Aunt Emily’s Chocolate Fudge Cake is a tried and true recipe for the best two-layer chocolate cake filled and frosted with a dreamy chocolate fudge frosting.
Anyone else feeling nostalgic lately? I decided to go threw my old recipe box to see what treasures I could find. I’ve been baking since I was very young and actually started collecting recipes at about age 9 or 10. I was constantly asking relatives and adult friends for their best baking recipes. I especially loved getting recipes from my aunt Emily because she always had the best baked treats over the years. She’s truly been an inspiration to me for as long as I can remember.
I found this recipe for Aunt Emily’s Chocolate Fudge Cake and just had to try it. I’m sure I made it years ago but couldn’t remember, so I gave Aunt Emily a call to ask her if she remembered it and if she could give me some tips. She definitely remembered it and said it was very popular with her family. I had the recipe written on two different cards in my box and it was also printed in a little church cookbook from 1982 which my aunt had submitted her recipe to. Here’s one of the cards from my box. (This one in my Aunt Sara’s handwriting.) Don’t you just love old recipes? They hold so many memories. Aunt Emily is also the one that gave me the idea to mark recipes in my cookbooks that I have tried with the “date” and also with how you liked it – “very good” or “not so great”, etc. (I would mark this recipe as follows: 7/31/2020 EXCELLENT!)
If you’re looking for a really good recipe for a really good chocolate cake, well you came to the right place. My husband especially loved it and he’s a chocolate cake expert. The cake itself is tender, moist and has a very satisfying chocolate flavor. The frosting is simply heavenly. Like a creamy, dreamy piece of fudge spread all over your cake.
How to Make Aunt Emily’s Chocolate Fudge Cake
1) Whisk together your dry ingredients – cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt – and set aside.
2) Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for 30-45 seconds. Stir well Set aside.
3) Cream butter. Add brown sugar and eggs, then the chocolate and vanilla.
4) Alternate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream.
5) Stir in boiling water until completely combined.
6) Bake in prepared pans as directed.
Do You Prefer Cupcakes?
If you prefer cupcakes, you can prepare the batter as directed and bake into 24 cupcakes. Bake at 350°F for 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
How to Make Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1) Melt chocolate in the microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir until smooth.
2) Mix in softened butter. Set aside.
3) Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
4) Set the bowl on ice and beat until thick enough to spread.
5) Spread cooled cake layers with a wooden spoon or an offset spatula. Serve and enjoy.
Pro Tip for Making the Perfect Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Make sure you beat the chocolate frosting over a bowl of ice as directed in the instructions. Do NOT skip this step or you will have chocolate soup.
Tips for Making the Perfect Cake
1) Read the entire recipe BEFORE you start.
2) Make sure you have all of your ingredients ahead of time.
3) Line your cake pans with parchment paper cut into a circle to fit in the bottom of the pan. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray, place parchement paper, then spray again. This way your cakes will NOT stick to the pan.
4) Use room temperature ingredients. This is important, especially for the butter, eggs, sour cream and milk you are using in this recipe.
More Tips for Making the Perfect Cake
5) Follow the recipe. This may sound basic, but baking is a science. You must measure out the ingredients and follow the instructions for the best results.
6) Chill your cakes (covered) before frosting for about 2 hours or overnight. This makes it easier to frost the cake.
7) Frost your cake as soon as your frosting is done. This frosting has to be mixed over a bowl of ice so once it’s done, it’s ready for frosting the cake!
Please note, I did adjust the original recipe slightly.
When I was talking to aunt Emily on the phone the other day, she told me about her favorite Dutch processed cocoa powder brand called Droste. She special orders it so of course I had to get some too. It looked and smelled so amazing that I couldn’t wait to use it. I added 1/4 cup to the cake recipe and also to the frosting recipe for that extra special chocolatey flavor. It was a success!
I made this cake into two 8-inch round cake layers because that is the size I prefer. You could also do two 9-inch round cake layers as the original recipe called for. Or you could even do three 8 or 9 inch round cake layers to make it a three layer cake. Totally up to you.
If you only try one recipe on my blog, then this is the one you should try. It’s just extra special and I think you will love it!
p.s. Thank you, Aunt Emily for sharing such a wonderful recipe with us.
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Aunt Emily's Chocolate Fudge Cake
For the cake
- 3 ounces baking chocolate, melted (I used 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (Or 25g. I used Droste brand)
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted (or 280g)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (or 1 stick)
- 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar (2 cups packed or 1 pound)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 cup boiling water
For the chocolate fudge frosting
- 4 squares chocolate, semi-sweet (I used 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (or 1 stick)
- 1 lb. 10x or powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Droste brand)
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, spraying with non-stick cooking spray before and after placing parchment. Set aside. (If you prefer cupcakes, line muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter. Add sugar, eggs, beat 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Stir in the boiling water, mixing thoroughly. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. (If making cupcakes, bake for 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.)
For the frosting
- Melt chocolate in the microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir until smooth. Mix in softened butter. Set aside Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Set the bowl on ice and beat until thick enough to spread. Spread cooled cake layers with a wooden spoon or an offset spatula. Serve and enjoy.
- If you prefer to make cupcakes, follow the instructions for the cake and pour batter into muffin pans lined with cupcake liners. The recipe will make 30 cupcakes.
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All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.
This recipe is featured on Meal Plan Monday #227.