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Single Layer Fudgy Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Allison Ferraro
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes (Does not include time for cake to cool before glazing.)
  • Yield: 8 servings (1 single-layer 9 inch cake) 1x


This single-layer fudgy chocolate cake is the ultimate indulgence! Ultra-rich, moist chocolate cake is baked from scratch and topped with a sweetened, ganache-like glaze.



for the fudgy chocolate cake:

  • butter (or vegetable shortening) and cocoa powder (or all-purpose flour) for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 oz. (43 grams) semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup (114 grams) boiling water
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), separated
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) heavy cream*
  • 2 tsp. (9 grams) distilled white vinegar or lemon juice*
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 grams) baking soda
  • 7/8 cup plus 1 Tbsp. (113 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 grams) baking powder

for the chocolate glaze:

  • 2 1/2 oz. (71 grams) semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream (43 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (51 grams) sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 grams) vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare one 9 inch round cake pan by buttering and flouring the pan. (Coat the interior of each pan with a thin layer of butter (or vegetable shortening), making sure to coat the entire bottom, into the edge, and up the sides. Sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder (or all-purpose flour) into the pan and shake it over the sink so that all of the butter is covered by a dusting of cocoa powder. Dump out any excess cocoa powder.) Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and set the prepared pan aside.
  3. Make the chocolate cake batter. Add the chopped chocolate and cubed butter to a large heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and butter and let the mixture sit for 2 minutes to melt before whisking until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture, whisking until blended and smooth. Add the egg yolk and whisk until combined. (Reserve the egg white for step #7.)
  5. In a small bowl combine heavy cream and vinegar or lemon juice, stirring to combine. The mixture should have the consistency of sour cream. Add baking soda to the cream mixture and stir until well blended. Let the mixture sit for 30 to 60 seconds; it should puff up as it sits. Add the mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
  6. Sift the flour and baking powder into the chocolate mixture and gently stir until blended.
  7. Add the egg white to a medium bowl and beat just until stiff peaks form; the egg white should be stiff but still moist and not dry. Add a spoonful of the beaten egg white to the chocolate batter and stir until well blended. Add the remaining beaten egg white to the bowl with the batter and gently fold the egg white into the batter just until combined.
  8. Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake on the center rack for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Make the chocolate glaze. Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan over low heat. Continuously whisk the ingredients until blended and smooth. Remove the pan from heat.
  10. Let the glaze cool slightly in the pan about 5 minutes, whisking periodically, so the glaze thickens slightly but is still pourable. Pour the glaze over the cake and use an offset spatula to spread the glaze, if desired.


This recipe is adapted from The Silver Palate's Chocolate Cake recipe shared by NYT Cooking.

Storage: This chocolate cake tastes best the day it's made, as cake will become less moist with time. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

*When testing this recipe I used a mixture of heavy cream and distilled white vinegar to create a sour cream substitute using ingredients that I already needed for the glaze or commonly have on hand so that I wouldn't have to buy sour cream to use just a small amount in this cake. If you'd prefer, you can use 1/4 cup (57 grams) of full-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt in place of the heavy cream and vinegar/lemon juice in the cake batter.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate cake, fudgy, single-layer, one layer, chocolate glaze