Chocolate Fudge Cake + Video

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Chocolate Fudge Cake is extra gooey and decadent, and totally easy to make. It’s ready in just 30 minutes for a last-minute dessert or late-night craving. Top with a fudgy homemade icing and try not to keep it all to yourself!

titled: Chocolate Fudge Cake


 

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Fluffy, fudgy, and oh-so-gooey, you’ll want to make this fudge cake again and again!

It’s so easy to throw together, even the kids can help. Plus, it makes a full sheet pan so there’s plenty for guests or leftovers.

Serve slices on their own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a fancy touch, add a swirl of whipped cream and some sprinkles!

whisking flour in bowl

Recipe Video

To see us make this chocolate fudge cake recipe from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

If you love chocolate cake as much as I do, I have a few more recipes you’ll need to try soon.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake starts with a fluffy cake and ends with decadent peanut butter whipped cream.

Or, my go-to simple chocolate cake that’s made with just one bowl!

If you love copycat recipes, you will want to try this Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake. Your whole family will want seconds!

whisking fudge cake batter

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Flour – All-purpose is the best choice, and most people already have some in their pantry! This fudge cake recipe would also work with a gluten-free 1-to-1 substitute.
  • Milk and Vinegar – When combined, these ingredients make an easy buttermilk substitute.

    You could replace both of these ingredients in the cake batter with 1/2 cup of buttermilk if you have some on hand.
  • Sweetened Cocoa Powder – I prefer Ghirardelli sweet ground cocoa, but Nestle or Hershey’s Special Dark are great substitutes.
  • Baking Soda and Powder – You’ll need both leavening agents in this chocolate fudge cake recipe to get enough lift in the oven.
chocolate chips in bowl

How to Make Chocolate Fudge Icing

Combine butter, milk, and cocoa in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat so the milk doesn’t scald.

Note: You could swap the milk for half and half or heavy cream for an even richer topping.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl and add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Then, beat with a mixer until well combined.

Let the icing cool for a few minutes, then spread it evenly over your chocolate fudge cake!

chocolate icing in bowl

Fudge Cake Recipe Notes

  • Prevent sticking. Use the butter and flour method to coat your baking pan. You can also mix some cocoa powder in with the flour if you’d like!
  • Use room temperature ingredients. A must with baking, this ensures your batter comes together easily and remains lump free.
  • Add extra flavor. Spread a layer of creamy peanut butter over the fudge cake before adding the chocolate fudge icing.

    Or, mix your favorite chopped nuts into the frosting!
  • Let the icing cool. This gives it a chance to thicken up naturally, making it easier to spread over the cake’s surface without soaking in.
frosting fudge cake in metal pan

Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe FAQ

What’s the difference between chocolate cake and chocolate fudge cake?

Chocolate cake will typically be light and fluffy, whereas chocolate fudge cake is denser and a bit more moist.

The texture and flavor are somewhere between a piece of cake and a fudgy brownie.

Do I have to add the chocolate fudge icing?

Not at all. This dessert is plenty sweet and fudgy without it, so feel free to skip it.

If you still want some sort of topping, a light dusting of powdered sugar would be pretty!

What type of chocolate makes the best chocolate cake?

This fudge cake recipe uses sweetened cocoa. If you cannot find sweetened cocoa, unsweetened is fine — the chocolatey flavor just won’t be quite as rich.

Semi-sweet chips will also add the best flavor to your chocolate cake, and they melt more evenly than dark.

If you want a triple chocolate cake, you can always replace half of the semi-sweet chips with milk or dark chocolate chips!

close up of sliced fudge cake in pan

Storing Leftover Fudge Cake

Because both the cake and the chocolate fudge icing contain dairy, leftovers will need to be kept in the refrigerator.

Wrap the entire pan tightly with plastic wrap and enjoy within 2 days — but, I don’t find that our leftovers last anywhere near as long as that!

You can also freeze chocolate fudge cake for up to 3 months.

  1. Slice it up, then freeze the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Once solid (after about an hour), wrap each piece in two layers of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil.
  3. Stack in a freezer-safe storage container.

Transfer a piece to the refrigerator to thaw overnight when you have a craving!

