Cake lovers, Chocolate lovers and Chocoholics unite! This Semi Scratch Chocolate Fudge Cake has been a long time in the making and I'm so excited to be posting this today! A decadent chocolate cake is something I've been after for years. And that's exactly what this cake is: decadent.
What's in a name:
Why is it called semi scratch? Because we're using cake mix to make this glorious cake. Cake mix? Yes, so much yes to cake mix! Using cake mix AND instant pudding mix for the bases of your cake gives you the most moist, tender & fluffiest cake crumb. I know as a food blogger we're held to high expectations of making things from scratch, having all these hidden secrets to making recipes top-notch but I'm going to be real with you. I freaking love using cake mix. It takes the stress out of baking, especially when what you're really after is just an awesome cake. We'll be adding extra ingredients to the cake mix to elevate it and take it to the next level while keeping it easy peasy.
So where does the "scratch" part come in? The frosting. This chocolate fudge frosting has been my white whale for the last couple of years, except I finally got it. I was looking for a chocolate frosting that wasn't as fluffy as buttercream and rich like a "fudge" type of rich. This frosting is completely from scratch but it's so easy. You'll never want another chocolate frosting again. I give credit to the melted chocolate and espresso powder. Those are the two key players for flavor and texture in this frosting.
I'll tell you why you need this cake in your dessert arsenal. It's perfect for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, break ups, bad days, rainy days and for Netflix binge watching - so basically you have no excuse not to make this! It's so too good AND too easy to pass up!
Semi Scratch Chocolate Fudge Cake
For the Cake:
- 15.25 ounce chocolate cake mix
- 3.4 ounce chocolate instant pudding mix not cook & serve
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- ½ cup warm water
For the Frosting:
- 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 and ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or according to package instructions). Generously spray (2) 9 inch round cake pans with non stick spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the warm water and espresso powder and mix it together. In a separate large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix, give the dry ingredients a quick whisk to mix them together. Add in the sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the ingredients together on medium speed, slowly adding in the water and espresso powder mixture. Continue beating until batter is thoroughly combined and smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before removing it from the pan, then once transferred to a wire rack or a plate, allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the Frosting: In a small bowl combine the warm water and espresso powder and mix to combine. set aside. Pour the chocolate chips into a separate, heat safe bowl and melt in the microwave. I usually heat it for 30 to 45 seconds the first time, take them out and give them a quick stir and then heat them again for about 20 to 30 seconds and stir again. Repeat these steps until chocolate chips are completely melted and smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add in the powdered sugar & cocoa powder and beat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour in the water and espresso mixer and continue mixing until combined. Add in the melted chocolate and beat just until combined, do not over mix. Frosting will be thick but not necessarily fluffy. This is more of a "fudge like" texture.* Frost the cake layers to your preference.