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Chocolate cake known community-wide

"Chocolate Fudge Cake" has been very popular in my community for many years!
"Chocolate Fudge Cake" has been very popular in my community for many years!
photos: Daniel Dedmon

As long as people have been cooking, it seems that many of our favorite recipes have come from our neighbors. Before the days of the Internet, it was very common for neighbors to share recipes across their backyard fences. It was fun to get a new recipe from neighbors and friends that we knew had to be good in order to be shared!

This brings me to the recipe I have for you today. This recipe has circulated all across the neighborhood in our North Carolina community back when I was a young teen. This recipe, "Chocolate Fudge Cake", was one that I well recall most everyone in our neighborhood making once the recipe got out. My mother had a copy of it and I was recently trying to locate it. After some serious digging through my recipe files, I found it, much to my pleasure! I'd not had it in a long while, so I was eager to make it again.

This recipe makes a 9x13 inch cake, which is great if you don't like dealing with layer cakes. As you look at the recipe, you'll notice that it doesn't quite go together like most cake recipes do. The recipe calls for creaming butter and sugar together. Melted unsweetened chocolate goes in next, along with warm water. I believe this is what makes this cake particular moist and dense. Dry ingredients, including flour, salt and baking soda are combined and added to the first mixture. Finally, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract go in. This is turned into your prepared pan and baked.

While it bakes, you make a luscious fudge icing to go over it. This takes butter, brown sugar and evaporated milk. This is boiled together, then chocolate chips go in and it's all beaten until smooth and goes over your cake. Once the cake cools, it's all set to be enjoyed.

A handy trick: if you don't have any buttermilk on hand, use 1/2 cup of regular milk and add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar to it and let it stand for five minutes. This will perform just fine in this recipe or virtually any baking recipe calling for buttermilk.

Earlier this year, I passed along a similar recipe for "Chocolate Squares" that uses chocolate syrup as its flavoring. It's about as good as this cake! To get the recipe, follow this link:

Try this cake yourself and see if it doesn't circulate in your neighborhood!


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Add the warm water and beat on low speed until smooth. Combine the dry ingredients and gradually add to the first mixture. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and mixed well. Turn into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until cake tests done in the center. While cake is baking, prepare the following icing:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 (1 lb.) pkg. light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and beat in the chocolate chips until smooth. Spread over cake while it's warm and let cool. Yield: 16 servings.

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