That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake | 6 layers of pure chocolate deliciousness!

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

Home » Dessert Recipes » Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake Jump To Recipe

When I plan a holiday meal, I pull out all the stops when it comes to dessert. This multi-layered Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake is definitely a showstopper!

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with a slice on a square white plate

Fudge Layer Cake

This is no ordinary chocolate fudge layer cake. There are FOUR layers of cake filled with silky ganache and chocolate meringue buttercream frosting. 30 ounces of chocolate, over a pound and a quarter of butter, a cup of heavy cream and 9 eggs.

Warning: your kitchen will be a mess of chocolate bowls and implements by the time this gem is filled and frosted. Even Izzy was splattered with frosting when my offset spatula flipped off the counter top and landed on her back.

She hovers when I bake. I bet you can see why. BUT the result is one exquisite, extremely decadent, better-than-bakery cake! This fudge cake is perfect for what ever holidays you celebrate this fall, winter and throughout the year.

Uncut Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake on a white plate

An Exquisite Creation

I hate to admit this, but I often make two desserts for our family of 5 on the holidays. Mainly it’s because the guys, meaning my hubby and two grown sons, want something chocolate.

Katie and I aren’t quite as rigid, so we can go peanut butter, vanilla or even red velvet. But the most thought goes into the chocolate recipe. Lava cakes and French silk pie make the cut quite frequently, but I also love to peruse my cookbooks for a new idea.

I found an espresso fudge layer cake in Marcel Desaulniers’ Death by Chocolate cookbook, but it was loaded with coffee undertones. The hubby’s persnickety palate would not be a fan. The espresso needed to be toned way down. The result was a sublime creation. I really tried to restrain myself, but this Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake was one amazing, irresistible cake!

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake slice on its side on a white square plate Print

Love this recipe? Please consider rating it in the comments below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake | 6 layers of pure chocolate deliciousness!

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

A decadent multi-layered cake that’s worthy of any holiday or celebration, especially if you’re a chocoholic! Adapted from Marcel Desaulniers

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Fudge Cake:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 pound butter at room temperature
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. To make the cake, place the unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Gently microwave, using 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until almost all melted. Remove and let sit, stir until smooth. If needed zap again for a few seconds to make sure all chocolate is melted.
  3. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick oil and flour spray like Bakers Joy. Whisk together the 2 cups of flour, the baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Combine the brown sugar and 8 tablespoons soft butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment. Beat on low for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and beat on high for another 1½ minutes.
  5. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating on high for 30 seconds after adding each egg. Scrape down the bowl after each addition, then beat on high for 2 more minutes. Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl.
  6. Microwave 1 cup of water until near boiling in a microwave safe Pyrex measuring cup. With the mixer on low add a third of the flour mixture. Mix, then add ½ cup sour cream; allow to mix for 30 seconds. Add another third of the flour and the remaining sour cream and mix for another 30 seconds. Add the remaining sifted flour and the boiling water and mix for an additional 30 seconds before removing the bowl from the mixer. Use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until it is smooth and thoroughly combined. You do not want to over-mix.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes at room temperature. Remove cakes to cooling racks and refrigerate until needed.
  8. To make the ganache: Heat the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a 2½-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place 8 ounces semisweet chocolate and the instant coffee powder in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
  9. To make the buttercream: Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate in the top half of double boiler. Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes, add vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside until needed.
  10. Place 1 pound of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat the butter on low for 2 minutes then on medium for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the butter to a large bowl. Set aside until needed.
  11. Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 5 egg whites and 1 cup sugar in the top half of the double boiler. Gently whisk the egg whites until they reach a temperature of 120 degrees, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the heated egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Remove from mixer.
  12. Fold the melted chocolate into the butter, using a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine. Fold in the whipped egg whites until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  13. To assemble the cake: Remove cakes from refrigerator and turn them over so the top side is facing up. Trim off the tops of the cakes, if they are rounded. Slice each cake horizontally into 2 equal layers. Place the top layer of a cake onto the bottom of a closed 9-inch springform pan. Evenly spread 1½ cups of the buttercream over the cake in the springform pan. Place the bottom layer of the first cake onto the buttercream and gently press into place. Pour 1¼ cups of ganache over the cake layer, spreading the ganache evenly to the edges. Refrigerate the remaining ganache. Place the top layer of the second cake on top of the ganache and press into place. Spread 1½ cups buttercream evenly over this layer. Place the remaining bottom cake layer, cut side down, onto the buttercream and gently press into place. Cover the entire cake and pan with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
  14. To decorate the cake: Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with 1½ cups of buttercream. Remove the cake from the freezer. Run a metal spatula or table knife around the edges next to the pan to release the cake from the springform pan. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a cake spatula, evenly spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour.
  15. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized star tip with remaining ganache. To decorate the cake, first pipe a ring of the buttercream stars around the outside edge of the top of the cake. Then pipe a circle of ganache stars (each star touching the other) inside the ring of buttercream. Alternate the rings of buttercream stars and circles of ganache stars, until the entire top of the cake is covered. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before cutting.
  16. To cut and serve the cake: When ready to serve, slice the cake and let rest at room temperature for 10-15 minute before serving.

