Mama’s Famous Old Fashioned Fudge Cake

Once we flip our calendar to December (yes I still have an old school wall calendar just for the girls and their social diva in training activities like bowling), we are pretty well booked every weekend. One of my favorite things about the holidays is visiting with family and friends we don’t get to see often.

Let’s face it, though, the patience level of kids falls off the face of the planet during the holidays. Even just a half-hour drive across town to have lunch with friends quickly disintegrates into “Are we there yet?” And that’s just as you’re pulling out of your driveway.

That’s when you crank the Christmas music and hand out bribes, I mean cookies. This is all, of course, just intended to raise your sweet darlings’ blood sugar. I would never condone parenting via bribery! (Ahem.) A few crumbs in your back seat is worth the silence.

It’s always good to arrive with a little housewarming gift and what better way to say you care about someone than to bring chocolate?

Here’s my mother’s famous old fashioned Southern fudge cake recipe, a holiday favorite that goes back to 1967 for my family!

Mama’s Famous Old Fashioned Fudge Cake

Beat 4 eggs, add 2 cups sugar, 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 4 squares of melted baking chocolate, 1 tsp. vanilla – add 2 cups of flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup of chopped nuts.

Line a large greased pan with two pieces of paper towel – then two pieces of wax paper on top of that.   The cake would burn if you did not do this!!

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes – turn oven off and leave in oven 5 minutes. Cool slightly before turning out on counter (I turn mine out on a chop block).


Melt 1 stick margarine, 3 squares chocolate and 12 marshmallows

Add 3 tsp of milk  and 1 tsp vanilla. When melted and warm add 1 box of confectionary sugar – blend well.   You may need a little more milk.

Spread on cake.  For thicker icing you can add 2 cups miniature marshmallows to the icing (my mom says she never does this, though.)

Cool and cut into squares and keep well covered.




  1. Shari says:

    Our NEW favorite holiday recipe is Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle by Paul Dean. My grand daughter (5) and I made these for Thanksgiving and everyone went gah gah over them. I Made them tiny bit different than the recipe called for. I made individual (clear plastic cups) of this recipe. Everyone asked if we would do it again for Christmas. Oh yeah… this will be the NEW tradition.


    * 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
    * 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
    * 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
    * 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    * 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
    * 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
    * 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional


    Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

  2. Kellie K. says:

    Our favorite holiday tradition/dessert is our sour cream sugar cookies. My grandma, mom, my daughter, and I (that’s right 4 generations) all get in the kitchen together and make the recipe ending up covered in flour head to toe. Frosting the cookies is just that much more fun with the homeade icing and candy sprinkles (my daughter’s favorite part). So even though it’s not really a dessert, I think we use it as a dessert for most every meal between thanksgiving and Christmas 🙂

  3. Kaye says:

    My family expects me to make coconut cake – which I hate, but my favorite dessert is my Grandmother’s Jam Cake. The best part of the cake is the caramel icing. Maybe I will just make a batch of the icing!
    .-= Kaye´s last blog ..The little things =-.

  4. Elsie says:

    Homemade strudel has the charm and memories for me…gentle wisps of fresh strudel baking, then warm strudel after dinner, sitting and watching the Christmas tree glitter and shine, with the family!

  5. Jami says:

    My favorite holiday dessert recipe is…….ALL of them. I can’t stop! I love homemade cinnamon rolls, peanut butter balls, turtle cookies. You name it, I love it!

  6. uncommonblonde says:

    I love to make what I call “Magic Cookie Bars” – I’ve also seen the same thing called congo bars. They are chocolate, coconut & pecan bars and I could eat a whole batch by myself!

    P.S. I keep forgetting to check your review blog and keep missing the great giveaways! I’m resolving to check more often – one day I’ll win!
    .-= uncommonblonde´s last blog ..Keepin it real =-.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Mince pie and Christmas cookies – there’s a cream cheese based dough that I typically use for the cookies; I love how soft the cookies are. I typically shape them into snowmen (two small balls squished together), though I’ve also done candy canes (dying half of the dough red). It really does handle very nicely.

    The kiddos, of course, will eat cookies hand-over-fist. They’re not into pie yet. So for now, the emphasis is on cookies.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Calla on the computer =-.

  8. Michelle Smiles says:

    My husband loves pumpkin pie so despite being pretty standard that is the one thing I make sure we have during the holidays. His mom makes him a separate one just for him. I personally am not a pumpkin pie person. I? Am all about the Christmas cookies. Love me some cookies.
    .-= Michelle Smiles´s last blog ..Ballerina =-.

