Jo Pratt’s all-in-one chocolate fudge cake recipe

This is based on a recipe my grandma and my mum always used to make when we had a birthday to celebrate. It’s failsafe, super moist and lasts for days. The heavenly fudge frosting is silky smooth and stays that way once the cake is frosted, rather than setting over time. One tip I’ve learned for the lightest and smoothest end result, is to make sure your butter is really soft before making the frosting.

all-in-one chocolate fudge cake
Malou Burger

SERVES 10–12

250g plain flour
75g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
150g soft light brown sugar
225ml soured cream
225ml black coffee, hot
2 eggs, beaten
100ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

125g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), chopped
225g butter, softened
40g golden syrup
75g icing sugar
40g cocoa powder
100ml soured cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Your choice of sprinkles, fudge pieces or grated chocolate, to decorate

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush a deep 20cm cake tin with oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. To make the cake, sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Whisk together until you have a loose smooth batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes–1 hour until the cake is springy to touch and starts to come away from the sides of the tin. To be sure the cake is cooked through, you can insert a skewer into the centre and it should come out clean. It’s likely to rise more in the middle, which is fine as when you spread on the frosting this creates a domed effect.
  3. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  4. To make the frosting, place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water to slowly melt. Alternatively, gently melt in the microwave in 10-second bursts. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Beat the butter on a high speed until it’s really smooth and creamy. Add the golden syrup and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat for a few minutes until it’s really light and fluffy. Add the soured cream, vanilla and cooled melted chocolate and beat on a low speed until smooth and silky.
  6. Generously spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake and decorate with sprinkles, fudge pieces or grated chocolate – or simply leave plain, if you like.

Be flexible

DAIRY-FREE Swap the soured cream used in the cake and frosting for a plant-based natural yoghurt such as coconut or soya. Use a plant-based butter and dairy-free chocolate in the frosting.

FLAVOUR SWAP For a malted chocolate cake, swap 25g cocoa powder for 25g malted milk powder.

Now buy the book

The Flexible Baker
Our recipes are from The Flexible Baker by Jo Pratt, published by White Lion, price £20. To order a copy for £17 until 20 March, go to or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.