Fudge Icing Recipe

Fudge Icing Recipe

In addition to our quest for the perfect Yellow Cake recipe, it seems we have been on an equal mission for the perfect FUDGE ICING.

Well, look no more.


Fudge Icing Recipe

Thanks to Dan of Baked By Dan we can all reap the benefits of this luscious, easy, creamy, affordable fudge icing that is almost identical to the real deal recipe from when I owned my bakery!

The main difference with this recipe is that it doesn’t get hard like most fudge icings.

Since it is made with Cocoa Powder versus real Chocolate, it is super rich, super soft and creamy, but it is also Super Affordable!

(Original Fudge Icing recipe is listed all the way at the end of this post!)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Fudge Icing Recipe
This icing will stay softer than the others, even upon refrigeration is does not get super hard!
However you will have to bring it to room temperature again before using, readjust the consistency (if necessary) and re mix on low to smooth
Serves: 5 Cups
  • Granulated Sugar 5 Tablespoons (63g)
  • Water 5 Tablespoons (75ml)
  • Corn Syrup 2 Tablespoons (40g) (30ml)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 1 Cup (90g)
  • Vegetable Oil 2 Tablespoons (27g) (30ml)
  • Solid Vegetable Shortening 2 Tablespoons (25g)
  • Corn Syrup 4 Tablespoons (80g) (60ml)
  • * you can sub honey, glucose or golden syrup here
  • Unsalted Butter softened 8 ounces (2 Sticks) (226g)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Confectioner's Sugar or Icing Sugar 2 lbs (8 cups) (900g)
  • Cold Water 4-6 Tablespoons to adjust the consistency
  1. In a small pot on the stove, combine the first 3 ingredients to make the simple syrup. Boil for about 2-3 minutes then pour into a bowl and allow to sit in the freezer to rapid cool while you gather the other ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand blender, add the cocoa powder and cooled but still warm simple syrup and mix until it forms a firm mass.
  3. Add the vanilla extract
  4. Add the Vegetable Oil and Solid Vegetable Shortening and mix well.
  5. Add the corn syrup and the softened butter, mix smooth.
  6. Add the sifted confectioners sugar a little bit at a time and mix until smooth.
  7. Slowly add some of the cold water about 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency
Fudge icing can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months

I make this icing a day or two ahead of time to give it some time to dissolve that sugar and then I re-whip it and the grainy texture goes away

Some people have commented that they preferred my original fudge icing from way back when I was in the bakery. It is less sweet, and had a deeper chocolate taste to it.  It is also more expensive by far and it tends to get harder than I would like for a fudge icing, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Original Fudge Icing Recipe
Serves: 3 cups
  • Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate 4 cups (680g)
  • Hot Water ½ cup (120ml)
  • Unsalted Butter 1 cup (226g)
  • Confectioners Sugar ½ cup (63g)
  • Light Corn Syrup ¼ cup (80g) (60ml)
  1. Melt the chocolate and add the hot water all at once.
  2. Mix until well combined. (It may get stiff and seems to "sieze" up so be sure to mix it vigorously with a hand whisk!)
  3. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, preferably a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. (I find the hand beater doesn't do a good job of getting this icing smooth like it needs to be)
  4. Add the softened butter and mix well.
  5. Next add the confectioners sugar and mix well.
  6. Add the corn syrup last.
Store at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

This icing will be hard and stiff when you try to re-use it after storage, so it is necessary to place back on the mixer and paddle it smooth again with a tablespoon or two of hot water as you mix
Be sure to check out Baked By Dan if you want to see the most amazing Art Cakes that will just blow you away!

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    1. I no I’m so gutted why does everything have to change.. the other one was well better … Gretchen are you putting it up? 🙁 Or changing it back? please keep the old recipies they were the best xxx

  1. Hi Gretchen would you still have the original recipe with the real baking chocolate I like that one

  2. Ingredients
    • Milk or Plain Baking Chocolate 4 cups (680g)
    • Hot Water ½c (4 fl oz) ( 120ml)
    • Butter 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g)
    • Icing Sugar ½ c (63g)
    • Light Corn Syrup ¼ cup (80g) (60ml)

    1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler, which ever you prefer.
    2. Transfer it to a mixing bowl, preferably a Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment.
    3. Add the hot water all at once and mix until well combined.
    4. It will now be that muddy mess that I explained in the video
    5. Add the softened butter and mix well.
    6. Add the Icing sugar and mix well.
    7. Add the corn syrup last (you may use Glucose or Honey)
    8. Use immediately to ice brownies or cakes, or let it stand at room temperature for several hours and it will begin to thicken up for piping.

