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Chocolate Fudge Cake

by . Featured in NIGELLA BITES
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Introduction

This is the sort of cake you'd want to eat the whole of when you'd been chucked. But even the sight of it, proud and tall and thickly iced on its stand, comforts.

This is the sort of cake you'd want to eat the whole of when you'd been chucked. But even the sight of it, proud and tall and thickly iced on its stand, comforts.

Chocolate Fudge Cake
Photo by Francesca Yorke

Ingredients

Serves: 10

Metric Cups

For the Cake

  • 400 grams plain flour
  • 250 grams golden caster sugar
  • 100 grams light brown muscovado sugar
  • 50 grams best-quality cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 142 millilitres sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 175 grams unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • 125 millilitres corn oil
  • 300 millilitres chilled water

For the Fudge Icing

  • 175 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 250 grams unsalted butter (softened)
  • 275 grams icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Cake

  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups superfine sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • ½ cup corn oil
  • 1¼ cups chilled water

For the Fudge Icing

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2¾ cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF.
  2. Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a freestanding or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended (you'll need another large bowl for this if using the hand whisk; the freestanding mixer comes with its own bowl), then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually; I just like my toys and find the KitchenAid a comforting presence in itself.
  4. Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2-3 minutes on medium should do it - or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
  6. In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy (again, I use the KitchenAid here) and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. I know sieving is a pain, the one job in the kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
  7. Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF.
  2. Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a freestanding or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended (you'll need another large bowl for this if using the hand whisk; the freestanding mixer comes with its own bowl), then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually; I just like my toys and find the KitchenAid a comforting presence in itself.
  4. Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2-3 minutes on medium should do it - or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
  6. In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy (again, I use the KitchenAid here) and then add the sieved confectioners' sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. I know sieving is a pain, the one job in the kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
  7. Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.

Tell us what you think

What 35 Others have said

  • I put this mixture in cupcake cases and mixed in some chocolate chips, baked for around 20 minutes and ended up with really delicious moist cupcakes! Brought them into school and lots of people wanted another one, really delicious :)

    Posted by zeweijin on 5th December 2016
  • This is the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted, and made. It's so good, I can't even mess it up! I've never been a chocolate cake fan, but this one converts. The magical thing that happens with the ice cold water and the oil/butter never fails to amaze me!!!

    I (very naughtily) double the amount of chocolate for the frosting, using 1/2 dark, 1/2 milk chocolate. To me it adds extra 'chocolaty-ness' that is not too much at all. Each time I make it, no one can get enough. I also divide the mixture between cup-cake tins. You don't then need as much frosting, probably just over half. I just freeze the rest, and use on something else. Awesome cake!!! My husband is always upset that I'm making the cake for someone else!!!

    Posted by maxigirl2901 on 3rd November 2016
  • I have been wanting to find an excuse to make this riotously decadent cake (blame watching Bites on YouTube) and this weekend I could stand it no longer. I am not normally a huge chocolate cake person (think overly sweet cloying icing slathered on a bone dry cake..ick) but this...oh my goodness. Nigella's chocolate cakes have converted me - the chocolate orange loaf from Kitchen was a winner at work every time I made, as was the quadruple chocolate loaf I took in a week or so ago. Just dived into this bad boy and I can see why you'd want to eat the entire thing if you'd been chucked. Deep, deep pleasure indeed. Make sure you do go for a good 70% chocolate for the icing - I deviated a little by using slightly salted butter in the cake and icing to offset a bit of the sweetness.

    Posted by Elstro1988 on 6th March 2016
  • one of my favourites - now if like me, you don't have 2 baking tins and try to cut THE cake in 2... be super careful as the top may fall into pieces and you may end up having to assemble a 3D puzzle (still delicious though) -

    Posted by StellaFR on 28th November 2015
  • I have made this cake several times, it is so easy. It always gets a wow. I use it to make chocolate birthday cakes.

    Posted by Lovesey on 24th May 2015
  • Can I substitute milk for the sour cream?

    Posted by Patty81 on 21st November 2012
  • Lovely moist cake which doesn't last long in this house. Like others I was not too keen on the icing but used the icing from the Old Fashioned Chocolate and that worked a treat.

    Posted by MinnieMinx on 26th April 2015
  • Fabulous cake and would definitely make again. Icing is more of a buttercream and very rich so would probably look for an alternative icing.

    Posted by lauraashall on 24th January 2015
  • Made this cake for an afternoon tea treat for a girl friend's birthday. The cake itself was SO delicious - chocolatey and very moist. However, I was not keen on the chocolate fudge icing - too much and it was extremely rich. Next time I make this cake will top with my favorite fudge icing: 120g butter 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted 400g icing sugar, sifted 6 tbsps evaporated milk 2 tsps vanilla extract Melt butter with milk in a saucepan, then add the cocoa powder, icing sugar and vanilla and beat well until smooth. Really delicious icing! I think this would work really well with this chocolate cake.

    Posted by bakingbeauty57 on 19th January 2015
  • A lovely delicious and moist cake. This recipe is very special to me. This is the last cake that my sister and I got help from my beautiful German grandmother to bake. She was not my real grandmother but was a dear person in our lives. We tragically lost her and her husband and I will always remember them when baking this cake.

    Posted by Jeanneciw on 10th November 2014
  • Best fudge cake ever 10 out of 10.

    Posted by poppyscakes on 7th October 2014
  • Made it for my dad's birthday, now making it for my uncle's, it's fab:) tastes amazing, so chocolatey and fudgy. Best fudge cake recipe I've ever come across:)

    Posted by marsbar03 on 16th October 2014
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