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Food & Recipes

Our Test Kitchen Director’s Favorite Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe — Plus 7 Bonus Desserts You’ll Love  

We've even got dairy-free and flourless options so everyone can indulge!

Calling all chocolate lovers! If you’re like us, you know nothing beats a slice of fudgy chocolate cake to satisfy a sweet tooth. And while we’re big fans of shortcut mixes in the Woman’s World test kitchen, sometimes we just want to indulge in a decadent from-scratch treat. That’s why we gathered our best-ever chocolate fudge cake recipe, along with delicious variations that are super-easy to put together. And best of all, knowing that your chocolaty baked good is home-made somehow makes it taste even richer!

Our best chocolate fudge cake recipe

We make a lot of cakes in the Woman’s World kitchens, and whenever we’re looking for something super chocolaty and fudgy, this is the basic recipe our test kitchen director, Susan Chiusano, returns to again and again:

From-Scratch Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe, sits on a pink table cloth
Alexandra Grablewski/Getty


  • 2½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups hot water (120°F–130°F)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 (9”) cake pans with cooking spray. In bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Stir in oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk in hot water. Divide batter between pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 min. Cool 10 min.; transfer from pans to rack. Cool completely. Frost as desired.

Easy upgrade ideas

“Once you have a basic chocolate fudge cake recipe, it’s easy to customize and make it your own,” says Susan. “For extra richness, once you have your batter mixed, stir in ½ cup chopped dark chocolate.”

She also says that zingy orange perfectly complements dark chocolate so you can even stir in a teaspoon or two of grated orange zest. Some of her other favorite additions: ½ cup chopped toasted nuts, 2 Tbs. chopped coconut or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. And for a delicious topping, click through to learn how to make the easiest-ever dulce de leche.

And here’s a real insider trick: Susan notes that while cooking spray will work to coat the pans in the basic recipe, once you start adding things like chocolate chips, it’s best to use baking spray with flour to prevent sticking.

7 chocolate fudge cake recipes you’ll love

Ready to whip up a from-scratch chocolate fudge cake recipe? Keep scrolling to find a few decadently easy confections from the Woman’s World test kitchen.

 1. Raspberry Chocolate Bundt Cake

Raspberry Chocolate Bundt Cake sits on a purple table cloth
Food & Photo

Dark brown sugar and buttermilk stirred into the batter ensure this beauty is extra-irresistible.

2. Berry Chocolate Bliss Cake

Berry Chocolate Bliss sits by the window wanting to be eaten
Are Media

Avocados and dates are the secret to the deliciously fudgy frosting on our dairy-free delight.

3. Raspberries ‘n’ Cream Chocolate Cake

Raspberries ‘n’ Cream Chocolate Cake sits on a white table cloth
Are Media

Our from-scratch fudgy frosting is so rich and decadent, no one will guess it comes together in a snap.

4. Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake

Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake sits on a table by some milk
Food & Photo

We drizzled our sweet treat with easy-prep ganache and caramel for a simple yet elegant finish.

5. Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake sits on a pink cake stand
Are Media

Rich Nutella flavors this decadent delight that’s topped with sweet raspberry jam, fluffy meringue and a drizzle of dark chocolate.

6. Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Fudgy Chocolate Cake sits on a green table cloth
Food & Photo

This flourless showstopper, drizzled with a 2-ingredient ganache, is sure to delight from first sight to last bite.

7. Double Chocolate Orange Bundt

Double Chocolate Orange Bundt
Food & Photo

Thanks to a hint of citrus peel stirred into the batter, this stunner bakes up extra moist and flavorful.

Can’t get enough chocolate? Check out these links below:

Make Chocolate Mousse With Just Two Ingredients (And One of Them Is Free)

Chocolate-Cherry Brownies Are Fruity, Fudgy and So Fabulous — 5 Recipes Sure To Wow

This Nutty White Chocolate Cherry ‘Nice Cream’ Recipe Is Bound to Become a Mid-Week Favorite

Pro Baker’s Secret to Best-Ever Chocolate Cookies: Just Add a Little Coffee to the Batter

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