There’s nothing particularly lesbian-momish about chocolate cake—unless you make it for your lesbian sweetie and son for Valentine’s Day, as I did recently. A reader of the Mombian Facebook page asked for the recipe when I posted a photo there, so here it is: Chocolate Cherry Fudge Cake, a moist, dark chocolate cake with a poured fudge frosting and jammy center.

The creation is my own combination and adaptation of two recipes: the Black Mocha Cake from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts and the Thick Fudge Frosting from the The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.

The Cake


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans. (Line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper if you want to be extra sure it won’t stick.)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose (unbleached) flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Whisk together until well combined and there are no lumps of cocoa. (Sift everything if you prefer; I usually don’t bother.)

In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold strong coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Note: If your coffee isn’t cold, just mix it with the milk to cool it down before adding the other ingredients.

Add half the wet ingredients to the dry, mix until smooth, then add the rest and mix again.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto cooling rack.

The Filling

When cake is cool, spread cherry (or strawberry, or. . .) preserves on top of one layer. Place other layer on top. Do this before you start to make the frosting.

The Frosting

Place in a large bowl:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Melt in a small saucepan:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Stir in:

  • 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Bring just to a boil again, stir a few times, and pour over bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Whisk vigorously until smooth.

Immediately pour bowl of warm frosting slowly on top of cake. Tilt the cake gently if needed so the frosting goes evenly (more or less) down all sides. Don’t scrape the bowl too much, or you’ll end up with drying flakes of frosting on top of your nice smooth surface. Pop cake into fridge so frosting sets.

Minty Variation

You can add peppermint extract to the frosting instead of vanilla for a Girl Scout Cookie-inspired taste. If the thought of fruit filling with this sounds weird, substitute a blob of the frosting. (There should be plenty; just work quickly before the frosting cools too much to pour over the top.) Toss some crushed peppermint candies onto the top before you put it into the fridge, if you like.

Chocolate cakeCream Cheese Frosting Variation

  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), softened (leave on counter for a few hours)
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Put all ingredients except milk in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer (or use your stand mixer and beater blade) until blended. If it doesn’t feel spreadable, add milk a tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.

This variation looks nice if you then top it with cherry jam.

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