Family Chocolate Cake…with Fudge Icing

I’ve been promising our younger son that I would bake a classic chocolate cake one of these days…

My version was closely adapted from the original Family Chocolate Cake recipe from the BAKE & decorate cookbook by Fiona Cairns. 

BAKE & decorate Cookbook

Ingredients (All ingredients are organic, unless otherwise noted):

For the cake…

  • 3½ oz 50-60% cacao semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⅓ cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup buttermilk (I substituted the buttermilk with Winterhill’s Award-Winning Shakespeare Acres COOC Certified Olive Oil)

For the fudge icing…

  • 3 oz semisweet 50-60% cacao chocolate (can use up to 72% cacao if you prefer), chopped (I used Ghirardelli’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips)
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. golden syrup (Lyle’s Golden Syrup is what we would use in the States)
  • 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Adding Heavy Cream brown sugar & syrup Mix the Whip measuring the pans

Flat Tops out of the oven


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (I used an organic olive oil cooking spray to grease the pans)
  2. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour in 6 tablespoons boiling water.  Stir until melted; set aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; stir in the almond flour.  In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with an electric hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (this will take a good 5 minutes).  Add the vanilla extract to the eggs.  With the whisk running, very slowly add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tablespoon of the flour during the process to prevent curdling; add the melted chocolate and the buttermilk (or if you choose to, olive oil).
  4. Fold in the remaining flour very gently.  Divide the mixture between the pans. (As pictured, use a toothpick to measure if each pan is even).  Bake for up to 35 minutes (I live in a higher elevation so it only took approximately 18 minutes), or until firm to the touch.  Let cakes rest for 1 or 2 minutes in the pans before turning out onto cooling racks.  Remove the papers (if used), and leave until absolutely cold.

For the icing…

1st Half of Cake L1110895

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat; stir in the syrup and sugar.  Gradually pour in the cream until all is well blended and smooth.  Let cool completely; whisk until it thickens.
  3. Spread half on the base of one cake.  Sandwich the two cakes, bases together; spread the remaining icing on top.

Made With Love

Grace Notes:

To decorate refer to the BAKE & decorate cookbook for these fabulous themed ideas! : page 96 for “Sweet Shop”; page 119 for “Party Cake with Streamers”, etc.

“The Cooking Apprentice” customized – Spoon Bookmark by For Such A Time Designs

Made With Love – Hand Stamped Fork – Mason Jar of Hearts by For Such A Time Designs