Fudge Upside Down Cake

My brother came home last week after spending the past year and a half img_6896wandering around south east Asia and Australia.  To welcome him home I baked him his favorite cake.  Harking back to my Midwestern roots this cake is also known as a Kansas City Chocolate Cake, and was introduced into my baking repertoire via my Grandma Lila who used to bake this cake for my brother’s Birthday.

This Fudge Upside Down Cake is an eggless chocolate cake that is low in fat but high in sugar.  This cake is one wet, sweet, chocolaty, messy – which is precisely what my brother loves about it.  There is nothing pretty about it.  I tried beautifying it with shaved chocolate and strawberries, but that did nothing to hide the lumpy, squishy, and gooey nature of this cake.  On the other hand, this cake is self icing.  You bake the cake and frost it in one single step.  Nifty, right.

Fudge Upside Down Cake

This recipe makes one 9″ in diameter circular cake – double the recipe for a 9″ x 13″ rectangular cake.


  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder + 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp melted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Coffee Liqueur (or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract and 1 tbsp Expresso)
  • 1 oz melted Bitter-Sweet Chocolate
  • 3/4 cups Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Hot Water


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease a (9″ in diameter) round cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, 1⁄4 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, sugar, and chopped walnuts.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter, and coffee liqueur.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat well.
  6. Beat in melted bitter chocolate.
  7. Spoon the batter into the greased cake pan.  The batter is fairly thick for a cake batter, but this is what will keep it from combining with the fudge sauce while it bakes.
  8. For the fudge sauce, mix the maple syrup and cocoa powder together.
  9. Gradually whisk in the hot water.
  10. Whisk until smooth.
  11. Gently spoon the fudge sauce over the cake batter.  It will eventually sink to the bottom as it bakes.
  12. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes.
  13. Once the cake cools, carefully flip cake out onto a serving plate.  This can get a little messy, and if any of the cake gets stuck to the bottom of the pan you have to use a knife or a spatula to lift it up and gently transfer it back onto the cake.
  14. If necessary, use a knife to even out the fudge sauce so that it covers the entire cake.
  15. Decorate with shaved chocolate (white and dark) and strawberries.


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