Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake  - The perfect cake to satisfy any chocolate craving!

This Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe might need the sub-title “for chocolate lovers only”.  This cake is rich, dense, sweet and oh so chocolaty!!

One glance at the recipe and you’ll see the first clue… yes, the recipe does call for one full can of Hershey’s syrup!  =)

But before we get to the recipe, this cake has a story…

When I was 11 years old my mom paid $2 at a homeschool conference for the name and address of a pen-pal for me… another 11 year old girl.  I lived (and still live) in California and my new pen-pal, Sala, lived in North Carolina.  I wrote the first letter.  On the front of the envelope I drew a bear, along with the words “Let’s be friends”.  A short while later I received my first letter from Sala, and on the front of the envelope she drew two bears and the text, “I’d like to be friends”.

From those first letters in 1989 we continue to write back and forth, often several times a week.  Our letters were sent in envelopes that were mini works of art… covered with drawings and stickers!  I’m surprised the post office could find the addresses around all of the color!

My mom also began communicating with Sala’s mom from time to time, and for my 13th birthday it was planned that my mom and I would fly to North Carolina and stay with Sala and her family for 2 weeks.  It was my first flight, and I was so excited to meet my friend!!

My 13th birthday was going to be celebrated in North Carolina, and Sala’s mom, Affie, asked what kind of cake I would like.  My answer was (and will always be) “chocolate”.  The morning of my 13th birthday I was presented with this delicious Chocolate Fudge Cake, a cake that would from then on be called “North Carolina Chocolate Cake” in our house!

As the years passed, hundreds of more letters were exchanged between Sala and I.  Six years after my visit to North Carolina, Sala flew out to California to be a part of my wedding.  Another several years (and more letters) passed and I flew across the country to attend her wedding.  We are now both mother’s to two sweet girls.  In fact it didn’t occur to me until just this moment, but my oldest daughter is nearly 11… the same age I was when Sala and I first became friends!

We still live on opposite sides of the country, and we don’t write letters as often as we did as children, but Sala and her family will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Chocolate Fudge Cake - Rich, sweet and oh so chocolaty!!

This rich and delicious cake is the recipe we turn to when only CHOCOLATE will do!  The texture is more dense than a traditional cake… it’s somewhere between a cake, brownie and fudge.

Print Recipe

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Yield: 1- 9"x13" pan, about 16 servings

This rich, dense cake is sure to satisfy any chocolate craving!


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups (one 16oz can) Hershey's chocolate syrup
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 cup flour

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips


In a large saucepan heat the butter and sugar until melted and well combined.
Remove pan from heat and add vanilla and chocolate syrup.
Add eggs and beat well (with a spoon or whisk).
Add salt and flour and stir until fully combined.

Pour batter into a greased 9"x13" pan.
Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.

As the cake cools a bit, make the frosting.
In a saucepan, heat the butter, sugar and milk until it comes to a boil (stirring as needed).
Remove pan from heat and add chocolate chips. Do not stir for a minute or so and the chocolate chips will melt on their own. After a minute or two, stir to fully combine all ingredients.

Pour icing over the (still warm) cake, using an offset spatula to spread as needed.

Allow cake and icing to cool fully before cutting.

Note- From everything I've read, Hershey's syrup is the same in a can or in a plastic bottle. If you can not find a can, feel free to use syrup from a bottle. Also, yes, 16 fluid ounces is 2 cups, not 1-1/2 cups as listed in the recipe. For some reason the 16oz measurement on the can of syrup is weight, not fluid ounces.

Recipe Source - Affie Ray, 1991 (made for my 13th birthday)

Chocolate Fudge Cake - A chocolate lover's dream!!

Share this cake with the chocolate lovers in your life!


  1. Maravilhoso este bolo e muito tentador, adorei, bjs

  2. This little fudge cake looks so delicious! I love the frosting.

  3. SUCH a sweet story and so cool that you are still in touch. This cake looks absolutely amazing 🙂

  4. I love the story that goes with this recipe…Thanks for sharing such a beautiful part of your life….and I can’t wait to try the recipe.

  5. I am so sorry our kids will never really get the thrill of a penpal! Those letters with foreign stamps, airmail paper….I had many penpals, a few over seas, and wish I had kept up with them! What a great story….and a scrumptious looking chocolate cake!

  6. This post brings back memories! I had a pen pal, and we would always decorate our envelopes, too. So much fun 🙂 And I will definitely be making this cake soon. It looks delicious!

