This rich Chocolate Fudge Cake with pecans is a cross between a fudge brownie and a moist chocolate cake. This Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe is made with simple ingredients and it’s perfect with powdered sugar, frosting, or a scoop of ice cream on top.
Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe
I firmly believe that there are moments where nothing in the world can cure a problem like chocolate can.
There are certain situations and moments when chocolate and only chocolate will do and this is the best chocolate cake recipe for those moments because it’s a sheet pan chocolate cake that comes together quickly so you can satisfy those chocolate cravings stat.
This Best Chocolate Fudge Cake with toasted pecans is ridiculously fudgy chocolate cake that’s somewhere between a chewy fudge brownie and a moist chocolate cake, and the best part? It’s a one bowl chocolate cake recipe!
Made with both cocoa powder and melted chocolate, this double chocolate fudge cake is a chocolate lovers dream dessert that is full of chocolate flavor. While I love topping this easy fudge cake recipe with powdered sugar, you can easily top with chocolate fudge icing, buttercream frosting, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.
What Makes This The Best Fudge Cake Recipe:
- Cake Texture: The texture of this Chocolate Fudge Cake is like if a fudge brownie and a really moist chocolate cake had a baby. It’s part chocolate cake, part chocolate brownie, and it’s perfect. It’s a little more cakey than a fudge brownie, but it’s denser than a piece of chocolate cake. It’s made with butter rather than canola oil (or vegetable oil), which gives it a very fudgy texture (as well as giving it more flavor).
- Chocolate Cake Ingredients: Part of the reason I think this is one of the best moist chocolate cake recipes is because it’s a one bowl recipe made with easy ingredients like cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips (or semi-sweet chocolate bars), butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. It makes for such a rich chocolate cake recipe.
- Versatile: And, the best part? This fudge cake is a very versatile recipe. You can use semi-sweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, dark chocolate, or even milk chocolate. You can substitute walnuts for pecans, or you can omit the nuts altogether. Top with ganache, powdered sugar, chocolate frosting, etc.
- Easy: This is a one bowl cake recipe and you only need a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix the cake ingredients together (no need to pull out the stand mixer or electric mixer).
Easy Fudge Cake Ingredients:
- Unsalted Butter: I typically always choose unsalted butter because I have more control of the salt content in my baked goods.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate: I love the flavor of semi-sweet chocolate, and I think it is the perfect choice for this chocolate fudge cake (it’s not too rich, but it’s not too sweet). But, you can use dark chocolate or bittersweet for a richer flavor, or you can use milk chocolate for a sweeter flavor.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- All Purpose Flour
- Espresso Powder: This is an optional ingredient, but the espresso enhances the flavor of the cake without adding any coffee flavor. I prefer espresso powder to instant coffee, because espresso powder has a milder flavor.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: There is no leavening agent in this recipe (leavening agent = baking soda or baking powder), so you can use natural cocoa powder or dutch process cocoa powder (whatever you have on hand). The lack of a leavening agent is part of the reason why the texture resembles a brownie.
- Vanilla Extract
- Pecans: You can omit the nuts if you prefer, or you can substitute with macadamia nuts, walnuts, etc.
- Powdered Sugar
How To Make This Fudge Chocolate Cake From Scratch:
This is a brief overview of how to make this chocolate fudge cake. The full details are in a printable recipe card down below!
- Nuts: First and foremost, if you’re making this chocolate cake with nuts, toast them in the oven or in a small saucepan over medium heat. It brings out the flavor of the nuts!
- Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, melt chocolate and butter together. Once you have melted butter and chocolate together, add in granulated sugar and brown sugar to the butter mixture. Whisk until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Dry Ingredients: Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt.
- Vanilla: Add in the vanilla extract, and whisk until combined.
- Nuts: Lastly, add in the nuts and mix until combined.
- Bake: Pour the chocolate cake batter into a cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the cake comes out clean with a few moist crumbs stuck to it, and let the cake cool at least 45-60 minutes before serving.
- Pro Tip: This is a chocolate sheet cake made in a 9×9 baking pan. If you want the cake to be thicker, use an 8×8 pan. You can also double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 baking dish. Lastly, you can use a circular pan as well. However, this is not a chocolate layer cake recipe. Because it’s part brownie, it’s a heavy chocolate cake and would not layer well.
- Toppings: Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder on top of the cake, or top with a buttercream frosting, ganache, etc. Place on a serving plate and enjoy!
*You’ll notice there is no leavening in this cake (i.e., baking powder or baking soda), which is why it is such a fudge-like cake.
- This fudge cake stores really well at both room temperature and in the fridge.
- If you store at room temperature, make sure it’s stored in an airtight container (like Tupperware, a cake stand with a lid, with plastic wrap, etc.).
- Or, you can store, in an airtight container, in the fridge. The cake will be a bit denser once it’s stored in the fridge. You can eat it cold, or if you’re making ahead of time and storing in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before serving (and dust with powdered sugar when it’s at room temperature).
My Other Favorite Chocolate Recipes:
- Mocha Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies
- Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins
- Chocolate Pound Cake
- Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Other Topping Recipes:
- Caramel Whipped Cream: Add whipped cream to each slice before serving!
- Chocolate Ganache: Use the ganache recipe here to pour on top of the fudge chocolate cake while it’s cooling. Let the ganache set completely before cutting into the cake.
- Chocolate Frosting: This is my favorite chocolate frosting recipe! Spread it on top of the fudge cake after it has cooled.
- Strawberry Frosting: This homemade strawberry buttercream would pair perfectly with the rich cake.
Easy Chocolate Cake Tips & Tricks:
- Toast Nuts: One of the best tips I can give you is to toast the nuts before you add them to this cake. Toasting the nuts transforms the flavors of the nuts, as it really brings out the oils and flavors.
- Chocolate: You can use a variety of chocolate in this recipe. I suggest using semi-sweet for the perfect blend of sweet and rich, but if you really like an intensely rich flavor, you can use dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate.
- Toppings: Powdered sugar is a simple way to elegantly dress up this fudge cake, but you could definitely fancy it up even more with ganache, frosting, caramel sauce, etc.
- Parchment Paper: I highly suggest using parchment paper or non-stick foil to line your baking pan. Then you can just lift the cake from the pan and cut into squares. Very easy with very easy clean up.
- Fudge: There is no leavening in this cake recipe (no baking powder or baking soda), which is why the texture is so fudgy and dense.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans in a single layer. Toast them in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until you smell them getting nice and nutty (keep an eye on them, because they can burn quickly). Allow to cool, then chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- Line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper (or grease it well). Set aside.
- Melt the unsalted butter and semi-sweet chocolate together until combined. (You can do this on the stove or in the microwave.)
- Add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar, and mix until combined. Allow the mixture to cool about 10 minutes.
- Next, add in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk well after each addition.
- Add in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Lastly, add in the toasted pecans, and mix until combined.
- Pour the chocolate fudge cake batter into the prepared baking dish and bake at 300 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean (a few fudgy crumbs stuck to the cake tester is fine).
- Allow to cool at least 45-60 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder, if desired.
Here are some other favorite recipes:
Originally posted 2022. Updated 2024.