  9. Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy says:

    For some reason I always think of my mom’s Snickerdoodles during the holidays. I’m sure it’s more sentimental than taste related since they’re such a simple cookie. But, she always makes them and they’re the perfect balance of crisp and chewy. And, she still has the same green glass cookie jar from when I was a kid.

    My favorite thing to make at the holidays are caramel layer brownies. I get requests for those every year.
    .-= Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: I Didn’t Even Know Paris Hilton HAD A Shoe Line =-.

  10. Kim Young says:

    My favorite holiday dessert (I guess it can be abytime, but I usually only make them at Christmas) is No-Bake Cookies. My husband hates them, but we have friends and family that love them, so I make some for them and keep a few for myself. My husband’s favorite is Spritz cookies from a cookie press. i make those all year around, but I love to make the wreath and tree shapes at Christmas.
    .-= Kim Young´s last blog ..Shaving Cream Snowman =-.

  11. Flossip says:

    Count me in! My grandmother used to make this Japanese fruit pie (not to be confused with fruit cake) that I loved. I need to find the recipe to continue on the tradition. I also dream of a day making fudge and pralines with my mom, aunt and daughter… hopefully we will make time for that this year!
    .-= Flossip´s last blog ..I

  12. Shab says:

    I love making my mom’s recipe of “Heavenly Ice” it is a Persian dish with flour, rice flour, water, milk, sugar, and rosewater. Yum. It gets a gelatin-like consistency, and is yummy with crushed pistachios on top!

  13. Jennifer says:

    1) party pooper.

    2) My CANADIAN grannie made the best shortbread ever! I stole her recipe.
    1/2 cup icing sugar
    1/2 cup corn starch
    1 cup flour
    3/4 butter.

    Mix, ball up and bake at 300 for 15-20 min. You can also roll out and cut into shapes!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..So I shall bore you some more

  14. Trisha says:

    My favorite is my Aunts Peanut butter fudge! It is so good and one time she gave me the recipie and I tried really hard to make it myself but it just turned out to be peanut butter soup:( So now I just have to wait until every christmas to get some!

  15. Al S. says:

    Our favorite holiday dessert is an apple pie turnover!! It’s basically an apple pie just thrown in a roll out dough crust! Super easy!

  16. Erics candy floss says:

    Great article on sweets, for me it has be candy floss, strawberry and blueberry have always been my favorites, although blueberry is quite hard to get hold of :(No one is ever to old to enjoy sweets!

  17. Bratts29 says:

    One of our fav family treats is a cookie made from ground hazelnuts and apricot jam. There is no name for it, that I know of. It is an old German recipe my mother brought with her when she came to the US 50 years ago. They are very hard to make and time consuming. My siblings and I fight over these. Mom is usally nice enough to make little packages for us to each take home. It would not be Christmas without these.


  18. Liz says:

    That sounds tasty! I love making all kinds of cookies. It’s been a few years since I’ve made Russian Tea Cakes, so I think I’ll give those a shot again this year. They are so good and they’ll be a blast to make with my daughter.

  19. Jillian F says:

    I love love love love…peanut butter cookies with the fork pressed in the middle of them…simple but amazing and I love the way they make my new house smell!

  20. NoHell says:

    My Mom always has spread a marshmallow cream icing on her red velvet cake. I’d never eaten one with cream cheese until I moved away from home. I’ve never met anyone else who uses that marshmallow icing on red velvet cake. And, naturally, I like Mom’s style best.

  21. Sarah says:

    my family’s favorite holiday desert is pumpkin pie…nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, but oh so good this time of year 🙂

  22. Katherine C. says:

    Every Christmas Eve, we have chocolate fondue with an assortment of fruit, angel cake, and marshmallows. It is so fun, and delicious!

  23. Deb Anderson says:

    My mom always makes a raisin pie at Christmas. None of us are fond of it except my dad. He LOVES it!! So it’s a tradition and kind of a running family joke about the raisin pie! 🙂

  24. Niecey says:

    Definitely our family favorite holiday dessert is Tiramassu. My mum used to make it every year and now I’m trying it myself. I have some practicing until I’ll get as good as mum’s but it’s still heavenly.

  25. Amy In Ohio says:

    I’ve never met a dessert I didn’t like of course…but my favorite right now are these apricot almond bars learned to make yesterday…they are terrific

  26. Kelly Deaton says:

    Our family’s favorite holiday dessert is homemade Pound Cake (warm) , with cool whip & strawberries!

