This recipe has been tried & tested by the masses. The cake is perfect for a celebration & can be made ahead of time & frozen. So simple to make, it’s as easy as melting butter, adding the rest of the ingredients, pouring into a pan & baking. The cake is moist with the consistency of a really good, basic chocolate cake but then it has this thick, fudgy icing that is good enough to eat on its own. Together they’re become chocolate cake heaven.Jump to Recipe
The fudge icing is thick & for me, it’s this icing that makes the cake. I’ve doubled the icing in the past. It’s worth it, especially if you want the sides covered – nice to do if you’re making this for a birthday & want to adhere berries, sweets or more chocolates to the sides. For this version I showed restraint, just made one quantity of icing & only covered the top, ensuring a nice, thick layer.
I first tried this recipe back in 1995 when I was working at the Australian Women’s Weekly in the test kitchen & studio. It was sent to the magazine as a reader’s favorite: each month we’d try recipes from our readers & we’d pick the best one – the recipe, called “Jackie’s Chocolate Cake” was our pick one month & the reader won a prize. Since then my family & I have made it numerous times. The recipe became so popular it made it into the ‘All-time Favourites’ cookbook published by the Women’s Weekly in 1997. My publication of the cookbook is dogeared & falling apart, the page with the chocolate cake is crusty & stained – just how good cookbooks should be.
I imagine I’m not the only person from those test kitchen days that still likes to bake the cake. And 24 years later I’m still making it. I’ve tweaked & altered the recipe a little over the years: more fudge icing; sour cream to ensure a moist crumb & to this version, I’ve added coffee.
My favorite way to enjoy this fabulous cake is with a dollop of cream. Ice cream works in a pinch, but unsweetened cream balances the sweetness of the cake. Give it a dust of cocoa for a little decoration or add some berries. Really, it needs nothing – it’s just perfect on its own.
So perfect in fact that it wasn’t able to live in my house a second longer than it had to once I’d taken its picture. I have little self control. So it was whisked away to a neighbor’s house for that family to enjoy – my hubby doesn’t eat chocolate or it’d gone to work with him. If you’ve got a birthday coming up, or any occasion, you have got to try this recipe. I’m certain it’ll become a family favorite of yours too.
If you’re wanting a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe then try this Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cake with similar fudge icing but no flour in the cake.
chocolate slab cake with fudge icing
- 2 cups strong black coffee (or water)
- 3 cups granulated sugar (white sugar)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces (250g)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda (soda bicarbonate)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups self-rising flour (self-raising flour)
- 1 stick butter, cut into pieces (125g)
- 1/2 cup strong black cold coffee (or water)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (white sugar)
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder plus extra for dusting, optional
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) deep, baking pan & line base & sides with parchment paper, bringing the paper up over the sides.
- Combine the coffee, sugar, butter, cocoa & baking soda in a large saucepan or pot. Stir over medium heat until the butter is melted & sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high & bring to a boil, taking care the mixture doesn’t boil over. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl (or you can mix it all up on one saucepan if it’s big enough to allow stirring & whisking) & let cool – about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Once the mixture is cooled, add the sour cream & eggs; whisk until well combined. Add the flour & whisk until there are no lumps. Pour the mixture into prepared pan & gently bang the pan on the counter to remove some of the large air bubbles. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake stand for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Or cool in the pan if time permits.
To make the icing:
- Combine the butter, coffee & sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Sift confectioner’s sugar & cocoa into the butter mixture. Use a whisk to remove any lumps. Pour into a bowl; cover & chill for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick & spreadable. If you make this ahead of time, leave out of the fridge for it to soften before you spread it on the cake, it needs to be a bit thicker than peanut butter.
- Spread the cold cake with the icing. Cuts into about 20 or so pieces.