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Happy Birthday Karen! Hyde Park Fudge Cake

by on October 28, 2008 · 24 comments

Happy Birthday, Karen!  Thanks for all the recipes and comments you’ve shared.  Since you like chocolate, I’ve made you a special cake.

slice of cake

This recipe is based on one from a local bakery called Texas French Bread. They named the cake after their neighborhood, Hyde Park, which is located near the U.T. Campus. It’s a nice area, but I don’t get over there much and am happy TFB was nice enough to share the recipe, which according to the Statesman, is one of Austin’s top 10 dishes.

This cake is very simple. Given the funky 1/3 measurements, I supposed TFB makes these cakes three at a time. The original measurement for the egg is “2 2/3 egg”. I made some other small adjustments as well such as using buttermilk in place of sour milk and using a mixture of coffee and water for the coffee.

The icing came together beautifully and had the perfect texture and sheen. Since I don’t have a double boiler, I used a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

Happy Birthday, Karen! I’m sending this cake to work so I guess Todd’s co-workers are celebrating your birthday this morning.

Hyde Park Fudge Cake

Hyde Park Fudge Cake

5 1/3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup shortening
2 large eggs plus about 3 tablespoons of a lightly beaten egg
1 1/3 cups water (or use a mixture of coffee & water or all coffee!)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour, 13.5 oz
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/3 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoon butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If using a black Bundt pan, preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or spray with flour-added Pam (I used the Pam). TFB recommends greasing and dusting with bread crumbs, but I didn’t want to do that.

Melt the chocolate with the shortening – You can do this in a microwave or a double boiler. Let it cool slightly.

Whisk together eggs, water, buttermilk and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
Mix flour, sugar, soda, and salt thoroughly. (If you don’t, the flour will clump in the batter.) Gradually add flour mixture to liquid ingredients, blending on low speed of mixer until just mixed or hand mixing, scraping bowl well. Pour into pan and bake until done, 50-65 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Turn out on a cake rack and glaze with icing.

Icing: While cake is cooling, heat the sugar in the evaporated milk in the top of a double boiler until the sugar is dissolved. (The mixture will not feel grainy when rubbed between the fingers.) Melt butter and chocolate together. Combine with chocolate mixture. You may add one to two tsp hot water to the icing to enhance the sheen. Pour icing over the cake.

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Published on October 28, 2008

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue October 28, 2008 at 8:11 am

Happy Birthday Karen! That cake looks great!! This recipe is going in the “try it” file. I’ve been looking for a really good chocolate bundt cake recipe for a long time. I’ve tried a couple but they’re not quite it. Maybe this is the one.

aTxVegn October 28, 2008 at 8:21 am

Definitely one of the best cakes in town. Yours looks lovely!

Katrina October 28, 2008 at 8:39 am

Yum! Happy Birthday, Karen!

runjess October 28, 2008 at 9:15 am

It appears that I’ve only had one dish on the Top 10 list (Hyde Park french fries). What a shame.

Karen October 28, 2008 at 9:23 am

Wow! I’m in total shock! What a surprise! Thanks so much, that really made my morning – glad I clicked on cookiemadness so early today to see that! I’m appearing in court today, in one hour, so I’m very stressed out and really should not be surfing the web. I’ll have to make my cake later and let you know how it comes out!
Thanks so much, Anna!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer October 28, 2008 at 9:28 am

That looks so decedent!!!

VeggieGirl October 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

Happy birthday to Karen!!

DAMN that fudge cake looks heavenly.

Annie October 28, 2008 at 10:34 am

Happy Birthday from Hyde Park, UK!

clumbsycookie October 28, 2008 at 11:02 am

Isn’t Karen a lucky girl to get such a yummy looking cake?! Happy birthday!

Anna October 28, 2008 at 11:26 am

I’m celebrating Karen’s birthday right now with a small piece of cake.

Sue, I will let you know if this is *the one*. It’s very good and I love the frosting, but I need to eat some more to decide if it’s the best.

Jess, don’t feel bad. The only thing on the list I’ve tried are the french fries from Hyde Park Grill. They’re great, but I prefer the fries at Trio in the Four Seasons. Do you follow Dishola? It’s more up-to-date. I think the things on the list above are personal favorites of the now-retired restaurant reviewer.

I’m glad Karen’s getting a birthday greeting from the REAL Hyde Park. Wow. And another one from Portugal!

Heidi October 28, 2008 at 11:34 am

I didn’t even know there was a hood named Hyde Park. I’ve not had any of those foods (I know, I know, I demanded Amy’s the next time we are in town)

annie October 28, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Anna, how fortuitous I am today, as I was looking for a chocolate cake to bake for my son’s birthday tomorrow.I was wondering if I could substitute the shortening for butter as I do not like shortening, nor do I have any on hand. Thank you for the many recipe ideas I have gleaned from your blog.

Anna October 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Hi Annie,

This cake is good, but I do think butter would be better than shortening. Definitely give it a try!

Sue October 28, 2008 at 1:19 pm

For the sake of experimenting with different recipes and not being deluged with cake, would it work to halve a bundt cake recipe and bake it in a loaf pan?

It’s time for me to go for a walk. The baked item at my house today is apple pie. Totally ridiculous since there are only two people to eat it, but it’s my husband’s all time favorite.

snookydoodle October 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm


Shannon October 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm

This cake looks FANTASTIC! I’d love to make it for work, but don’t currently own a bundt pan…do you think another pan would work? I’d hate to ruin the recipe by poorly chosen…erm…hardware!

Sophia October 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Happy birthday Karen!
That cake does look wonderful.

Anna October 28, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Shannon, I think a tube pan would work.

Karen October 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Thanks everybody for the birthday wishes from around the globe! The judges weren’t too brutal today. I got home in time for my brother to take me to lunch at a new Italian restaurant.

To Sue and Shannon – I often cut a bundt cake recipe in half and bake in a loaf pan. Usually in an 8 x 4 rather than 9×5 for a taller loaf, but either way works.

Sue October 28, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Thanks Karen! I’m glad the judges weren’t too brutal on your birthday. :-)

Karen December 6, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Postscript: I finally made “my” birthday cake and it came out great, very moist and a nice texture, kinda like gingerbread. I subbed butter for the shortening and just used water, no coffee. We have really enjoyed snacking on it all week long. A great easy cake! Thanks again!

Anna December 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Hooray! Glad the all butter sub worked.

Robin July 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Hi Anna,

Do you mind if I ask how you were able to get TFB to share the recipe?

I’m an ex-Austinite who still longs for their wild rice salad with walnuts and dried cranberries…


Brooke August 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I made this cake over the weekend for my family and we all fell in love! So good and moist. My only thing to change for next time, let the iceing settle a bit before putting it on the cake. It was runny and spilled out into the middle. But it was still good!!! Yummy.

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