Wellesley Fudge Cake

Wellesley Fudge Cake RecipeCan you imagine the mayhem that would ensue in today’s world if a top college official banned sweets from the diet of its students. Unimaginable, right?  Believe it or not, in the late 1800s, that is exactly what the founder of Wellesley College did.  “Pies, lies, and doughnuts should never have a place at Wellesley College” declared Henry Durant.  I’m sure he had only the best of intentions in mind for the young women when he sent a letter to their parents stating that ‘the college refused to accept students who were broken down in health, maintaining that a proper diet is key for proper learning, and that “we have therefore decided not to receive any one who will not come with the resolution to obey cheerfully all our rules in this respect, and pledged in honor neither to buy nor receive in any manner whatsoever any confectionery or eatables of any kind not provided for them by the College’.  I’m pretty positive that wouldn’t have been the school for me.
Wellesley Fudge Cake RecipeWellesley Fudge Cake RecipeThe letter may have been signed by all Wellesley attendees, but I’m betting that not everyone honored their commitment.  Legend has it that many of the girls of Wellesley chose to indulge in both sweets and lies by making contraband fudge in their dorms late at night.  The exact details of how their fudge making evolved into a chocolate cake with ‘fudgy’ chocolate frosting is up for debate.  I’m just happy it did.
Wellesley Fudge Cake RecipeI adapted this recipe from one printed in a January 2010 issue of Cook’s Country Magazine.  Initially, I wasn’t overly impressed with the cake component of the recipe.  However, after sitting a day under a cloak of fudgy frosting, the cake took on a whole new personality.  Likewise, the first go-round with the frosting was a total failure.  It was grainy and lumpy and extremely thin.  In the trash it went.  I significantly adapted the recipe to make it my own and the changes resulted in a silky smooth frosting with a perfect spreading consistency.  It will most definitely be my ‘go to’ chocolate frosting recipe.
Wellesley Fudge Cake RecipeWellesley Fudge Cake RecipeThis cake matured beautifully.  Day after day it became more moist and fudgy.   The best slice was the final slice eaten three days after baking the cake.
Wellesley Fudge Cake Recipe

 




18 thoughts on “Wellesley Fudge Cake

  1. It definitely wouldn’t have been the school for me either! Although, its students clearly had other ideas in mind and if the results of banning sweets gave birth to a cake like this then I’m glad such a school had existed!

    The cake looks incredibly moist and that frosting is giving me goosebumps – yum!

    • Nazia, it is a little ironic that the very banning of sweets produced something so special we are still talking about it all these years later.

  2. Got Milk….?

    Just looking at the slab of “cake” had me reaching for a glass!

    But my son said that the cake and the frosting – he actually made a noise when he mentioned the frosting – was unbelievably good.

    Not surprising if it came from your kitchen, Mary.

    Guessing the applications for Wellesley dropped considerably after the Dean’s foolish declaration.

    Another Beauty!

    • A big glass of ice cold milk would be the perfect accompaniment for this cake. As a matter of fact, it was my chaser of choice with every piece I ate. :)

  3. Mary, Another breathtaking visual. The back story brings another dimension to your passion and I can only imagine the pleasure I would get enjoying this masterpiece. Thank you for always being an inspiration and for sharing your unwavering joy of baking.

  4. What?? You have a new go-to chocolate frosting recipe? What if we really, really liked the old one? :-)

    Can’t wait to make this. It looks fabulous. Beautiful photos!

    • Michael, this is quite similar to the chocolate frosting I have been making for years, just with a little more versatility. Try it! I think you’ll like it.

  5. A compelling history and a decadent chocolate cake, what a way to begin my day!
    Although I adore Cook’s County recipes and fab tips I’m very pleased to hear I’m not the only one who finds their recipes often need a few changes!

    • Deb, I fear an amateur would have questioned their frosting making abilities and been quite frustrated if they had attempted the Cooks Country’s version of this frosting. Hopefully, with the changes I made, it will result in a delicious frosting for everyone.

  6. Wow, I don`t think I would have been able to discover my love for baking if I had gone to that college at the time! This cake looks like a luscious, chocolate beauty! I would definitely love a slice of this beauty!

    • Half and Half is a combination of milk and cream. You can make your own by combining equal parts whole milk and cream. If you were to substitute one or the other, I would suggest using all cream. It will result in a richer, creamier frosting. Thanks for following along with Sifting Focus.

  7. Oh… my goodness. This cake looks absolutely delicious! I just stumbled upon your blog on pinterest and already you are one of my favorites! :)

  8. I just made this cake…..words cannot express the love! Replacing my long time fave Pennsylvania Dutch cake I’ve used for years with this recipe! Held back half a cup of icing to eat with a spoon…..couldn’t help myself!

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