  7. I loved ready this story. I think it is so wonderful that you and Sala kept in touch over the years, attended each others weddings and remain in touch to this day.
    The cake sounds as wonderful as the friendship.

  8. Yum! This kind of reminds me of a Texas sheet cake, but I bet this is better! I’m definitely going to try this recipe. Love you!

  9. Love the story and the recipe.

  10. I agree with Cecilia — it reminds me of a Texas sheet cake and that was the only kind of chocolate cake I would ever eat, so I most certainly have to try this one and see if it compares…or is even better! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and especially the lovely story that went with it. Such wonderful memories for you!

  11. That is a precious story, Glory! So happy for you and Sala that you stayed friends for so long. That’s incredible that you flew across the country multiple times over all of the years — and that you participated in each other’s weddings! Hearing that warms my heart. And this chocolate cake… I need a big chocolate fix almost every day, and I can guarantee that I’d finish off the entire recipe all by myself. Without sharing. It looks that good!!

  12. Oh my, Glory! That story is almost as sweet as that cake looks! This is definitely going to be the next one I make!

  13. this looks so wickedly fudgey and delicious.. i am so craving a slice right now!

  14. I love the sweet story that was shared along with the delicious recipe!!

  15. This looks so perfectly chocolatey!

  16. Just made the cake 🙂
    It’s so GOOD and so easy , thank you for sharing !
    Beautiful story .

  17. What a beautiful story! I miss the days of just penning a letter…something I should take the time to do again.. I will be trying the cake for my daughter who absolutely loves chocolate anything. No doubt she will devour it!

  18. Pingback: Chocolate Fudge Cake Really nice recipes. Every hour. - Kiss The Cook

  19. This looks so amazing! I’m going to be making it this week but I was wondering if I could melt chocolate with some butter and use that instead of the hersheys syrup? I’m from the Netherlands so there’s no chance I’ll be getting my hands on a bottle of the real stuff.

  20. Sweet cake for a sweet story. Blessings to you and Sala! 🙂

  21. My favoeite ice cream topping? Well, have you ever tried nutmeg on vanilla ice cream, it is so darn good!

  22. It looks georgous, I want to bake it today for my family!!


  23. I loved the story and will be trying the cake very soon

  24. what can I use in place of Hershey’s chocolate syrup? im from south Africa and I haven’t seen it here

    • Make your own.

      2 c water
      2 c pure cane sugar
      ½ tsp salt
      1 c cocoa powder
      2 tbsp pure vanilla extract


      Place water, sugar and salt in sauce pan.
      Be sure to continue to stir so the sugar dissolves.
      Heat up and bring to a boil for a minute.
      Remove from heat.
      Let cool for 15 minutes before adding in cocoa.
      Stir well and then add the vanilla mixing again.
      Pour into a 1 pint mason jar and refrigerate for up to two months.

  25. I would imagine any brand chocolate syrup would work

  26. very
    sweet story, I’m 73, do you think that’s too old to have a pen pal?

  27. In our house, this cake is “Chuckie’s Cake” :).  It’s named after the little boy who shared a room in the hospital  with my oldest daughter when she had to have cleft palate repair surgery at six months.  Chuckie had many problems, and his only family there with him was his very sweet grandmother, who never left his side. She shared this recipe with me, and I have shared it with many others as Chuckie Cake 🙂  It also became a favorite cake with many of my distant relatives as well, all of whom still call it Chuckie Cake, too ( my daughter is now 28 :). Thanks for bringing back those memories!  So sweet!

  28. Just wanted to double check – do you use the entire 16 oz can of syrup? Because the recipe says 1 1/2 cups which is 12 oz? Thanks!

    • Yes, both are correct, use a full 16oz can, which is about 1 1/2 cups. The 16oz. listed on the can is a measurement of weight, not volume. The volume is about 1 1/2 cups. Happy baking!

  29. Accidentally used the 16fl oz. so 2 cups instead of just 1 1/2. It’s baking now – wonder how it will turn out?! I wonder if I should start over 🙁

  30. the cakes are really goooooooooooooooooooooooooooood! 😀

  31. Uhhhh..this is really..and I mean..really good.

  32. The flour that you use…. Is it “Self Rising “ or “All Purpose?”

    • Hi Josie,
      The standard for any recipe in the U.S. that lists simply “flour” refers to “all purpose flour”.
      Happy baking!

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