Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate fudge cake is my favourite kind of cake, it’s always so chocolaty and….fudgy. I guess that’s why it’s called chocolate fudge cake.

Anyway, I’ve posted a chocolate cake recipe before, but I’ve been wanting to make a new one. I felt like there was a few things that could have been improved.

So here we are, I am in love with this recipe. The cake layers are so soft and fluffy and the icing is so fudgy!

A slice of the chocolate fudge cake on a white plate, with the full cake in the background.

Video Tutorial

The fudge icing

When making this cake, the first thing you want to do is make the icing. The reason why I recommend doing this first is because this icing needs a few hours to set up.

It will be very runny at first but after a few hours in the fridge, it’ll become nice and thick.

Please wait for it to thicken, it may seem like nothings happening but it just takes some time.

Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make this icing:

  • Dark chocolate – make sure to use dark chocolate, milk or white won’t set up the same way. If you don’t like the taste of dark chocolate, don’t worry. Icing sugar is being added so it gets rid of that bitter taste. If you feel like it is still slightly bitter though, you could mix in some more icing sugar, before it has been left to set.
  • Unsalted butter – I like to use unsalted butter so that I can control the amount of salt in the icing, but salted butter works too. Just don’t add any extra salt.
  • Icing sugar – also known as powdered sugar.
  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
  • Salt – to enhance the flavours. Don’t add this if you’re using salted butter.
The fudge icing in a bowl, after it had been left to set.

Ingredients for the cake layers

Here are the ingredients you will need to make the cake:

  • Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is always best to use.
  • Hot water mixed with coffee – this coffee is going to intensify the chocolate flavour.
  • Oil – this will make the cake moist. Any flavourless oil works but I always use vegetable.
  • Buttermilk – this will also make the cake moist.
  • Eggs
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Sugar – I’m using a mixture of both granulated sugar and light brown sugar. The brown sugar adds extra flavour and moisture.
  • Baking soda – to make the cake rise.
  • Vinegar – this will react with the baking soda, giving you a fluffy velvety cake.
A close up the inside of the cake, after a slice was taken out of it.

Ingredient substitutions

A few of the ingredients I used for this recipe, I usually get asked a lot if they can be left out or if there are any substitutes.

So I felt like I should talk about those ingredients.

The coffee

A lot of chocolate cake recipes use coffee in them. All the coffee does is intensify the chocolate flavour, it makes your cake taste more chocolaty.

The coffee does not make your cake taste coffee flavoured at all, so if you don’t like coffee and are worried about that, you don’t need to be.

With that being said, if you really wanted to leave it out, you could. Just make sure to still add the hot water!

The oil

I like to use oil when I make chocolate cake, instead of butter.

When it comes to cakes, oil adds a lot of moisture, whereas butter adds flavour.

With chocolate cakes though, once you add chocolate to something, that becomes the main flavour. So I feel like butter doesn’t do much.

So I go with oil instead, so the cake can have that extra moisture. If you wanted to use butter though, you could. Use 200g and melt it before you add it to the other ingredients.


This is another ingredient that makes the cake moist.

If you didn’t have buttermilk, plain natural yoghurt is the best substitute, I use this a lot.

Or instead you could make a buttermilk substitute by mixing together 120ml of whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar together. Leave this aside for 10 minutes, then it’s ready to use.

But I do think actual buttermilk or plain yoghurt is the best 2 ingredients to use.

The vinegar

When making the cake batter, the last thing I did was mix together some vinegar and baking soda. Then I added this into the batter.

This is something that is usually done in red velvet cakes.

Essentially the vinegar reacts with the baking soda which gives your cake an extra lift as it bakes, giving you a fluffy cake that has a velvety texture.

I wanted my chocolate cake to also be fluffy and velvety, so I added vinegar to this too.

I used white wine vinegar but apple cider vinegar works great too.

If you didn’t have either, lemon juice will work, but personally I think vinegar is a little better, but lemon juice will work!

What cake tins to use

I baked my cake layers in three 6 inch cake tins.

I like when cakes have 3 layers, I think cakes look nice when they’re tall.

But if you only have 8 inch tins, that’s fine too. Just pour your batter into two 8 inch tins instead of three 6 inch ones. 

Just a heads up though, if you are using 8 inch tins, the baking time might be a little different. Just keep an eye on them, they’re done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

This isn’t the kind of cake that sinks when you open the oven door so don’t worry about that, you can check on them!