You May Need These to Make This Fudge Layer Cake:

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake - 6 layers of pure chocolate deliciousness!

More Chocolate Cake Recipes You’ll Love:

If you’re looking for more chocolate cake recipes (I always am!!), here a few delicious options from some blogger friends!

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake - 6 layers of pure chocolate deliciousness!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

67 comments on “Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake”

  1. Divine! What a grrrrrreat way to celebrate the holidays. Love how you’ve used both the ganache and the buttercream in the decorating. (Your husband and children are very lucky!!!)

  2. Truly spectacular! I’m sure it was a huge hit:@)

  3. I’m actually speechless. This is gorgeous but it looks so mouth watering good!!! I have a huge sweet tooth and I had a piece of this right now I would eat it for breakfast.

  4. that filling alone looks scrumptious no less the cake wow showstop it is for sure!

  5. Liz,
    When I was little I remember eating a Pepperidge farm fudge mousse cake (my family was moving over someone’s bday–so that was last ditch effort to have cake) and I fell in love. I have since wanted to have it, but it is so full of junk! This is reminding me of that cake and I so want it!!

  6. Perfectly decorated! Love the stars and alternating colours. (Will probably steal this idea ASAP.)

  7. A showstopper it definitely is – looks so amazingly good, and you’ve iced it to perfection!

  8. That’s a stunner, Liz! You are a baking queen!

  9. That cake is GORGEOUS! I’d totally eat the whole thing by myself, chocolate cake is my favorite!

  10. Your cake looks absolutely stunning. I could never make such a cake the way you did, I just don’t have the patience but maybe I might just give it a try. You tempted me. 🙂

  11. This cake looks like perfection! I’m sure it’s worth all the dirty dishes. Quick question: is there a particular bloggy reason you remove the link to your post in the lineup?

  12. Oh my ! Liz ,this looks divine !!!! I love layer cakes and you have layered the cake beautifully. Trust me I can just eat it off the screen right now 🙂

  13. This cake looks so perfect! Almost too pretty to eat, almost…

  14. Your cake is fabulous and it looks delicious!

  15. What a dreamy cake, Liz! I just love the surprise layer of ganache in there, it must be so decadent. A perfect treat for the holidays.

  16. Absolutely Beautiful!

  17. I happen to think all your cakes are showstoppers. This one is a crowd pleaser, I’m sure.

  18. What a gorgeous cake! I totally get making 2 desserts for 5 people, you want to make everyone happy. I’d be very happy with this cake!

  19. Oh my goodness!! This cake is absolutely stunning, Liz! What an incredible dessert for the holidays! My hubby and stepdad are the chocolate cake fans in our house too and I can’t wait to make this for them! The layers are perfect and I love the chocolate ganache in the middle!

  20. My very favorite dessert is chocolate cake! The batter for this is the same as mine, but I just use a simple buttercream instead of the ganache. Jeez Liz. Now you have my mouth watering and thinking I should make a belated birthday cake for Manservant when he arrives home. Only now there will be just two of us, which means a lot of cake! Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

  21. Nice sharing! The cake looks so moist. Have a good week, dear! xoxo

  22. Wow Liz that’s the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen! It looks soo chocolatey and decadent, thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂 well done xx

  23. This cake is so beautiful Liz, I can never cut a cake as well as you, each slice is perfect. That aside this is an amazing looking dessert and I’d love a slice.

  24. This cake looks amazing! Quick question – the pictures all look like there are 4 layers of cake, and the instructions refer to 2 cakes (each cut in half horizontally) in some places, but you mention that it is a 6-layer cake, plus instruct to prepare 3 cake pans. Should the cake batter be divided among 2 cake pans or 3? I just want to make sure I don’t mess anything up! Thank you!

    • Oh, my gosh, thanks for catching that, Jennifer! That’s what I get for typing up this post when I was sleep deprived. It is a 4 layer cake (2 layers cut in half like you said). I’ve edited the recipe and will read it over one more time for accuracy. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  25. Guys here are chocolate lovers as well…this cake would win their vote for sure. If I make two desserts it would be so that I could have some…lemon or strawberry or vanilla always get my vote. You make such beautiful desserts.