  27. Jillian says:

    Oh, we love to make ice-box surprise. It’s so easy! Mix whipping cream, crushed graham crackers and the juice from maraschino cherries together, then add marshmallows, dates, the cherries, and walnuts. Roll it into logs and refrigerate. YUM!!!! We just eat it at Christmas, though.
    .-= Jillian´s last blog ..Our Lego Contest Entry =-.

  28. Kirsten says:

    We love ice cream in our house! Put yummy toppings, even in the snow and cold weather, we are an ice cream family!

  29. Kristy Richardson says:

    We’re a sugar cookie famaily for the holidays. I grew up at the holidays making chocolate dipped yumminess too… Sugar wafers, oreos, graham crackers, nuts, rice crispies, peppermint, pretzels… you name it we dipped dit n chocolate and added sprinkles!

  30. Carrie Schmidt says:

    One of my family’s favorite holiday desserts is my Grandmother’s fudge recipe – best fudge I’ve ever had!!

  31. Mary @ The Writer's Block says:

    I know this is really random, but my favorite dessert is Japanese Fruit Pie. I have no idea why, but it was always a special treat at Thanksgiving and Christmas and I love it. It brings back great memories. It’s kind of like a chess pie with coconut, raisins, and nuts all mixed in. Typically, I wouldn’t naturally gravitate towards a dessert with that description, but I’m telling you, it’s good. 😉
    .-= Mary @ The Writer’s Block´s last blog ..Another Cool Contest! =-.

  32. Nanette says:

    Family favorite – Meringue shells with peppermint ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup!
    Its fun to see all the other favorites!

  33. nan lara says:

    That’s a tough one..i have one sister who makes an awesome cheesecake and my other sister makes an awesome homemade carrot cake…i really can’t choose…i’ll have a small slice of both

  34. Sarah says:

    Our favorite is the traditional Yule Log cake… which has unintentionally replaced my mother in law’s pecan pie on Christmas Day! 🙂

  35. Carol W. says:

    My family’s favorite holiday dessert is Nantucket cranberry walnut pie. It is a super easy recipe and the pie always pleases.

  36. Kim says:

    We love to eat pistachio salad during the holidays – it has nuts and mini marshmallows and TONS of whipped cream!

  37. Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom says:

    One of my family’s favorite holiday desserts is this delicious Pumpkin Bar that I make. It has a yummy cream cheese frosting. It is made in a bar pan which is nice, as it feeds lots of people!

    Your recipe looks so good – I am going to have to try that!

  38. Shannon (The Mommy-Files) says:

    Our favorite family tradition is to go searching for our family Christmas tree. We buy a tree permit and go out into the forest (in our truck) in search of the perfect tree. We also bring with us plenty of snacks and hot chocolate to sip on afterwards. If there is no, we play in the snow 🙂
    .-= Shannon (The Mommy-Files)´s last blog ..

  39. ShootingStarsMag says:

    My favorite holiday dessert? Hmm…probably cookies of all sorts. I really love peanut butter cookies with a hershey kiss on top. Mmm….nothing says Christmas quite like it.

  40. amber says:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! We like making holiday sugar cookies, and we also like making gingerbread cookies. We like making holiday rice krispies treats. We also like making different types of holiday breads. Thank you for the lovely giveaway 🙂

  41. Steve says:

    My family’s favorite holiday treats are the peanut butter/Hershey’s kiss cookies. They never last long enough to cool!

  42. EG says:

    Okay, I have butterfingers and apparently somehow hit “submit” without telling you about dessert.

    My grandmother has a lot of wonderful cake recipes, but for the holidays I’m a cookie girl. My dad and I share a favorite – basic Oatmeal Raisin!
    .-= EG´s last blog ..Rainy Days and Sundays =-.

  43. Julie L says:

    One of my favorites is my mom’s sour cream cookies-she puts chocolate chips in them or cinnamon on top. She has also puts homemade frosting such as mint etc-they are scrumptious

  44. Kenny N says:

    In my family our favorite holiday dessert is a cookie that is known as heavenly tidbits. They are so good and we only make them once a year. The best part of the holidays.

  45. Angela M says:

    We love to make a cinnamon monkey bread. We can just pull pieces off and eat it for a long time…okay a few hours. lol

  46. Lauralee Hensley says:

    Bunches of sliced or diced fruit like apples, pears, peaches, white grapes, cherries all mixed together in cool whip.

  47. Rose Hendrickson says:

    I like to make special morning pancakes with chocolate chips, walnuts, and other yummy ingredients.

