Old Fashioned Cocoa Fudge Cake
There’s nothing more comforting than an old-fashioned Cocoa Fudge Cake topped with creamy chocolate icing. It’s SO easy to make (and eat)!
Created over half a century ago, this rich chocolate cake has definitely stood the test of time. Treat your family to this marvelous Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe ASAP!
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Why You Must Make
This fudge cake is perfect for a casual family dessert, yet scrumptious enough for company. It was inhaled by my family and disappeared as fast as those I remember from the summer potlucks of yesteryear.
- From a Betty Crocker recipe first published in 1965, this dreamy chocolate cake is the kind of dessert we zeroed in on at those pitch-in picnics of my childhood. It’s obviously stood the test of time!
- It’s a moist, tender cake, iced with the creamiest cocoa buttercream frosting.
- It’s baked in a 9 x 13 pan, making it perfect for a gathering of friends and family.
From Joanne via the comments: Thank you for this fabulous recipe! My 24 y/o son said that this is the best cake I have ever made!!!!
- All-Purpose Flour – No need for cake flour
- Granulated Sugar – Just ordinary white sugar
- Cocoa Powder – I use Ghirardelli brand
- Baking Soda
- Table Salt – I prefer this over the coarser kosher salt for baking
- Butter – I use salted butter; have it at room temperature for easy incorporation
- Buttermilk – Makes for a moist cake. In a pinch, you can make your own buttermilk by combining 1 tablespoon of white or cider vinegar or lemon juice with enough milk to make a cup to replace 1 cup of buttermilk.
- Vanilla – Must be real vanilla extract, never imitation
- Eggs – I use large eggs in my recipes unless otherwise specified.
- Milk – Used to thin frosting
- Corn Syrup – Used to sweeten and make a glossy frosting
- Powdered Sugar – Sifted so the frosting is lump-free
How to Make
- Whisk together dry ingredients.
- Mix in the rest of the cake ingredients except the eggs.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Spread the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake as directed.
- Cool and frost.
- Slice and serve.
Party Like a Mad Man
You’ve probably all heard the hype about the final season of Mad Men this year. Season 7 is split into two parts, and the last series of episodes,”The End of an Era,” premieres on Sunday, April 5th.
This chocolate snack cake comes from the cookbook, ]The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. All the dishes in this collection have a connection to one of the Mad Men episodes.
For example, an iced chocolate cake like this beauty was whipped up by Don and Betty Draper’s daughter, Sally, after she received a frosting machine. The Sterlings had invited themselves over for dinner at the Drapers, and an inebriated Roger Sterling cornered Betty in the kitchen where she rebuked his advances. Much alcohol was flowing at this impromptu dinner party for four in Season 1, Episode 7.
There are a few general rules that help with making a delicious chocolate cake like this old-fashioned Cocoa Fudge Cake. Check out my best baking tips post for more tips and tricks. Making sure your oven temperature is accurate is key. Newer ovens can be calibrated after you check the temperature with an oven thermometer. Compare the temperature you set your oven to the temperature on the thermometer.
- Use quality ingredients, especially your chocolate and cocoa powder when making a chocolate cake.
- Use room temperature eggs and butter unless directed otherwise. They will incorporate into the batter better than if they were cold.
- Baking is a science so measure carefully. Weighing ingredients with a kitchen scale (affiliate link) gives the most consistent results, but if that’s not an option, scoop out ingredients like flour and sugar, and scrape off the top with a bench scraper or similar utensil.
- An ingredient like buttermilk is a cue that the cake will be moist. Yogurt and even mayonnaise offer a similar effect.
- I like to whisk together my dry ingredients so the cocoa powder, soda, salt, and flour will incorporate evenly when added to the wet ingredients. This prevents biting into a small clump of baking soda in your baked cake.
- Do not over-mix when the dry ingredients are added to prevent over-stimulating the gluten and making a less tender cake. There are exceptions, so if the recipe calls for beating in the dry ingredients for a certain amount of time, follow the instructions.
