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Aunt Emily's chocolate fudge cake on cakestand
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4.75 from 4 votes

Aunt Emily's Chocolate Fudge Cake

A tried and true recipe for the best two-layer chocolate cake filled and frosted with a dreamy chocolate fudge frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 421kcal


For the cake

  • 3 ounces baking chocolate, melted I used ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder 25g. I used Droste brand
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted 280g
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 stick
  • 2 ¼ cups light brown sugar 2 cups packed or 1 pound
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 ½ 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 ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 stick
  • 1 lb. 10x or powdered sugar about 3 ¾ cups
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ 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, ¼ 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 cocoa, 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.

For cupcakes

  • 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.



Make the icing AFTER the cake layers are cooled. This is because once you make the frosting, you will want to use it immediately (while it's still chilled since you will be beating it over a bowl of ice).


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 408IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg