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Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

A slice of chocolate cake served with a fork on a plate.
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5 from 3 reviews

When you're looking for a cake that's super moist, rich, and heavy on the chocolate flavor, turn to this chocolate fudge cake! It's a relatively easy to make layer cake that would be perfect for a birthday or other special occasion. With its soft, tender crumb and silky buttercream frosting, it's truly the best chocolate cake recipe!

  • Author: Alexandra Azary
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: one 2-tier 9" cake 1x
  • Category: cakes and cupcakes
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups (330 grams) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 3/4 cups (546 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (99 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 7/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 5/8 cups plus 1 tablespoon (383 grams) hot coffee or water
  • 1/2 cup (112 grams) neutral-flavored cooking oil (avocado, vegetable, canola, sunflower, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup (181 grams) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 7 1/2 ounces (213 grams) semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 7/8 cups (425 grams) salted butter, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups (425 grams) confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 10 tablespoons (62 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter two 9” cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment circles, and dust the sides with cocoa powder.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, making sure to break up any clumps.
  3. In a second, medium bowl, combine hot coffee/water, avocado oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, and white vinegar in order. Whisk together well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in with a spatula until everything is evenly incorporated, making sure that no pockets or streaks of flour/cocoa remain. The batter will be somewhat thin. Avoid over-mixing.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs. Place on a cooling rack and allow cake to cool completely before removing from pans and frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. Using a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chopped chocolate at 50% power for 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smoothly melted. Set aside to cool briefly.
  2. Meanwhile, add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed with the paddle attachment until it’s smooth and creamy.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and beat on low speed until incorporated. Continue beating, increasing the speed to medium, until smooth.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the melted chocolate. Beat the frosting until smooth, light, and fluffy, using a spatula as needed to make sure everything is fully incorporated.

Assembling

  1. Carefully transfer one cake layer to a cardboard round or cake plate, removing the parchment paper lining in the process. Spread an even layer of chocolate frosting over the cake, and top with the second cake layer. Finally, frost the outside of the cake and decorate as desired.

Notes

Storing and Serving:

  • Cake can be left at room temperature for a few hours but is best stored in the refrigerator. Store inside of a cake caddy or other airtight container, placing plastic wrap directly over any exposed areas of cake. Alternatively, let cake chill uncovered in refrigerator until frosting has set, and then cover entire cake with plastic wrap.
  • For best flavor and texture, serve this cake at room temperature.
  • Because this cake is quite rich, I've found that you can easily get about 20 servings out of it. Keep in mind that this will change if you cut thicker slices.

Freezing Instructions:

  • After letting cake chill long enough for frosting to set, slice into small portions. Wrap each portion in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Make-Ahead Instructions:

  • Cake can be made and frosted 1-2 days before serving. Cake can also be baked a day in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature until frosted.