Fudgy Chocolate Cake Bars Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Fudgy Chocolate Cake Bars

11 reviews / 4.5 average

Roald Dahl wrote a book called Matilda and now I’m eating chocolate cake for breakfast.

Welcome to my life.

By the way, this is not just any chocolate cake. Try more like a perfectly dense and moist flourless (almost) chocolate cake that only requires 5 ingredients and can be baked into bars and is topped with the world’s best and most chocolatey and most simple frosting. THAT is what I'm eating for breakfast.

Chocolate fudge on cake bars.

When Roald Dahl wrote his book Matilda, he included a cake-loving character named Bruce Bogtrotter whose punishment for stealing cake was eating a whole ‘nother cake. Poor Bruce! That is cruel. Oooor is it? That’s what I love about Roald Dahl – he makes us think deep thoughts about chocolate cake.

My girls and I enjoyed reading this story together in school,

Young girls laying down reading books.

and then Bjork and I invited them over to watch the movie at our apartment, because we like to see how many kids we can cram into one teeny room when it's 100 degrees out.

And yes, they want blankets when it's 100 degrees out.

People watching a movie.

So naturally, after that, I had to make the cake. Had. To.

This comes from a really wacky picture book/cookbook of all of Roald Dahl’s craziest book foods. Like frobscottle and snozzcumbers from the BFG, hot frogs from James and the Giant Peach, and lickable wallpaper from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. To the person who understands what I’m talking about: I love you.

Fudgy chocolate cake bars on a white plate.

This original chocolate cake recipe is meant to be baked, um, as a cake. Deeeep thoughts today.

But even though it’s a cake, I actually baked it into something more resembling bars, 1) because I have a thing for dessert bars, and 2) because I don’t have a round cake pan here in the Philippines. Annnnd I maybe don’t have one at home, either. Bad food blogger. Usually I buy one of those round tinny ones for 99c and try to wash and reuse it at least 50 times until it’s so flimsy that I can’t even lift it into the oven. I made another chocolate cake (sooo good) where I actually did use a 99c tin cake pan and TOOK THE PICTURES IN IT without even realizing. And then I ate the whole thing in 2 days, and you guys liked it, so whatever. We’re all good.

Fudgy chocolate cake bars on a white plate.

Since I don’t have a real round cake pan, but I do have something resembling a brownie pan, I decided to go with the sheet cake and/or bars approach. And oooo-ey. These flourless (almost) chocolate cake bars were just as good as they looked in the movie. That frosting? Oh, you guys. I live for that ganache-y frosting right now. It’s thick and luscious and creamy and sets up into a firm frosting layer when you keep it in the fridge like we do with all chocolate in this 100 degree land, kind of like this old fashioned frosting in a different, more chocolatey way.

These bars are not for the faint of heart. Lots of butter, lots of chocolate, lots of thick, dense, fudgy chocolate cake bar texture going on here. You wouldn't expect anything else from someone named Bruce Bogtrotter, would you? Bruce just knows.

Fudgy chocolate cake bars on white plates.
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A picture of Fudgy Chocolate Cake Bars

Fudgy Chocolate Cake Bars


These simple fudgy chocolate cake bars only have 5 ingredients and taste like a combination of brownies and flourless chocolate cake.


  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, about 170 grams, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (for the frosting)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (for the frosting)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 8 ounces of chocolate chips in a double boiler, or if you don't have a double boiler, just melt it in a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir in the butter until it's all melted.
  2. Transfer the melted mixture to a cooler, larger bowl and add the sugar and flour. Lightly beat the egg yolks and stir them into the bowl.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. I find that it helps to have a cold bowl when I do this, and usually it takes about 3 minutes. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into the rectangular bar pan (9×13) or a round cake pan (8 1/2 inches) lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The cake should have a thin crust on top when it's done, but the inner texture might appear underbaked. That's okay - the cake settles and firms up as it cools. It's meant to be thick and fudgy. I baked for 35 minutes and I wish I had stopped at 30.
  5. Make the frosting by melting the chocolate again in the double boiler with the cream, stirring until just melted. Let the frosting cool slightly and the gently spread the frosting over the cake bars. To set the frosting, let it cool in the refrigerator. Or dig in to the hot melty chocolate. Up to you.


