One Layer Fudge Cake #GalentinesDayParty

If you happen to be looking for an easy, decadent chocolate dessert, this One Layer Fudge Cake will fit the bill! Plus, it’s perfect when you need a smaller dessert.
One Layer Fudge Cake | Rich, delectable and perfect when you don't need to feed a crowd!

One Layer Fudge Cake

A chocolate cake is pretty much a given on December 27. That’s the date of my oldest’s birthday.  Any other day of the year a luscious Chocolate Lasagna would make the family swoon, but for a birthday, it must be cake.  It doesn’t matter that we still had 3/4 a chocolate mousse torte in the fridge. We had to honor the kid who drew the short straw as far as birthdays are concerned. It’s difficult when your special day is so close to Christmas. Mom is tired of cooking, mom is tired of shopping. There may have been some IOU’s this time around.  But I did make certain there was a chocolate cake.

This year, a One Layer Fudge Cake was selected for the celebration. When I showed him this photo on the Fine Cooking website, he quickly agreed with my choice. You cannot go wrong with an Alice Medrich recipe when it comes to chocolate desserts. But besides birthdays, this cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Or if you’re celebrating with your favorite girlfirends, “Galentine’s Day.”

One Layer Fudge Cake | Rich, delectable and perfect when you don't need to feed a crowd!

Easy and Decadent

Dense and moist with a glossy coat of ganache, this One Layer Fudge Cake was so easy to put together. No worries of lining up layers, piping decorations or fiddling with leveling. Bake, cool and coat. It was as simple as that. And it was as superb in taste as it was a breeze in assembling. You’ll definitely want to whip this one up for the chocoholic in your life. We sent the leftovers home with Tom. I’m certain he and his roommates finished it for breakfast. That’s a birthday boy’s prerogative.

Galentine’s Day

A group of my blogger girlfriends are sharing some of their favorite recipes for a “Galentine’s Day Party.”  A big thanks to my lovely friend, Courtney, of NeighborFood, for gathering us gals together for this Valentine’s Day bash. Be sure to check out all the delectable offerings:

Galentine’s Day Drinks

Blood Orange Bourbon Fizz with Fried Sage from Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Martini from Shanna of Pineapple and Coconut

Ladies’ Night Rum Punch from Lindsay of The Live In Kitchen

Galentine’s Day Brunch

Sweet Potato Cornmeal Waffles with Bourbon Cream and Pecan Butter from Susan of Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Chocolate Dipped Donuts from Angie of Big Bear’s Wife

Lemon and Ginger Scones from Lauren of Healthy. Delicious.

Galentine’s Day Desserts

Piña Colada Cupcakes from Courtney of Neighborfood

Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars from Marly of Namely Marly

Banana Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting from Nancy of Gotta Get Baked

One Layer Fudge Cake from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Double Strawberry Angel Food Cake with Whipped Vanilla Creme Fraiche from Cynthia of Two Red Bowls

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream with Candied Bacon Bits from Steph of Girl Versus Dough

Fruity Dessert Pizza from Morgan of Peaches Please

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!) from Karen of The Food Charlatan

DIY Cheesecake Parfait Bar from Heather of Heather’s Dish

One Layer Fudge Cake | Rich, delectable and perfect when you don't need to feed a crowd!

More Chocolate Cake Recipes You’ll Love:

Used in This Recipe:

One Layer Fudge Cake

Serves 8-10 servings     adjust servings

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr

A smaller version of the perfect chocolate cake!


For Ganache

  • 8-12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (some have found the ganache is too runny unless you add the larger amount of chocolate)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For Cake and Assembling

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces(1/2 cup) butter, melted and warm
  • 1-1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup warm ganache (listed above)


  1. Make ganache. Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a saucepan or via the microwave, heat cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add sugar and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan or line it with parchment.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Sift the cocoa into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon. 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.
  5. Pour the hot water over the batter; stir just until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake about 35 to 40 minutes or till toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of cake and remove from pan to finish cooling on the rack, removing parchment if used.
  7. Once cool, set the rack over a baking sheet or foil. Pour the warm ganache over the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides. Let set for about an hour before serving.


Recipe Notes

Adapted from Fine Cooking. Recipe from Alice Medrich

You may find you have extra ganache. I love to make sandwich cookies with two chocolate chip cookies and a thick layer of ganache as the filling.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 712kcal Calories from fat 379
% Daily Value
Total Fat 42g 65%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 267mg 11%
Carbohydrate 88g 29%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 68g
Protein 6g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
Did you make this recipe?
Leave review!


  1. Such a gorgeous cake, I love the fudgy ganache topping!

  2. Can’t be too much of chocolate cake!

  3. This sounds great Liz! I like one layer cakes, they make less temptation:@)

  4. Anything that can be described as having a “glossy coat of ganache” is okay in my book, Liz! This looks so rich and glass-of-milk-necessary. Yum. Happy Galentine’s Day!

