Recipe: Nigella Lawsons Chocolate Fudge Cake is too good

Nigella Lawson is the queen of comfort food so in times of great stress when yoga, meditation and walks just aren’t cutting it, it’s okay to turn to her baking greats.  This recipe is one of our favourites taken from her Nigella Bites cookbook.  Deliciously moist and fudgy – it tastes amazing straight from the fridge but is even better if you microwave it for 20 seconds or so and serve it with whipped cream or ice cream for the win.

For the cake:

400 grams plain flour

250 grams golden caster sugar

100 grams light brown muscovado sugar

50 grams best-quality cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

142 millilitres sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

175 grams unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

125 millilitres corn oil

300 millilitres chilled water

For the fudge icing:

175 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

250 grams unsalted butter (softened)

275 grams icing sugar (sifted)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF.

2. Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring jug whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a freestanding or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended (you'll need another large bowl for this if using the hand whisk; the freestanding mixer comes with its own bowl), then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually; I just like my toys and find the KitchenAid a comforting presence in itself.

4. Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2-3 minutes on medium should do it - or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.

6. In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. I know sieving is a pain, the one job in the kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.

7. Cover one of the cake halves with about a quarter of the icing (as in the photo), then top with the remaining half. Ice the top and sides of the sandwiched cake, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.

Bon appétit!