You can also warm slices of fudge cake in the microwave for a few seconds. It will be extra gooey this way!

slice of frosted fudge cake on patterned plate

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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fork inserted into slice of chocolate cake

fork in piece of chocolate fudge cake on a plate

Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe (with Hot Frosting) + Video

Donna Elick
Chocolate Fudge Cake is extra gooey and totally easy to make. Top with a fudgy homemade icing and try not to keep it all to yourself!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

For the cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda, divided
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder, I used Ghirardelli ground chocolate
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

For icing

  • 1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder, I used Ghirardelli ground chocolate
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9×12 cake pan by buttering and flouring. Set aside.
  • In a small cup add 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, salt and baking powder, stir with a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine butter, cocoa and water. Bring to a boil, then add to flour mixture. Beat well.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to milk mixture. Set aside. In a small bowl combine chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
  • Add eggs to flour butter mixture. Then add milk mixture and vanilla. Beat well to combine. Add chocolate chips to mixture and fold in.
  • Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
  • 5 minutes before cake is done, prepare icing.

For icing

  • Bring cocoa, butter and milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, salt and vanilla, beat well with mixer. Spread over hot cake. Serve!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 716cal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 389mg | Sugar: 80g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image for chocolate fudge cake

Originally published April 2013, updated and republished July 2023

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56 Comments

  1. I make a similar cake except I poke holes in the cake with a fork, then pour the warm icing over the cake. The icing then seeps down into the cake. I also add cinnamon to both the cake batter and the icing. If your cake is as good as mine, and it looks even better than mine, it is really good.

  2. Hi my cake is in the oven and i hope it comes out as should i noticed you have 2 tsp baking soda then you say add 1 tsp BP to the milk mixture I noticed this after the fact …my cake has 4 mins more so we'll see how that goes .

  3. when do you add the salt, I figure with the bs and bp, but I didn't see it, so I forgot it. and it takes my oven longer than 20 min. It does smell great!

    1. You can make sweetened cocoa powder. 1 part cocoa to 2 parts sugar. Mix with whisk. Store extra in an air tight container.

    1. Use the plain cocoa. With all that sweetness you will not notice the difference. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

    2. It comes out the same, I been making this cake for years with the regular cocoa. It's the same recipe or another variation of Chocolate Sheet Cake but just in a cake pan. Normally I use buttermilk with my recipe instead of the milk and vinegar (which makes buttermilk) and if you're out of buttermilk it works just as well.

    3. I was just thinking that it is pretty much the same as the Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake that I make!

  4. My mother's grandma used to make this cake and it has passed down for generations in our family. This cake is amazing. Ours only differs by adding pecans into the frosting. 🙂

  5. This looks yumm! well Im planning to bake this today but I dont have baking soda. Do you think 2 tsp of baking powder instead of the soda would do ? Thank you.

  6. What did I do wrong? The recipe was followed exactly as written. However, the result was more like a soup…very, very thin and runny. Was baked in a convection oven for 20 minutes and wooden tester came out clean. Icing was very thin as well. Cake was iced while still warm. Photos look tremendous, but was very disappointed in my result.

  7. Was the cake cooked through? The icing will be very thin. It will set up as it cools. That is where the "ooey gooey" comes in. Email me if you have any other questions.

  8. Same as Texas sheet cake, been making this 30yr's, also add 1 cup chopped walnut's to cooked frosting ,pour on hot cake, take's while to set, best ever had, also, can take more then 20 min's to bake, just keep checking center to know, pic above look like cut square's stacked , look's better then 1 square……

    1. Have been making this Texas sheet cake for about 40 years. I think my recipe is easier to make. But it is wonderful.

  9. I have made a similiar one but I spread a layer of peanut butter on cake before adding the icing. So good. Gonna try this!

  10. I just finished making this cake but the icing isnt nearly as thick as the one in the picture. Did you double the icing recipe to get it like that? What did you do?

  11. This cake sounds amazing! Not that I need any more chocolate cake recipes, but I'm pinning this one anyways. I'm just wondering, what is the purpose of mixing the chocolate chips with the flour?

    1. My guess is that you would use white vinegar. All the recipes that I've used use white, and it's used to help make the cake fluffier. The apple cider vinegar could make it taste weird.

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