards and pulsed the honeycomb crumbs into a powder which I sprinkled around the bottom edge.
        Serve at room temperature with a clean sharp hot knife.
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      KEYWORDS chocolate drip, chocolate fudge buttercream, chocolate fudge cake, honeycomb

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      Chocolate fudge cake

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