RECIPE: Chocolate fudge birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now officially 38 years old. I had a really lovely day and was showered with gifts, cards, messages and attention. A writer friend of mine even wrote me a poem. I felt extremely loved and very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. I have made some great friends at work so I decided to bake a cake that would be big enough to share with them but also for us to have at home. With that in mind I made this chocolate fudge tray bake, which is perfect for big birthday celebrations.

Chocolate fudge birthday cake

Adapted from Jane’s Patisserie

For the cake

250g dark chocolate
250g butter
1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 125ml boiling water
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250g caster sugar
250g light brown sugar
4 large eggs
100ml buttermilk

For the icing

250g butter at room temperature
500g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder
125ml evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate sprinkles and decorations of your choice

To make the cake

Preheat your oven to 160 C and grease and line a 9″x13″ cake or roasting tin. I used a roasting tin.

Melt together the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. I do it in the microwave one minute at a time, stirring after each minute. It takes about 5 minutes. Add the coffee mixture and stir to mix well. You won’t taste the actual coffee flavour in the cake. It just enhances the overall flavour.

In a separate large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. I suggest sieving them as both the cocoa and light brown sugar can tend towards going lumpy.

Beat together the eggs and buttermilk.

Add the chocolate mixture and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of your oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning it out. This cake is dense, soft and fudgy and therefore fairly delicate. Be careful when handling it because its lovely texture does mean it can be a little prone to breaking if you are not gentle with it.

To make the icing

Beat the butter with an electric mixer/beat until really soft. About 2 minutes. Sieve together the icing sugar and cocoa and add this mixture to the butter alternating with the evaporated milk until combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. About two minutes.

Spread the icing over the cake and decorate with sprinkles.

Serves about 24.



  1. Happy Birthday for yesterday, Abbi. I can hardly remember what 38 felt like! šŸ™‚
    the cake looks delicious, and I am sure it was.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thank you! I think age is so relative. When I was 20, 38 seemed ancient but I still don’t even feel like a proper grown-up.

      The cake got good reviews from everyone who tried it!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! The chocolate cake looks decadent. 38 is a great age. You are still beautiful and have energy combined with wisdom and accomplishments.

    1. Thank you! I am happy to be 38. I stopped really stressing about the number when I turned 30.

  3. What a great cake. How nice about the poem. I’m glad you had such a great day.

  4. MIB

    Belated Happy Birthday! šŸ™‚

  5. Happy belated birthday. Hope it was a very nice one.

  6. Hope you enjoyed your birthday! This cake looks soooo delicious!

    1. I had a lovely day and the cake was super popular!

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