  5. wow, pretty damn beautifull fidge cake,
    lovin the shiny ganache too!!!

  6. I die. I mean really – you can’t go wrong with a fudge cake!

  7. You’re a good mom! Lol

    LOOOVE the decadent chocolatey goodness–and that it’s only one layer! Hooray for simplicity!

  8. This is gorgeous Liz. I love the simplicity of ganache frosting. It always looks lovely but is so easy to make and assemble. This would be dangerous at our house! Thanks so much for joining the party today!

  9. This looks fantastic and a perfect way to celebrate Galentine’s Day! So glad we’re in this even together!

  10. Chocolate cake belongs at every occasion! This looks great!

  11. Aww, love the story behind this cake! It’s true, I had a good friend with a Dec 28 birthday and it was the pits for her. (Even my little brother gets the “Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!” twofer sometimes …. maybe sometimes from me ………. and his birthday’s at the end of January!) This looks like the perfect remedy for an overshadowed birthday. Thanks for posting this decadent cake!

  12. That one layer looks just good enough to eat! Oh, that ganache…and all that moist, chocolaty cake 🙂 ela

  13. This looks fantastic and a perfect way to celebrate Galentine’s Day! So glad we’re in this even together! goooooooo

  14. Wow look at that shiny cake, looks amazing. Ganache rules. So does a moist cake, a real winner. Happy Belated bday to your son.

  15. I love the look of that glossy ganache!

  16. “One Layer”…that’s my kind of cake (to make). My multi-layered cakes are ALWAYS lopsided. hahaha. Happy Galantine’s Day, Liz!

  17. Hey Liz, guess what.. I just baked it 🙂 its come out really well.. I will post the pictures soon in my blog. thanks for the wonderful recipe. its a perfect dessert for chocoholics!

  18. I am a sucker for delicious chocolate cake! This is gorgeous!

  19. I love simple desserts like this Liz. It’s looks elegant yet it sounds super easy to put together. Perfect in my book!

  20. stunning chocolate cake!!!! LOVE this. . I am drooling. . now I’m gonna have to go bake!

  21. This cake looks so soft and moist. Perfect for an afternoon tea. 🙂

  22. I have friends and family members whose birthdays fall on or around Christmas and I always feel bad for them to share their special day. You making this cake would make up for anything! It’s gorgeous, Liz. That glossy ganache layer is killing me! I’m so happy and grateful to have met and become friends with you. Happy Galentine’s Day, lady!

  23. That chocolate cake looks amazing! I love the ganache!!!

  24. Yes, i can attest to this cake because it is the one I call quick chocolate cake, that I posted for Zoe’s half marathon. I love this cake and everyone that has tasted it does, too. As for birthdays, mine is December 20th. My mother never made me a cake because my dad’s birthday is December 25th. Needless to say when my twins were growing up I made two cakes. Yes. I did.

  25. This is my kind of cake! No layers, easy to put together and simple to decorate. Plus I imagine it tastes fantastic too!

  26. As many time as I’ve made cakes, I’ve yet to make ganache. I really need to get on with that. That shiny coat looks perfect!

  27. Such a lovely chocolate cake Lizzy and yumm!!!!!
    Happy Valentine’s day dear!

  28. One layer of absolute heaven, bookmarked this cake 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  29. Oh, now this cake looks sensational, Liz! For just one layer, it’s so fluffy and moist. I want to cover it in raspberries and snag a big slice!

  30. Lizzy,
    I love your desserts. This cake looks delicious! The hubby always wants chocolate on chocolate cakes. I’m sure your son didn’t lose out on his Birthday with all the baking and cooking you do.

  31. This cake looks magnificent Liz! Chocolate cake is my favorite and this one looks so decadent and fudgy. I love the shiny ganache – it looks heavenly!

  32. I’ve been in a real chocolate mood lately and this is making me drool!!

  33. You are speaking my language, I have been craving Chocolate!
    This looks so super special!! YUM!
    Perfect for Valentine’s Day too

  34. That looks like perfection! I love Ganache frostings – perfect!

  35. I think you and your family love chocolate as much as I do. Another great cake recipe, Lizzy!

  36. That gorgeous glossy ganache icing over that fudgy cake would be enough to tell any birthday boy how much he’s loved.

