Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake
Serves 12
If you like chocolate, this will give you the fix!
  1. Cake
  2. 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
  3. 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  4. 2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) Instant ClearJel® or cornstarch
  5. 3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 4 large eggs
  11. 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) vegetable oil
  12. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  13. 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) water
  14. Filling
  15. 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  16. 6 ounces cream (light, whipping, or heavy) or milk, or a combination*
  17. flavors of your choice (see filling directions below)
  18. Icing
  19. 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  20. 4 ounces cream (light, whipping, or heavy)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour (or grease, then line with parchment, then grease again) two 8" x 2" round cake pans. Note: These pans need to be at least 2" tall; if you have non-standard, shorter 8" pans, substitute 9" round pans.
  2. To make the cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Gradually add the water, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake the cakes for 35 to 38 minutes (a bit less if you use a 9" pan), or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
  4. To make the filling: Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the cream is very hot, and the chocolate very soft. Stir to melt the chocolate completely, reheating very briefly if necessary.
  5. Now you have a choice. You may either flavor the filling all one flavor, or use a different flavor for each layer of filling. For all one flavor, use 3 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur–Frangelico (hazelnut), Kahlua (coffee), or Framboise (raspberry) are all good choices. Or try 2 tablespoons rum. Alternatively, add 1 tablespoon espresso powder; or flavor to taste with a bottled extract (coconut, peppermint, cherry, almond…)