  48. Brandy Wilson says:

    I don’t know about it being a holiday dessert only (I certainly can’t wait until Christmas to eat this amazing dessert)… but I love muddy buddies! I do realize others around the U.S. call it a different name… 🙂

  49. Annette D says:

    My family’s favorite desert for the holidays is an Almond Pound Cake and it is just wonderful!
    Of course, we all love anything chocolate too!

  50. Christy Duncan says:

    I love making things with white chocolate….white chocolate covered pretzels, white chocolate covered peanut butter ritz crackers…the list could go on. I decorate them with a little color for Christmas. They are all so good and easy to make!

  51. Katie says:

    Oooh, we have so many favorite holiday desserts in my family! Okay well maybe its just me that does — I have a total sweet tooth! 🙂

    Some of my favorites are my mom’s peanut butter fudge, neopolitan squares, peanut butter balls, pizelle snowflake cookies, and anything else with chocolate! Hee hee.

    Please enter me in this contest, thank you!

    And thank you for your Mama’s Famous Fudge cake recipe — I was actually looking for something new and chocolate to make on Christmas!!! 🙂
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Review of 4Moms Cleanwater Infant Tub with Digital Thermometer =-.

  52. Eileen RIchter says:

    We always have a chocolate/vanilla cheesecake I make with a caramel, pecan and chocolate laced topping. It is my one holiday indulgence. Mmmmm… I will be thinking about it ALL day!!! I also make holiday candies but am slow on that job this year. The card gift would come in handy for groceries.

    Thanks so much.!

  53. Jennifer Reece says:

    We love pizzelles- my grandmother and mother always made them. Now it’s up to me to carry on the tradition.

  54. Wanda says:

    Ok…it’s not dessert…but it’s sweet.
    My family is pretty crazy about Monkey Bread. It is a MUST have for Thanksgiving morning and Christmas morn. If I forget…..I never live it down.
    .-= Wanda´s last blog ..Christmas Party =-.

  55. Judy B. says:

    One of my favorites from years ago was homemade plum pudding with hard sauce. It was fun to make about 6 weeks ahead of time and delicious as dessert on Christmas. Of course it was very rich and would probably kill me now with all of the fat in it!

  56. Kittenish says:

    My family’s favorite holiday dessert is fudge. I love fudge! My aunts also make lots of cookies, especially sugar cookies. When I was a kid I helped them make cookies by dumping tons of sugar crystals on top of them *^_^*

  57. brittney mclain says:

    I make [from scratch] a strawberry & cream pie with fresh cut strawberries, drizzled chocolate..yumm! its delish 🙂

  58. Alicia McCain says:

    My mom has always made this wonderful mint ice cream dessert at Christmas. It seems odd, because it’s so cold in our part of the country at Christmas, but it’s super yummy. It has a graham cracker crust, a layer of chocolate mousse, and then a layer of the peppermint ice cream you can only get at Christmas. Love it!

  59. Jay says:

    Dh and I bought some springform pans about 2 years ago and made our first cheesecake-now it is a tradition-we make a chocolate swirl and a sour cream one.

  60. Katie S says:

    I love making Thin Mint cheesecake. I save a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and make the crust out of them. If I have some on hand I’ll top off the cheesecake with holiday mint M&Ms.

  61. Katy says:

    One of my absolute fave are our Christmas cookies! They are a family recipe, and I have no idea where they came from, and never had any others like them!


  62. Joy says:

    we make thumbprint cookies….sugar cookies with the jam filling….they are so tasty and a nice break from all the chocolate desserts

    mjharvey26 at yahoo dot com

  63. Linda says:

    My favorite are triple chocolate oatmeal cookies – brownie mix and butter, oats, chocolate chips and andies mints. They are delicious!

  64. Sean says:

    My family is about 35 people and each unit brings cooking christmas morning, and my favorite are snowballs with a cherry center
    zelpuz77 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  65. Cake Baker says:

    I’m really into cake baking and cake decorating, so my favorite holiday treat is a chocolate chocolate chip cake with peppermint filling. Decorated with red and green m&m’s on the outside 🙂

  66. Sarah in MO says:

    One of our favorites is my Great-Grandma’s Ginger Cookies and another is my Grandma’s Peanut Butter Fudge! Yumm!!!

    Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas!

  67. amanda says:

    Our family enjoys making the “puppy chow” or “muddy buddies”!
    Oh let’s not forget orange cake with lemon icing with sprinkles. Oh and my husband’s favorite “death by chocolate”!!! My 3 year old just loves to have a helping hand…but I think mommy makes the biggest mess out of us all!!

    thankyou for the giveaway and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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