- Start checking your cake about 5 minutes before you think it might be done. Insert a toothpick into the middle. It should come out clean or with a moist crumb or two. Tapping the center of the cake with your index finger and watching for the cake to bounce back without leaving an imprint will also signal the cake is done.
- Overbaking can make your cake dry.
- When you start smelling your cake, that’s a clue that it’s almost fully baked.
- Wait until the cake is fully cooled before frosting. Buttercream frostings will melt into the cake if it’s still warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Expect a chocolate fudge cake to be richer and denser than a regular chocolate cake.
This fudge cake recipe can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days as long as it’s kept covered to prevent the cake from drying out. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Place slices or the remainder of the cake in a covered, freezer-safe container. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Buttermilk is slightly acidic, and it’s the acid that helps loosen the gluten bonds making a more tender cake.
Besides adding sweetness, corn syrup makes the frosting rich and glossy.
You May Also Like:
- Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Italian Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
- One Layer Fudge Cake
- Check out my Cake Recipes and Chocolate Dessert Recipes, too.
Cocoa Fudge Cake Recipe
A scrumptious chocolate cake from Betty Crocker circa 1965.
- 1 ⅔ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (or spray with Baker's Joy). Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
- Add butter, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add eggs and beat for 2 more minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl often.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or till the center of the cake bounces back when pressed with your finger. Cool pan on wire rack.
- When the cake is almost fully cooled, make the frosting.
- Mix sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Add butter, milk, and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and place pan in cold water (I fill my sink with ice and water).
- When the mixture is cooled, stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. You may thin frosting with a little milk if desired.
- Frost cake.
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, for each cup needed add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a one-cup liquid measuring cup. fill the cup to the one-cup mark with 2% or whole milk. Mix and let thicken for a few minutes before using.
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Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 3g
Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.
By the way, my post won one of the photography awards at this Virtual Mad Men Finale Party!
53 Comments on “Old Fashioned Cocoa Fudge Cake”
That cake looks dreamy and then some. I think the recipes from the 60s are fantastic.
I hope we get to meet in person one of these days.
This fudge cake is OUT OF CONTROL, Liz! I am loving every moist crumb of it and wish I had a plate in my face right now!
I never really got into mad men but this cake looks ah-mazing!
I don’t really know any retro recipes except maybe jello?
Wow! Liz! that looks so scrumptious.
It’s late at night in my area and I just need a slice right now!
Be still my heart, that frosting looks dreamy! I’d love a nice big square of this cake 🙂
The idea that a vintage recipe is relevant today just blows my mind. And first of all is chocolate cake of course! That thick buttercream is amazing! And so is mad men…
how cool that there’s a mad men cookbook! This cake is the perfect thing!
My favorite retro recipe is for chicken pot pie from my mother’s old betty crocker cookbook.
That looks like the perfect chocolate cake. My dad would love it. Favorite retro recipe? Sure love my Grandma’s Zucchini Cookies.
So glad to have you also participate in this virtual dinner and amazing cocoa fudge cake. Enjoy the end of the season!
One of our progressive dinners was a Mad Men theme, boy I could have used this cookbook back then! None-the-less I would love it now because those retro recipes bring back such fond memories.
This looks like the perfect any time cake.
What a beautiful cake! I have fond memories of those old-fashioned cakes my mom used to make, and yours looks so much like that style.
This cake is perfect. Just what I like for chocolate cake, nothing too fancy. My mom makes an old school tater tot casserole I inherited. If I told her it was retro I am not sure if she would be proud or offended.
I love television and literary inspired dishes. I’m not nearly caught up on Mad Men (there are so many seasons), but I could totally celebrate it’s return with this cake. 😀
So perfectly frosted!
When I make Sweet and Sour Chicken/Pork I use an old recipe from the 50’s from Better Homes and Gardens:@) Your cake looks really good… sharing the recipe?
Have a great week Liz!
Hello Liz! I love The Original Frosted Ronrico West Indies. I found it on a web 2 years ago and keep preparing it once in a while!
Now I’m craving for a slice of this ! Looks gorgeous Liz !