    If it becomes too thick, place the entire recipe back in the mixer and on low speed paddle it out while adding warm water 1 Tablespoon at a time until it is back to your desired consistency.

    Store the bulk recipe in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a clean airtight container, but you will have to bring back to room temperature before using by mixing it with the paddle attachment or with a hand blender and then add a tablespoon or two of warm water to smooth it out.

    The original recipe was for semi- sweet baking chocolate, I had milk & plain baking chocolate in my fridge at the time, so I used half & half. My family loved it so much, my son made it for his girlfriend on valentine’s day.
    Gretchen your a star, we love all your bakes but this one is definitely our fave. So glad your back. xx

  3. Hi Gretchen! I made this frosting and it came way too sweet and does not have enough chocolate flavor. Would u recommend I add melted chocolate to it? If so, what kind?

    1. Wow really? I feel like this is chocolate overload! Just add more cocoa paste 4 tablespoons cocoa powder and enough hot water to make a paste, then add that to the fudge recipe this way you are not adding more suagr and it is cheaper than unsweeteded chocolate and wont make the texture weird

  4. In the video and here in your reply the simple syrup is made of only the first 2 ingredients. In the recipe you have added corn syrup to the simple syrup. Is this correct?

    1. The recipe for simple syrup (when using for cakes) is only 2 ingredients.
      This fudge recipe is making a simple syrup- yes, by combining the water and the sugar- that is simple syrup- but this recipe also requires corn syrup


  6. Would it make any difference in flavour to add chocolate flavouring instead or with vanilla ? If i use it to decorate cupcakes it would stay firm and keep it shape even in hot wheather?

    1. Hello, Im not sure what you mean “chocolate flavoring” like an extract? Sure you can add chocolate flavor extract (but it is not necessary but it wont hurt it)

      In hot weather this icing will melt

  7. Hi Gretchen!
    Thank you so much for your recipes. I use them all the time. Can I use this as a filling? Will it harden up when it is in the cake?

    1. Great you are welcome and thankyou too! yes this is a filling and an icing and it wont “harden” but it will get firm upon refrigeration- so best to bring to room temp before serving

  8. Hi I have had the same problem when using confectioners / icing sugar it becomes gritty and I think some of the problem is whether its pure icing sugar or not. Some of the soft icing sugars out there have corn or tapioca starch that remain gritty, hopefully I’m on the right track cos I’m about to give the fudge icing a go..
    Thanks heaps you are amazing.

  9. This fudge icing is insanely..crazy…and out of the world!!! I have never made such a delicious chocolate frosting! TQ Gretchen for the recipe. I will never change to any other choc frosting.

  10. hi Gretchen,

    i would love to this icing, BUT there is no shortening in my country. please is there a substitute for it? i have shied away from making all your recipes that require shortening.

    kindly assist. thanks in advance.

  11. Hi Gretchen, I hope you can help me determine where I went wrong when making your fudge icing. I was making my daughter’s birthday cake. She wanted yellow cake with fudge icing/filling and frosted with caramel SMB. I made the recipe exactly how it is written but it came out like soup. I thought maybe the confectioner’s sugar amount was incorrect (1/2 cup) so I added more thinking that it would help thicken it up but it turned out worse (don’t want to say what it looked like….LOL!). I threw everything in the garbage, all that chocolate. I decided to change the fudge icing/filling to chocolate mousse. My cake turned out fabulous. Thanks to you and your delicious recipes, it was to die for! Everyone totally enjoyed it and could not stop raving about it. By the way, will you be re-posting the recipe for the brown derby cake any time soon? Thanks Gretchen!!!

