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Fastest Fudge Cake

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Serves eight to ten.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 61

I get the best results stirring this batter with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. This cake is delicious on its own but even better topped with ganache. 

  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutchprocessed)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup warm Ganache 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom of an 8x2- or 9x2-inch round cake pan or line it with parchment.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift only if the cocoa remains lumpy after whisking. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Pour the hot water over the batter; stir just until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes for a 9-inch pan; 35 to 40 min. for an 8-inch pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 min. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert the cake (peel off the parchment if necessary). Invert it again onto the rack and let cool completely.

Once cool, set the rack over a baking sheet or foil. Pour the warm ganache over the cake and use an icing spatula to spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides. Let set for about an hour before serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Delicious and really easy to make! I thought it was a touch too sweet so next time I'll use full 70% chocolate ganache instead of half 70% half bittersweet chocolate. I mixed the cocoa powder with the boiling water instead of whisking it in with the flour to bring out the cocoa flavor a bit better. Considering that this is a cake and not a brownie, don't expect this cake to be ultra dense. The cake came out really moist though, and I imagine that if I put it in the fridge (it disappeared, no leftovers!) it would come out "fudge". Love this cake, I'll definitely be making it again.

I was looking for a one layer chocolate cake and this one was perfect. I baked it in a 8x8 pan and frosted it with a marshmallow frosting. It was moist, fudgy and delicious. Will definitely bake again

It was OK not perfect but ok

There is NOTHING fudgy about this cake! It is a good average chocolate cake and that's it. Pretty dissapointed and still looking for a FUDGE cake.

This is the 3rd choco fudge cake recipe online that I've tried, and it's the best! Delicious and moist, i'll definitely keep this for life! Also great with cupcakes.!

Easy, luscious cake! Will absolutely make this again!

My daughter and I have made this several times and everyone just loves it! Easy and delicious!!

I was disappointed with this cake. It was just ok. Perhaps less cooking time would have helped with the "fudgey" consistency.

This is an excellent little cake for a quick and easy dessert on a weeknight. It looks just like the picture, very moist and chocolate-y, especially with the ganache. I baked it in a 9-inch pan for 30 minutes, but next time I'll check at 25 minutes, to see if it could be even more tender (I didn't find it "fudgy" -just moist). The family enjoyed it very much.

I TRIED THIS THIS CAKE, AND I COULD ONLY TASTE THE CRUMBS, OH MY MY THE CREW MEMBERS DEVOUR IT. I SURE WILL MAKE IT AGAIN.

Made the recipe as stated and it turned out perfectly. Make sure to use good cocoa.

made it just this weekend; doubled the cake recipe, baked in 2 8 inch pans, made the 1 c ganache; was excellent and even better the next day. the texture is perfect.

I agree with 2 others....just the right size and 1/2 the ganache would be sufficient. That along with the fact that it was moist and quick to prep made me like it. My husband loved it.

This cake took about 5 minutes to mix up and it was great! I added some Kahlua to the ganache because I thought it tasted a bit flat. Otherwise, no changes.

Substituted olive oil for the melted butter and added a tablespoon of instant espresso powder...Easy and delicious.

I used this recipe to make an "adult hostess cupcake" which I filled with a homemade cream filling and topped with chocolate ganache. Since I like my cupcakes less dense than a normal cake I used cake flour. I also added some instant espresso powder to the recipe and substituted hot whole milk for the water. They came out fantastic! If they were any less rich I don't think I'd like them! Try the milk trick!

I have made this recipe LITERALLY 30+ times...for cupcakes, layer cake, etc. I double the cake recipe to make 24 cupcakes or a layer cake. It is my never-fail choco cake recipe, and everyone always loves it! I agree 1/2 the ganache is enough for cake, BUT warm ganache over ice cream or for fruit dipping is delicious, too!

This is also our "everyday" cake - quick and easy. I agree that a half recipe of ganache is the right amount for this cake.

This is my everyday cake, it's fast and easy, everyone loves it. For a lower fat version I use unsweetened apple sauce and half the butter, it's incredibly moist! I also use this recipe for cupcakes and they are always a success.

I've made this cake twice and it came out exactly like the photo- much moister than your typical chocolate cake. I used a pure convection oven at 335 degrees for 30 mins, and Nestle brand cocoa powder. The second time I halved the recipe for the ganache and had it cover the top and just drizzle down the sides. This is a super fast, delicious chocolate cake - people were begging for the recipe!

Very good. But from the photo I expected something more dense. (My rating is not reflection on the recipe; it's a comment on the photo!) The cake is chocolaty but still cake-like; not fudgy like a flourless cake. The ganache is a nice way to dress up the single cake layer. Great weeknight dessert. My family enjoyed it.

Easy, fast & delicious. I've made this several times and it always gets rave reviews.

I've made this multiple times along with the ganache. It makes a good size dessert without a lot left over.

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