Decadent Fudge Cake with Bourbon-Apricot Filling and Chocolate Ganache

Level: Challenging
Prep Time: 1 hrs
Cook Time: 1 hrs 5 min
Cooling Time: 3 hrs
Yields: 12 servings


A moist and rich chocolate masterpiece! This is the perfect birthday cake for a chocolate lover. The chocolate filling combines chopped apricots in a fruit filling that is topped with a decadent chocolate ganache garnished with apricot fans. This 1st Prize winning recipe was designed and created by Julie Nealey of Edmonds, WA.


  • CAKE
  • NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2/3 cup bourbon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 dried apricots
  • Slivered almonds


oven to 325° F. Tightly wrap outside bottom of and side of 9-inch springform pan with 2 pieces of foil to prevent leakage. Grease springform pan and dust with cocoa.

COMBINE morsels, butter and sugar in small, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in cocoa and flour. Spoon into prepared springform pan. Place springform pan in larg roasting pan; fill roasting pan with hot water to 1-inch depth.

BAKE for 60 to 65 minutes or until cake is set. Remove springform pan from water bath to wire rack. Cool completely. Run knife around edge of cake.

apricots, bourbon, sugar, water and lemon juice in small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is evaporated. Cool completely. Spread over top of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

cream in small saucepan over medium-high heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Add morsels and corn syrup without stirring. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add butter; stir until smooth. Place cake on wire rack over a baking sheet. Pour ganache over top and sides of cake to cover completely, saving a small amount of ganache for garnish. Reheat ganache if necessary to pouring consistency. (Ganache must be warm to pour evenly over cake. Do not spread ganache with knife, as it will leave marks.) Refrigerate 1 hour or until ganache is set. Transfer to serving platter.

CUT apricots into fans by cutting slices 3/4 of the way through. Dip cut ends in ganache. Place around top edge of cake. Arrange 2 almonds in V-shape at base of each apricot. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Allow cake to stand at room temperature before serving.

Decadent Fudge Cake with Bourbon-Apricot Filling a

by S. Shirleen , HONOLULU, HI on Sep. 2010

For the chocohalics in my family, it was a hit. Everyone wanted a second helping but there was none to go around. Next gathering, two fudge cakes!

Rich and delicious

by K. Kathleen , Beloit, WI on Mar. 2010

I made this cake for my husband's birthday. Because a child was also eating it, I used half bourbon and half orange juice for the topping which worked out well. It really does serve at least 12 as it is very dense and rich. We all enjoyed it - and the leftovers!

Chocolat, Apricots, Brandy..Nothing Better!!

by C. Clementine , Eldersburg, MD on Jan. 2009

I have now made this recipe twice...everyone loves it! It reminded me of Sachertorte but a bit more robust on the apricots and brandy...It looks a bit involved but each step is easy...I cooked the apricots the day before baking the cake..all worked out wonderfully!

Mom's Fudge Birthday Cake

by S. SJ , BELLINGHAM, MA on May. 2008

I made this for my Mom for her birthday, it was a challenge, just the way I like it! The steps were easy to follow though and the finished product was delightful. My Mom was so impressed.


by T. Tammy , LOYAL, WI on Mar. 2008

This is probably one of the most rich sinfully delicious chocolatly desserts I've made. I made it for my husband's birthday...he didn't let anyone take any home- it was that good. I bake a lot...this isn't difficult. directions are excellent. I broke it down into 2 days because you do need a lot of cooling time. well worth it!

Truly Elegant & Delicious

by J. Jan , BLYTHEVILLE, AR on Sep. 2006

I wondered about the combination of Apricot 7 Chocolate, sort of like the bitter and the sweet, but it turned out great! I must admit I garnished it beautifully. Everyone said it was too pretty to cut, but then they forced themselves.

Decadent Fudge Cake with Bourbon-Apricot Filling

by R. Ruth , OCALA, FL on May. 2006

Definitely AWESOME!!! A little time consuming, but well worth it.

decadent fudge cake with bourbon apricot filling

by J. Jacqueline , SCARBOROUGH, ME on May. 2005

I love everything about this cake ,really good taste

Apricots, Chocolate & Bourbon

by R. RITA , BLOOMINGDALE, OH on Feb. 2005

When I read the quanity of bourbon in this recipe I had some 2nd thoughts -- seemed like an awful lot of bourbon. But had a quiet day at home and thought I'd give it a shot. This is a really different Cake, makes a terrific presentation, and the taste is out of this world. Great for company. Don't think I'll make this often but when I do everyone will love it all over again.

What a great cake!!!!!

by C. Courtney , Portland, TX on Jan. 2005

This cake is sooo good and totally worth the work!!!!!! It is rich and the apricots really give it a unique taste. Personally I had never tried a recipe that seemed this difficult, but it turned out not to be so tough.