    1. Hi Anna Im sorry that happened to you – it is difficult to say what happened based on what you wrote, but 9 times out of 10 it is measuring errors that cause recipe failure. What a shame, Im so sorry
      Im glad your 2nd attempt worked out great! I do have plans to refilm EVERYTHING Im just not sure WHEN it will all happen!

  12. Hi Gretchen,

    can I use Sweetex/Hi Ratio shortening or should I use Crisco for this recipe? The recipe says solid vegetable shortening, but I have and use Sweetex in my other frostings, so I have it on hand.


    BTW: I just made up some of your Swiss Meringue Butter Cream and it is Heaven!!!

  13. Hi Gretchen! If I wanted to make this less sweet, but maintain consistency, would it be OK for me to replace 1 cup of the powdered sugar with 1/2 cup more of cocoa powder? Then add water to achieve the correct consistency? Thanks 🙂

  14. want to make the original fudge icing recipe.
    Please confirm the amount of semi-sweet chocolate used in the recipe…..
    4 cups…680 grams
    Would this be equal to 24 ounces??
    Love all your recipes!
    Thanks a bunch

  15. What are the measurements of finished simple syrup? I also have it on hand. Should I warm syrup slightly before proceeding?
    Can’t wait to try!

  16. Hi, Gretchen you’re the best thank you for your recipes and your time to share whit us your knowledge, I do not understand why the people ask you to go back to your recipes o telling you what to do they have to be grateful to have your videos God bless you

  17. Hi Grerchen for a wedding cake my future son-in-law wants a tier to be chocolate. What do you recommend? Fudge inside and out or would it be to much? And if not what can I use for filling?

  18. I am making a grooms cake for my daughters wedding and she wanted a chocolate fudge cake for it. I am going to follow your chocolate buttermilk cake recipe and the old fudge icing recipe. I wanted to add something in the center, would your recipe for cherry compote be good in the center if not what would you suggest. I also need to know if I can cover the cake with fondant. Thank you

  19. I tried both, and the new one is 10 times better 😉
    They are both nice, but the new one…mmm, yum yum yum!
    Thanks for sharing xoxo

  20. I just got my hands on chocolate fudge base. There were no recommendations on how to use it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  21. These look so good. They are in the oven baking as I type. My question is: I just realized I only have 1 square 1oz. Of baking chocolate and I want to try your first version of chocolate fudge icing. It calls for 12 oz. (1/2 batch) can I substitute the baking chocolate for semi sweet chocolate chips?

  22. Thanks for the quick response. Chips worked fine. I end up with half and half.
    I have made the chocolate ones above, the creamsickle and pumpkin spice. Now my biggest decision is what do I eat first!

  23. Hallow gretchen
    My icing turned hard little bit what should i put to make it softer and easy to spread. Can i make choclate bund cake for this frosting?
    Thank u

    1. put it back in the mixer and smooth it out, it will get creamy and icing consistency
      Yes to making whatever cake you like 🙂

  24. Can someone please tell me why when I made the original fudge icing, it came out very “sloppy” – almost like pudding before it solidifies… I’m not sure how one could pipe with it at all ☹️ I followed the recipe to a T… Help!

    1. Hmm, odd since I have never experienced this. It is softer when fresh yes- but sloppy, no. Ive been able to use it straight away.
      I am not sure where the difference is- but I do always ask folks to re-watch the video and make sure you used all the same ingredients that I show and mix exactly as I explain to ensure the same results

  25. 8:45am

    I found this recipe when I came looking for a different fudge icing recipe you had posted when you were still with the bakery – the one from your friend Cissy. My son recently had a customer give him a brownie. When she asked what he thought, he said, “Pretty good.” She then wanted to know who made a better brownie than that. He said, “My mom”!! He asked me to make up a batch and, also, wanted to share the recipe with the lady. I still have my hard copy, but I really wanted to direct the lady to your website for both the brownies and the icing. Just wondering if you might add it back. It is kind of an in between – not too hard to enjoy but not so soft as to make them too messy to pack in a lunch. Thank you again for sharing your expertise. You helped me take my baking to a new level.

  26. Hi there..

    Just wondering how exactly the texture of the icing..i follow the recipe to the T and i get a gritty icing and it is not as smooth as i imagine..

    and do u use 100 percent icing sugar or the one that mix with corn flour? Because am in Saudi Arabia and they have 2 types of icing sugar here..

