Chocolate cake

My Aunt’s Chocolate Fudge Cake, aka Matilda Cake, is Out of This World


Marcella DiLonardo,

When I was growing up, I was never a fan of chocolate cakes. If it was served at a friend’s birthday, I would take the nuggets out or skip it altogether. It was a vanilla cake or nothing!

But that all changed when I was in high school and my Aunt Mira made this cake. She came across the recipe for a “one-bowl chocolate cake” in one of her many newspaper and magazine clippings. Intrigued by its simplicity, she tried it and made a few small adjustments. It turned out to be my dream chocolate cake.

This cake is so perfectly moist (yeah, I said moist) and fudgy. This is the taste that I have always imagined of the cake from the movie “Matilda”. We all wanted that cake, right? Because it’s so rich, there’s no need for buttercream. Instead, I like to serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar. (But if you want to smother it with frosting and birthday sprinkles, I wouldn’t stop you!)

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Aside from the taste, there’s a lot to like about the cake. With just one mixing bowl and whisk, it comes together quickly and easily. Plus, it’s virtually foolproof. Got a last minute guest? You can easily prepare it in less than an hour.

I always find myself making this cake when I have a pot of yogurt about to go bad. And I almost always have all the other pantry ingredients on hand. I sincerely hope you find yourself making this as often as I do – it just might become your new signature recipe.

Mathilde cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling

1. Place 2 large eggs in a large bowl and let stand until room temperature. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Add 2 cups turbinado sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the eggs and whisk until fluffy. they are well mixed.

3. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup dutch cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, and 1 teaspoon baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

4. Brew 1 cup of hot coffee. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and whisk until combined, batter will be thick. Add coffee and whisk until very well blended and glossy. Transfer to the baking dish.

5. Bake until center springs back when pressed with finger and tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 42 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before cutting and serving straight from the pan.

  • An equal amount of granulated sugar can replace the turbinado. Hot water can replace coffee.
  • The cake can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • This recipe can be baked as cupcakes and makes 24. Bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes.
  • Cover leftovers and refrigerate (preferably) or store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze for up to two weeks.

(Marcella DiLonardo is a contributor to, a nationally renowned blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit your comments or questions to [email protected])

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