  37. This cake is gorgeous — perfect for a Galentine’s Day party!

  38. This is perfect for Valentine’s Day and ANY DAY, Liz! If it’s chocolate, it’s just always perfect!


  39. Perfectly moist and chocolatey…and that thick layer of ganache coating looks unbelievably divine!

  40. I would love this cake for a birthday cake or Valentine’s Day. Looks yummy!!

  41. Decadently divine! I’d love a bite of this beauty…Undoubtedly your Valentine is very happy with this choice of cake.

  42. Hotly Spiced says:

    My oldest child was due on the 8th of January. Because I was so big I was worried I would have a baby born around Christmas but no, no need to worry, I had him induced 12 days after his due date (and I shouldn’t have done that – should have waited to go into labour naturally but that’s another story – I’ll spare you!) I do agree that a birthday on or around Christmas is difficult timing and I admire you for going to the effort. This cake looks super moist and delicious xx

  43. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    This is a great go-to recipe for a chocolate cake. I think I’ll bake it today for the kiddos and surprise them…it is quick and easy, which means faster chocolate craving pleasure!!! Beautiful ganache too, Lizzy! xx

  44. Love it, Liz: “bake, cool and coat”! Easy but stunning and a must have recipe to have up your sleeve. Absolute beauty. Have a glorious weekend xo

  45. There can never be too much chocolate cake… ever! 🙂 Looks like an amazing way to end a meal… or just a treat with a big glass of milk. 🙂

  46. Yum! A rich, delicious cake without the hastle of layers.

  47. What a wonderful birthday treat this cake would make, I am sure he was a very happy boy this cake looks amazing and so beautiful as well.

  48. Chocolaty perfection!

  49. Now that is some chocolate cake! Beautifully scrumptious!

  50. Nothing says Valentines Day like rich, decadent chocolate! Fantastic!

  51. Looks like one delicious cake! Perfect for Galentine’s Day!

  52. This cake is absolute perfection!

  53. I think this chocolate cake could solve all the world’s problems. Delicious and I pinned this as a recipe I want to try. Great post!

  54. This is so beautiful! You always make the best stuff.

  55. Pure
    Shame on you! xx

  56. If it’s an Alice Medrich recipe, it’s sure to be delicious! What a perfect way to make the birthday boy with a short straw feel special.

  57. the ganache looks perfect!

  58. Love the idea of a one-layer birthday cake. Looks just as impressive but with much less work. Wonderful!

  59. yum yum yum! gonna try it out…………. 🙂

  60. Bake, cool and coat are delicious words to live by!

  61. Oh my,…MMM, that looks delicious! 🙂

  62. Peggy Zortman says:

    I baked this cake last night for our daughter-in-love’s birthday. You are sheer genius! My husband said he thought it was the best chocolate cake I had ever baked. Thank you!

  63. fatima mj says:

    Can I skip baking soda? I am not allowed to use it for medical problem. Will it effect the taste of the cake if I dont use it

  64. This cake is perfect 🙂

  65. Victoria Olson says:

    I made this cake tonight. While making The ganache, I realized the proportions were WAY OFF. It is far too liquidy. Either an ingredient has been left out, such as a large quantity of confectioner sugar, or the amount of cream is not accurate. Is that the original post you please check the measurements and ingredients and or explain why the good Nash is liquid chocolate, it’s like soup. I made half the ganache recipe, and added a cup of confectioners’ sugar. I’m hoping that will help the glaze. Haven’t eaten the cake yet, tho it seems very promising.

    • I’m sorry the ganache didn’t work for you, Victoria. I checked back with Alice Medrich’s original recipe and the proportions are correct—so I’m not sure what happened as mine worked fine. Here’s a link to her ganache:

      P.S. I went back to read the reviews of her recipe and it looks like a couple others had the same problem. One upped the chocolate to 12 ounces. I hope the cake is still delicious!

  66. Dear Lizzy, what a beautiful and decadent dessert…perfect for any occasion. xoxo, Catherine

  67. Cynthia Nagel says:

    OK, made it to the letter the first time and it was great.
    Just made it it for the second time, substituting buttermilk for the water. I also used a full tsp of baking soda to compensate. The result: Super rich and flavorful!

  68. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  69. Salted or unsalted butter?

    • I always use salted butter unless noted otherwise. If you’d prefer to use unsalted butter, I’d add a touch more salt (slightly less than 1/2 teaspoon). Hope you enjoy!

  70. I made this as the dessert for our dinner party group and it was a hit. I used the full 12 ounces for the ganache and it had a perfect consistency. I topped it with some fresh raspberries. Yum Yum. Will make this one again, for sure!

  71. Karen L. says:

    I first made this for my grandson’s 15th birthday, since there were only 6 of us for the get-together. It is now a family favorite. I can’t imagine that I did anything wrong but I had way too much ganache. The next time, I made only half the ganache (using 6 oz of chocolate) and still had a bit too much. (It didn’t go to waste either time though – it makes wonderful ice cream topping). The next time, I may try cutting the cake in half and spreading a little buttercream frosting between layers as a little bonus.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Karen. I’m make a note of this in the recipe—as I recall using the leftovers to sandwich between chocolate chip cookies! Hope you have a terrific weekend!!


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