Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake @createdbydiane

Dark Chocolate, it doesn’t get much better than this! I remember being a kid and getting one of those small dark chocolate bars out of a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures, they were the BEST. I always wished there were more in the bag and well, I really wished they sold a whole bag FULL of the Special Dark Chocolates really. I’m not alone, you liked them too? Right?

Well, nowadays dark chocolate is more common, so for anyone younger than me. You may not even know what I’m talking about. I came upon Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder a while ago and have used it in many recipes, but this is one I will not be forgetting anytime soon. It was the PERFECT chocolate for this cake in my opinion, and the opinions of everyone who had a piece of this really chocolaty cake.

Chocolate Fudge Cake.jpg

Now that I’ve mentioned how to make Hot Fudge Sauce here you’ll need more than ice cream to pour it on. Right? This Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake is just the thing you need. Trust me. It’s dark chocolate cake with fudge between each layer, wrapped in Coffee Italian Buttercream Frosting and then you guessed it, more fudge poured over the top. Oh yeah, It’s OVER the TOP!

My husband has claimed this….absolute favorite! My kids couldn’t wait to have a second piece. It really was so rich and delicious, like a chocolate overload…in a GOOD way. I wanted the fudge to drip over the sides, but I really didn’t want it to pour all the way down the cake and land at the bottom, so I melted some and left some at room temperature, the combination was perfect to work with and really so easy and only took a couple minutes to finish up.

fudge on top of cake

Layering the fudge in between the cake layers instead of frosting I think was my favorite part. I couldn’t wait to cut into this cake!

Instant coffee mixing into Italian Buttercream Frosting

This is the strainer I pressed the instant coffee through so it was powder fine.

crumb coat on cake

I crumb coated the cake and put it into the fridge to set up and get ready for the outside coat.

frosting on the cake

When frosting a cake make sure you have plenty of frosting, there is nothing worse that running out of frosting before you cake is done, trust me.

frosting a cake

I smoothed the frosting with an offset spatula.

pouring fudge on cake

then poured the fudge on top.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake .jpg

Oh yes, see nice and dark! But really this photo is showing the cake a little lighter than it really is…..just wait until the next photo

Inside of Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake.jpg

See that is exactly how dark the cake is….think “Special Dark” yep that is the secret ingredient. Some photos look lighter straight out of the camera, I took these photos at night and I’m sure I was in a bit of a hurry to get the pieces of cake onto the plates. No one wanted to wait until I took photos….they wanted CAKE! I couldn’t blame them, so I took these really quickly. I’m just lucky I remembered to take photos of the inside at all, sometimes I forget.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake


  • 1 cup unsweetened Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • additional ingredients for fudge filling and frosting are needed


  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • In a medium bowl combine cocoa with water mixing with wire whisk until smooth.
  • Cool completely.
  • Whisk flour with baking soda, salt, and baking powder so there are no lumps.
  • In large bowl beat on high, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light about 5 minutes.
  • On low speed beat in flour mixture and cocoa mixture.
  • Do not over beat.
  • Prepare 3 8" baking pans with parchment on the bottom and baking spray on the sides for easy removal of cake after it's baked.
  • Divide the batter evenly in the 3 pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool cake in the pan, then turn the cake out on a cooling rack to be sure they are completely cooled. I refrigerate or freeze my cake so it's cold when the frosting goes on and the layers are easy to handle. It also seems to help that the cake stays moister if I freeze them. A couple hours or overnight.
  • I wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and unwrap them when I take the out of freezer and in about 10 minutes begin assembling the cake.
  • Baking strips around the outside of the cake pans REALLY helps the cakes bake evenly. Trust me, I do not like to level cakes, and they are a life saver. If you don't have them, wet towel strips and pin them around the edge of the pans so the batter bakes evenly.
  • Place 3/4 cup in between each cake layer and smooth almost to the edge.
  • Add a tablespoon of instant coffee, ground fine (I press the coffee with a spoon into a strainer until it's a powder) to the frosting along with 1 cocoa.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting over cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes then frost with remaining frosting.
  • Drizzle hot fudge over the cake and spread with an offset spatula on top.
  • Place cake into the fridge to chill the fudge so it doesn't drip down totally.
  • Remove cake an hour before serving.


chocolate a delicious cure for a bad day createdbydiane.com


slice of Dark Chocolate Fudge 3 layer Cake.jpg




Yeah, you really can’t go wrong with dark chocolate, can you? I added coffee to the frosting as requested from the birthday girl, it really did give it a deliciously rich taste that everyone loved.

dark chocolate fudge cake @createdbydiane


  1. Beautiful! However, in the instructions cinnamon and coffee are mentioned, but I don’t see those in the ingredients list. Am I missing something?

    1. oops sorry about that my error. This cake doesn’t call for it. I accidentally cut and pasted a portion from my previous recipe and forgot to omit that portion. That is what I get for typing TOO late at night. I should proof read better 🙂

  2. Diane, this cake looks so lucious!! Thanks for sharing! I agree with you regarding the baking strips, they have saved me many times.

  3. You could definitely see your skills within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  4. Hello Diane,

    This cake looks scrumptious! I want to make this cake for a friend who is gluten intolerant. What gluten free flour can I substitute for the flour in the recipe? Can I use rice flour?

    Many thanks!


    1. I know that there is gluten free flour (specifically King Arthur makes one) I am not sure if the other ingredients are gluten free or not, so I would check with you friend to be sure the other ingredients are ok.

  5. The cake looks absolutely delicious. I am going to try it out. Just one question, Step #17 “tablespoon instant coffee, ground fine. I press the coffee with a spoon into a strainer until it’s a powder.” I don’t see it on the list of ingredients nor do I have any clue where it supposed to go on the cake. Thank in advance!

    1. I added instant coffee to the frosting. One tablespoon, sorry it wasn’t more clear in the instructions. (There is a photo) If you don’t prefer coffee flavor, add a tablespoon of cocoa to the frosting if you want it brown. I made this frosting and sometimes add both or one of the other. All depends on who likes what and for whom I’m making the cake. So if you want the frosting to have a rich chocolate and coffee taste, like mocha, then add a tablespoon of each to the frosting. Adjust the flavor by adding more if you want the bring out more of one flavor than the other.

    2. Thank you much for the prompt reply. The idea of a more mocha flavor is intriguing. I have used 1/8 to 1/4 tsp espresso powder from King Author’s to enrich the depth of flavor in dark chocolate recipes, especially in cake.

      Thanks Again,

  6. I know that there is gluten free flour (specifically King Arthur makes one) I am not sure if the other ingredients are gluten free or not, so I would check with you friend to be sure the other ingredients are ok.

  7. Hi Diane,
    Because of my fear of disappointment, I halved your chocolate fudge sauce recipe and I absolutely fell in love with it…. so rich and creamy…. the best I have ever made and tested…. this recipe is to keep for sure… thank you so much… 🙂 keep it up….

  8. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it! Just one question. When you say flour, are you referring to cake flour or all purpose flour?

    1. This recipes uses all purpose flour. In all my recipes flour refers to all-purpose flour, if I use an alternative flour I name that flour.

  9. Why on earth would you make such a beautiful cake and use such awful cocoa – Hershey’s. NEVER in a million years. If yu used better quality cocoa/chocolate you’d be surprised at how much better your cake will taste.

    1. I use all types of chocolate, Hershey’s Special Dark happened to be at the time my kids favorite chocolate which is why I chose to use it in this recipe. My readers want to know exactly what I use in recipes and I try to add as many specifics as I can, if you don’t prefer an ingredient such as the cocoa powder I use in a recipe, of course, feel free to use your favorite.

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