A Glazed Fudge Birthday Cake and a Tribute

fudge cake with candleI made this cake for my husband’s birthday last Sunday.  It’s a tradition in our family.  Turned out to be a bittersweet celebration because his mother died the day before.

While frantically going through photo albums before my mother-in-law’s funeral, I found the picture below.  It contains several interesting details.

birthday in 1986

Circa 1986

1. The older lady is my husband’s mother.  Anytime she was around her grandchildren, she was happy. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year and the complications finally caught up with her.  She was a generous and loving Christian servant. We will miss her terribly.

2. Check out my son’s birthday cake.  It’s the same glazed fudge cake I made this weekend.  Looks like I’ve been baking this cake for over 20 years.

3. One of my sons is a CPA. Can you guess which one?

Back to the cake….We love this cake but it’s slightly quirky.

For starters, it’s made in a food processor. I acquired the recipe while assisting with a cooking school taught by Abby Mandel. At the time, she had just published a new cookbook called Cuisinart Classroom. Not sure why, but this recipe was not included in the book.

While I’m sure this cake could be made with a regular mixer, I have never tried it myself. The author originally touted the food processor as a way to make a chocolate cake without melting the chocolate , supposedly quicker and more flavorful. Not sure if I buy that–but the cake tastes fabulous. Can’t argue with fudgy and tender.

Secondly, the cake has a tendency to fall if not handled carefully.  The old picture above provides evidence.  Be sure to use the 9-inch spring form pan specified.  Also, let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.  Even it falls a little, it won’t affect the taste.

slice glazed fudge cake


fudge cake with slice

A Glazed Fudge Birthday Cake and a Tribute
Recipe type: Dessert -- Cake
Chocolate glazed one-layer chocolate fudge cake
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (3½ ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1¼ cup sugar (8¾ ounces), divided
  • ⅓ cup boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • ¾ cup butter (6 ounces), room temperature, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (or ½ teaspoon rum extract)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (1 ounce)
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum or vanilla extract
  1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place inside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in work bowl of food processor and process 5 seconds to blend and set aside.
  3. Place the chocolate and ¼ cup sugar in work bowl and process 1 minute or until chocolate is finely minced. With machine running, pour hot water through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Add the eggs and cocoa and process 1 minute.
  5. Add remaining sugar (1 cup) and process 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the inside of the bowl.
  6. Add the butter and process 1 minute more. Add rum and sour cream and process 5 seconds.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and combine by turning the machine on and off 3 or 4 times until the flour just disappears. Do not over process.
  8. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan.
  1. Put the chocolate and powdered sugar in the work bowl and pulse food processor on and off 3 times to chop the chocolate, then process continuously until it is finely minced.
  2. With the machine running, pour the hot water and butter through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is melted. Add the flavoring and process for 5 more seconds.
  3. Refrigerate the glaze until it begins to thicken then spread over the surface and sides of the cake.
To Decorate: Melt 1½ ounce white chocolate in small zippered plastic bag. Make tiny snip across corner of bag. Draw parallel strips across cake. Using thin knife draw lines perpendicular and parallel across white chocolate lines to make a chevron design.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Carl April 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm

The original recipe for this Cake appeared in Cusinart Magazine, about 20 years ago……….and it is excellent and I add teaspoon of instant coffee which ives it a very interesting flavor note…..C


Carl April 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm

I have made this cake for years, and it was originally printed in an old edition of Cusinart magazine……..and while it may have not been in Abbey Mandel’s book, it certainly was in the magazine…..


Jules March 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Mmmm. Looks fabulous! Abby Mandel was a pretty amazing woman as well. (She was a friend of my mom’s) Nice tribute!


Katrina March 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

Yum! I’ll take the fudgy cake over the custard tart any day! 😉


Debbie February 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Cake looks great and what a beautiful tribute to Jo. I have a food processer so no excuse not to make it. Or at least not that excuse!!


Romaine February 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I’ve never tried it but I don’t see why not. Let me know how it turns out.


Winnie February 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Hi Paula,
I’ve had the same reaction as everyone else, this is such a beautiful memory of your family time and of Jo. I’m so sorry for the loss to Billy and all the family. I really, really love the look of this cake. I want to make it for Lauren, my granddaughter who is turning “sweet sixteen”
tomorrow, March 1st. She loves chocolate cake, so I think she would love this one! But, I don’t have a food processor, well, I do have a really small one, but I don’t know if it’s big enough to make a cake in…do you think I can make it with just a mixer? Thanks for such a lovely website to enjoy! xoxo


Jacque February 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Mmm, it looks so nice and chocolatey. Love the decorations, it looks like it came out of a bakery case.

Cute pic, too.


Jill February 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm

It looks like this cake has quite a bit of history with your family; what a fitting tribute to your mother-in-law. It sounds like it’s easy to make it in the food processor!


Elizabeth - Cake or Death February 26, 2010 at 12:27 am

That cake is picture-perfect! I’ve never even though to make one in a food processor–sounds downright crazy–but I can’t argue with the end results.


Christine @ Fresh Local and Best February 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Sorry about your family’s loss. This is a great poster to remember her. The fudge cake looks fantastic!


Susan February 25, 2010 at 9:03 pm

What a sweet post to your mother-in-law’s memory. I know too well how hard it is to lose someone you love. The cake looks delicious.


Mimi February 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm

A lovely tribute to your beloved Mother-in-law. Happy birthday to your Husband.
The chocolate cake looks fantastic. I’ve never made a cake in the food processor, I think I’ll give it a whirl.


mike February 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Paula, what a wonderful cake! It’s a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law and to your SO. What a lucky guy… I’ll have to try this – as I love using other devices other than the KitchenAid! And yes, my luck with chocolate cakes is so-so – they are always “falling” during baking for me for some reason… I’m sure this cake was enjoyed (even more) this year!


Kayte February 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm

What a wonderful post. I came looking for cookies but found this first (I am a little late this week, what can I say, it’s been a busy week), and I am so happy I got to see/read this post. What a wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law, she sounds like a lovely person. Happy Birthday to your most significant other, and I am cracking up about the comment about your son being a CPA, guess which one…too too funny! The cake is beautiful, a wonderful tradition.


Nancy February 25, 2010 at 7:51 am

I just realized that I didn’t even wish Billy a Happy Birthday! I’m sure this cake and time with his family helped a difficult weekend.


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