Lining your baking pan with parchment paper helps with easy removal of cake bars.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: fudge chocolate cake bars, fudge bars, chocolate bars

Oh, by the way? This is a picture of my sweet class. I started with six and ended with four, since two girls have left to join their new adoptive families. These girls are the highlight of my everything.

And as of this week, school is done for the year.

Women smiling at the camera.

That kind of takes my breath away.

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Brilliant idea! Matilda was my favorite book as a child … I probably read it 15 times between the ages of 8 and 10 🙂

    I can’t believe your Cebu journey is coming to an end … I have LOVED reading your thoughts and hearing your heart – you have blessed those kids so much and the Lord is smiling down on you.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    How fun that you guys were reading Matilda! That was my favorite. So sad school is over, I am going to miss all the pictures!

    This cake is seriously killing me over here! I want on big square!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Matilda is one of my favourites – I hope the girls liked it as much as I always have! As for this cake? There are no words.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    First, I LOVE Matilda – well, really any Roald Dahl book – and the chocolate cake in the book sounds like heeeeeeaven. Second, so does this cake. I canNOT get over the shiny frosting!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Not only do I want to reach out and grab one of those yummy bars, I want to grab a sleeping bag, my daughter and and join the fun! Matilda is on of our favorites!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Matilda is one of the BEST Roald Dahl books!
    And film watching HAS to be done snuggled under a blanket (With cake!) otherwise it just doesn’t feel right!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I still remember the day in second grade when our teacher, Ms. Kovacik, gathered us around and told us that unfortunately, Roald Dahl was, in fact, dead, and thus was not writing new books anymore. Every book of his that I read after that was savored all the more. He was my favorite childhood author – so I loved this post. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I shouldn’t laugh at that but somehow I am laughing. The way you wrote it… I can just imagine. 🙂 Love that guy’s books!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love Roald Dahl…I used to read his books to my class. They loved every page….your cake, well it is to die for….but eating another whole cake…that rich…well, I would try… 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Matilda is one of my favorite books. The movie was super cute, too and the chocolate cake part was so funny…and gross. Haha! If my punishment was to eat all of this yumminess that you posted, I would be in heaven! haha

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’m with you, Mary! Had no idea this even existed. On my wishlist for sure.

      Such a bittersweet ending to your year, I’m sure, Lindsay. I know it’s difficult to look forward to the comforts of home while knowing you’ll miss every minute of the 100* sweetness you’re in now. Here’s to a great end of your time in the Philippines!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ohhh my I’m drooling here! This looks amazing and that frosting looks so decadent! I love that you made bars sometimes you just need bars and not a whole round pan of cake!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    So sweet with the girls, and so delicious with the cake! Now I have a serious chocolate craving. Does the book of Roald Dahl recipes have anything from Fantastic Mr. Fox? My kids are obsessed with that movie. I made my daughter nutmeg ginger apple snaps for her birthday last year and they were intense! I can only imagine this cake is the same way.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I remember the day when I got my hands on a book called Matilda. This is soon after I moved to the States from Korea and I vividly remember feeling horrified. The illustrations were not what I was accustomed to. Since I was just learning to read English, pictures were everything to me. Fastforward many years later, I found myself on a mission to read all of his books ;).
    I LOVE the all the stories you share of you and Bjork’s experience in the Philippines! I’m sure it felt bittersweet to say goodbye to those two girls. Their smiles are so precious!
    I think I’m going to have to join you and have some chocolate “bars” 😉 for breakfast very soon!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Min! I laughed out loud imagining you being so horrified at the book illustrations. Roald Dahl has some awesome books but he is also… a little weird. I read a (short) biography on him earlier this year and was really surprised to find out all these unusual things about him, but I guess when you consider how unusual his books are, it kinda makes sense. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the cake!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    That cake! That frosting! The shine on each slice is making me drooool!! 🙂 And congrats with being done with another school year. I bet the year flew by!