Chocolate fudge cake

With lockdown in full swing, many of us will be filling our time with watching the latest blockbuster releases and getting nostalgic with our favourite movies. For me it’s the latter, passing time with movies of my childhood including Matilda which has left me with a taste for chocolate cake.

It’s a film I can quite happily quote word for word but something I’ve not been able to mimic is Bruce Bogtrotter’s nemesis, the towering chocolate cake (video refresher here). No matter what recipe I try, my chocolate cakes always end up dry and come nowhere near the glistening cake packed with fudgy texture that’s conquered by Brucey – until now. 

I’ve played around with this recipe where the cake mix uses no egg, milk or butter and produces a cake that is light yet moist and add a shimmering icing glaze to the top and you have a wow factor indeed. My cake might not come close to mirroring the Matilda cake, but it’s certainly satisfies my craving.


What you need: 

For the cake: 

  • 185g plain flour
  • 195g caster sugar 
  • 35g cocoa powder (recommend going for a dark cocoa powder rather than milk chocolate, this will give deeper taste)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tbs malt vinegar (yes you read that right)

For the icing: 

  • 220g icing sugar70g butter
  • 4 tbs cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to make: 

  1. Grease a 20cm circular tin with butter and preheat your fan oven to 175°C or gas mark 5.
  2. Add flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt to a large bowl and mix. 
  3. Make a well in the middle of the powder mix and add the water, oil and vinegar then mix together using an electric mixer or whisk. 
  4. Mix until you’re left with a smooth, thick batter and empty into the baking tin. 
  5. Once the oven is preheated, add the tin to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. 
  6. After 30 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and prick through the centre to test if it’s cooked. If the knife comes out clean, you’re good to go – if not, place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Place on a wire frame and leave to cool for 30 to 40 minutes. 

For the icing: 

  1. Add the butter and cocoa powder to a bowl and place in the microwave for 20 seconds. Remove and mix together to make a paste. 
  2. Sieve the icing sugar into the cocoa paste, add the vanilla extract, milk and mix thoroughly until smooth. 
  3. Pour over the cake and add sprinkles for a nice finishing touch. 

Storing: 

If you have a bit of self control to not devour the whole cake in one go, this cake freezes well. Best thing to do is cut into sections and place all in a container (separating each slice with some baking paper) or wrap individually in clingfilm. 

You might find you have some extra icing left over too, you can freeze this as well. When you defrost you might need to add a tsp of warm water and microwave to loosen the mix. 

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