    1. 100% icing sugar should be fine, here in the US they do add cornstarch as an anti caking agent, so as long as your is the super fine powdered sugar it should be ok. My advice is to wait until tomorrow, remix it and I bet it will be smooth and that grittiness will have dissolved into the recipe

  27. Hi
    Hope you are ding fine .
    I am an Iranian living in Oslo/Norway.
    I was searching on internet to get an idea for baking birthday cake for a friend that I am going to bake on this weekend and by accident I reached your page on facebook . and believe me or not it is now hours that I am reading your blog and watching your videos on youtube .
    They are so perfect .
    The way that you teach everything, I love it . You explain every small detail in the best and most simple way to make is easier to understand. You talk full of energy and just looking at your videos make me run to the kitchen and begin to bake . Because you give me a kind of feeling that I am able to bake evrything in best way .

    Well, just wanted to thank you so much and wish you luck and all the best .
    And sorry for my poor english.


  28. Hi Gretchen,
    Which fudge icing recipe do you prefer for a chocolate cake filling? Or is it all just personal preference? I can’t decide which to use. TIA!

  29. Hi Gretchen, I am hooked on your videos and recently attempted this recipe. The end product came out with rave reviews on your fudge brownies but not without my usual first time mishap. The cocoa powder didn’t seem to dissolve and I tried to push it through a sieve. No small task. I ended up adding more cocoa powder and vanilla but don’t know how it happened. Any suggestions? By the way, I am learning so much through you and look like a superstar! Thanks 🙂

    1. hi Great thanks! Oh no! Hmm, thats never happened to me, since the simple syrup always dissolves the cocoa to a smooth paste.
      I would say that adding more simple syrup would have helped not the reverse, since cocoa is dry and will have made it worse?
      I guess my only suggestion is the same as usual: Just be sure you measure correctly and mix same as me and you should have the same result! 🙂 thanks again!

  30. Hi, just tried this for the first time and I LOVE the taste. I did half unsweeted cocoa powder and half Dutch-process.
    However, while I was adding the powdered sugar, the frosting started to separate and look curdled. Any ideas as to why?

    1. Its possible the ingredients were too cold? This happened to me once so took out a small portion of the icing (like 1½ cups) microwaved it just for about 10-15 seconds to get it super soft but not melted! and then added it back to the main mix while mixing on low this should bring it back together

  31. hi,i was wondering if i can use the same amount of butter instead of shorting because they don’t sell shorting in my country

  32. Hi Gretchin,
    What happened to the version of this that a friend of yours made using chocolate chips. It was less expensive and ALMOST tasted exactly the same. Dans’s version just reminds me of chocolate buttercream.

  33. Hi Gretchen,

    I am going to make original fudge receipe. Just want to confirm, is the amount of icing sugar 63 gram only? Sorry, this is my first time to make frosting. Thank you 🙂

  34. Hi Gretchen, So I have left a comment/questions on another recipe but have forgotten which one it was….. So my mom’s surprise birthday party is on a Sunday and we are vegan (super glad you are too!) anyway so I’m thinking of making a 10 inch cake with a 8 inch cake on top. So here are the questions. With it being made on Thursday and not being eaten on Sunday what fillings do you recommend? or should I not make a filling because it’ll dry out the cake by then?

    1. Yes I remember but not sure which one either, I did reply though 😉
      Will be fine to make that many days ahead once the buttercream is on it acts like a seal and will keep everything fresh for days. I always made my weddings a couple days ahead especially when I had so many in one weekend I had not choice as there are only 24 hours in a day!
      Also any filling will be fine except whipped cream (unless its coconut whipped cream because that seems to stay and even GET BETTER as it sits!)

      1. Do you have any suggestions for fillings? There’s so many and I can’t make up my mind. haha. White cake with vanilla icing.

  35. This is very good tasting(I used your original fudge recipe liked flavor better)but when it cools it turns too hard which I found amazing considering it was so liquidy to begin with. Can this be stopped by adding more water or corn syrup for a softer texture to remain constantly soft once refrigerated?

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