  26. Hi I have a question that I hope you can answer I’m gonna make this cake for my class do you think that I could bake the cake layers a day before and decorated them the next day…? Will the cake dry out if so how do I store them
    If you do reply THANK YOU SO MUCH

    • Hi, Alison, YES, you definitely can make the cake layers ahead of time. I’d wrap them well in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge overnight. They should be fine! Hope you enjoy!!!

  27. OH, Liz! My mouth actually fell open when I saw this–it looks GORGEOUS. The four layers are everything!! I can name so many folks who would appreciate this cake right now–I often make two desserts as well to accommodate for tastes, so I’ll be bookmarking this one for the chocolate lovers!

  28. Be still my heart.. this chocoholic is in dire need of a slice of this fabulous cake!

  29. This looks divine Liz! One of these holidays I will show some restraint and only make two desserts. For Thanksgiving, it’s usually 3 or 4. When everyone is home for Christmas it’s not unusual to have 5 or 6, and they eat them all!

  30. This cake is chilling in the fridge as I type. Looks amazing flavours taste great individually. Can’t wait to try a slice! Serving it tonight for a special birthday. Instructions were easy to follow. We now have a new go to chocolate icing receipe!!!

  31. Woah! This cake is a thing of beauty! Just pinned!

  32. Gorgeous, Liz! All I know is I want to spend the holidays at your house!!

  33. Completely stunning! Wow!!

  34. Ok. My mouth is hanging open right now because I’m in awe of the sheer chocolate perfection that is this cake. And so fitting that you shared it on my birthday 😛 PINNINGGGG

  35. Hi! I’m so excited to bake this for Thanksgiving. I’m looking at doing it in a couple days- cake layers one day and assembly/icing the next. Am I able to freeze the entire cake after decorating? I don’t have any experience with this type of buttercream and worry about it falling/not setting. I feel as if it would be in my fridge too long before the big meal (possibly decorating on Sunday and eating Thursday).

    • Hi, Hannah, I haven’t tried freezing this cake, but I DO think it will freeze just fine. I’d refrigerate to set the frosting, then double wrap and freeze. I agree that it will stay fresher that way—what a great idea to make ahead so you can have a show stopper for Thanksgiving!

  36. I’ve got this cake in the oven right now and am so excited. My batter was thinner than most cakes I’ve made before so hoping it thickens up in the oven.

  37. Oh. My. Gawd. That looks absolutely delicious and beautiful! It’s been pinned, obviously and I would love for you to share over at the new Let’s Party! … we look forward to seeing you there!

  38. Is the sugar in the buttercream … white sugar or icing sugar??

  39. I am on chocolate overload!!! Love the ganache layer between 2 lighter layers of buttercream… my mouth is watering!

  40. Loving those beautiful layers! So perfect for a friend’s upcoming birthday! 

  41. This looks beyond delicious!

  42. Oh my gosh this cake is amazing!

  43. I forgot to come here and tell you how much everyone loved this cake! I made it for Father’s Day and everyone loved it!

  44. cake is amazingly delicious, sinful, rich and decadent. But would I make it again. No. I looked at the picture and thought perfect for a co-workers chocolate lovers birthday. Sunday I printed the ingredients and went shopping. Monday I read through the recipe and thought what did I get myself into? I made it over 3 days after work. Tuesday was the frosting filling night. It was 2 hours of melting in double boiler to cooling and back and forth. I didn’t have that many large mixing bowls. It was worth all the work with the endless raves I got today. But man, I’m too old for this much work.

  45. So fudgy and decadent, the perfect special occasion cake!

  46. This cake is spectacular! It came out just like the pictures, thanks so much for such an easy to follow recipe!

  47. Wow, I’m totally making this for the next birthday coming up in my family!

  48. Oh. My. Gosh. This chocolate cake is the queen of all cakes. So good!

  49. This is to die for! Those layers!

  50. This could not be more perfect for my chocolate loving self – those layers are everything!

  51. oh my!! Be still my heart. Layers and layers of chocolate goodness! Simply to die for.

  52. This taste really good! A big hit in my house!

  53. The silky chocolate ganache really makes this one special.

  54. This cake is so moist and elegant! My guests loved it!

  55. This is chocolate layer cake perfection!

  56. Hi there. So excited to make this tomorrow!  Clarification on the butter… salted or unsalted? 

  57. such a gorgeous cake and those layers are filled perfectly. Sure to win anyone heart for any occasion

  58. Pingback: Perfect Plum Pie from Art of the Pie® by Kate McDermott #SundaySupper

  59. Pingback: Eat that Chocolate Cake! Enjoy & Indulge! | Inspired to Revamp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.