I make a lot of cake recipes. Here are some other ones I think you might like:

Chocolate Fudge Cake

4.6 from 29 votes


  • For the fudge icing:
  • 300g dark chocolate

  • 140g unsalted butter

  • 200g icing sugar

  • 380ml double cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • For the cake:
  • 50g cocoa powder

  • 80ml hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee

  • 200ml vegetable oil

  • 120ml buttermilk

  • 4 eggs

  • 200g plain flour

  • 125g brown sugar

  • 125g granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar


  • Making the fudge icing:
  • In a pot, add all the ingredients for the fudge icing.
  • Place this onto medium heat and heat all of this, whiles constantly stirring, until all the chocolate and butter has melted and you have a smooth mixture.
  • Pour this into a bowl and leave this to set in the fridge. You want it to become a thick spreadable mixture, this could take a few hours. During this time, every now and then give the icing a mix.
  • Making the cake layers:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line three 6 inch cake tin.
  • In a large bowl, add the cocoa powder and hot water/coffee. Whisk this until smooth.
  • Add the oil, buttermilk and eggs into this and whisk until combined. Now add both sugars and the flour, whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • In a separate small bowl, add the baking soda and then pour the vinegar over it. This will start bubbling, just give it a quick mix then straight away pour it into your cake batter. Whisk until incorporated.
  • Pour this batter into your cake tins and bake at 180c/350f for around 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Once baked, leave them to cool completely.
  • Putting the cake together:
  • Once your cakes have cooled completely and your icing has become thick and spreadable, you can put the cake together.
  • I cut the tops of my cake layers off so that I have flat even layers but you don't need to.
  • Place one of the layers down onto a board or plate, spread some icing onto this. Add another layer, more icing, and then the final layer of cake.
  • Now you can just decorate however you want. I didn't really do anything, I just spread a little icing on the sides and then dusted some icing sugar on top.
  • After that, cut into it and enjoy!


  1. Maiya
    April 16, 2023 / 8:38 pm

    i made this cake for my friends birthday and it was scrumptious, moist and fudgy but also light, everyone rated it a 10/10 apart from one ungrateful friend who “doesn’t like chocolate cake”. unbelievable 🙄

    • Ash Baber
      April 17, 2023 / 3:22 pm

      i think you need to replace that one friend

  2. ghanimah
    April 19, 2023 / 11:46 am

    if i were to double the recipe should i double the baking soda and vinegar?

    • Ash Baber
      April 19, 2023 / 3:28 pm

      yesss double both of them!

  3. Tyronne
    April 23, 2023 / 6:14 am

    Would it be alright if I used dutch processed cacao in this recipe?

    • Ash Baber
      April 23, 2023 / 9:19 am

      yesss either works!

  4. Paola
    May 7, 2023 / 10:16 am

    Hi Ash, absolutely love your content!
    Want to make this for my boyfriend’s birthday next week, but I don’t have 3 cake tins. Can I put the cake in a bigger one and then cut it or should I bake it in a smaller tin one by one?
    X from Sweden

    • Ash Baber
      May 7, 2023 / 2:03 pm

      hi it depends on the size tin you have. if you have two 8 inch tins, you can use those. Or if your tin is bigger than this, you can just pour the batter into one and cut it after!

  5. Chai
    May 26, 2023 / 12:02 pm

    Hi Ash, I messed up and added half and half instead of heavy cream to the icing(language difficulties), is there something I could do to make this icing less liquidy?

    • Ash Baber
      May 26, 2023 / 12:14 pm

      hi you could try melting some more chocolate and mixing this into it!

  6. Celokuhle Sibiya
    June 12, 2023 / 8:35 pm

    Hi,Ash hope you are great.I would like to first thank you for recipes they are amazing and have helped a lot,you are awesome. So for this cake isn’t there a need for baking powder since we are using plain flour?

    • Ash Baber
      June 13, 2023 / 12:05 pm

      hi thank you so much, i’m so glad you like my recipes! to answer your question, no. the baking soda makes the cake rise enough so we don’t need any baking powder.

  7. Louise Hamilton
    July 6, 2023 / 11:32 pm

    How do you store the cake I’m goi g to make it the day before a birthday but I don’t know weather I can put it in the fridge !!

    • Ash Baber
      July 7, 2023 / 6:18 pm

      You can store it in the fridge, it will stay fresh in there. Just take it out a few hours before serving!

  8. Alia
    August 23, 2023 / 5:23 pm

    Hi for the the butter milk replacement I’m going to use plain yogurt like you said but do I use the same amount?

    • Ash Baber
      August 23, 2023 / 5:36 pm

      Yesss use the same amount!

  9. Charlotte Sidaway
    September 10, 2023 / 8:12 am

    Hello! How long will the fudge sauce last for once made?

    • Ash Baber
      September 11, 2023 / 7:00 am

      it will last for about a week in the fridge!

  10. ava
    September 15, 2023 / 12:27 pm

    hiii ash!!! love the recipe!! a major slay fr. what can i sub the double cream for?? love u <33

    • Ash Baber
      September 16, 2023 / 8:22 am

      double cream, heavy cream or whipping cream are really the only things you can use, nothing else will work

  11. Áine Carey
    September 20, 2023 / 6:19 pm

    Hi ash! I’m using this recipe to decorate for a birthday cake, i was wondering if i could freeze it a few days before and then decorate when ready for use, and if so how long can it be frozen for?

    • Ash Baber
      September 20, 2023 / 6:42 pm

      Yesss just wrap the cake layers well with cling film, then they can stay in your freezer for up to 2 months!

      • Áine
        September 29, 2023 / 1:47 pm

        okay, thank you! can you use simple syrup on these cake layers?

        • Ash Baber
          September 30, 2023 / 8:51 am

          you can!