Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (2024)

by RetroRuth | Jun 15, 2011 | , The BEST | 83 comments

All Hail the Tunnel of Fudge Cake! Not only does this amazing cake have a hilarious name (snicker) and an impeccable Mid-Century pedigree (it was a runner-up in the famous 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off) but the darn thing is magic. It is the original cake that makes its own ribbon of fudgy goodness in the CENTER of the cake as you bake it. Miraculous AND delicious!

Sadly, the Tunnel cake is also infamous. The original recipe from the 17th Annual Bake-Off cookbook calls for a product that is no longer in production: Pillsbury’s Double Dutch Fudge Buttercream Frosting Mix. The discontinuing of this mix has led to a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth. People who grew up with the Tunnel cake and loved it have been searching for a substitute for the frosting mix for years, much to the bafflement of Pillsbury execs. After all, they revamped the recipe and posted it on their website. They even added a chocolate glaze. They claim the frosting mix was just a bunch of cocoa and powdered sugar with no other special ingredients and you can make the cake without it. But people are still searching for that perfect Tunnel of Fudge cake recipe, and are subbing everything from the above-mentioned powdered sugar/cocoa combo to brown sugar to powdered drink mixes, some recipes even “cheating” by spooning in a pre-fudged layer into the cake to make it seem like the old magic is back.

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake

This is the original recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups softened butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 pkg Double Dutch Frosting Mix (OR 2 pkgs Jiffy Chocolate Frosting Mix)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter in large mixing bowl on high speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Gradually add sugar: continue creaming at high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. By hand, stir in flour, frosting mix and walnuts until well-blended.
  5. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan or 10 inch tube pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes. Cool 2 hours before removing from pan. Cool completely before serving.

Notes

Warning! This cake is like baking brownies! If you overcook the cake you WILL lose the fudge tunnel in the center.

I have been studying Tunnel of Fudge cake recipes for two years now, dissecting and decoding, trying to find exactly the balance between sweet and tooth-aching sweetness and sufficient magic fudginess to recapture the Tunnel cake spirit. And that isn’t just the spirit of what’s in the recipe. It’s spirit of dumping a bunch of stuff in a bowl and having something magical come out. The actual Tunnel cake experience, not just the revamped hybrid cake. You know, the one with glaze.

And then, I caught a break.

You know what it’s like when you have walked past something a thousand times without actually seeing it? Without actually looking at the details because you don’t expect anything has changed since the last time you looked at it? Like when you are walking down the hall, past the shelf that you put up 5 years ago that you filled with little ceramic animals and suddenly you look at it. Really look at it, and you think, “Where the heck did that duck with fangs come from?”

I was walking down the baking aisle of the grocery store the other day and I started to buzz past all of the boxed mixes like I usually do. If I don’t, I usually end up with three different kinds of brownies in the cart and 5 pounds heavier by the end of the week. But this time I slowed down for a minute, and started to skim all of the different kinds and flavors. Then my eyes caught on something, and I came to a screeching halt.

“Holy crap,” I thought, “It’s frosting mix. Fudge frosting mix.”

Then the Tunnel of Fudge angels in heaven started singing, and I knew I had stumbled across the old magic.

“Of course,” I thought, “Jiffy still makes frosting mix! Jiffy! Why didn’t I think of this before?” And I had no answer for myself. It seemed like it would be the logical thing to think of. Jiffy mix has been around since the beginning of time (read: 1930). I remembered Jiffy having fudge frosting mix when I was little, AND that Jiffy was one of my mom’s favorite brands to buy. Mostly because it was cheap. But their corn muffin mix is one of the only boxed mixes that I buy regularly.

And I was more than content with using Jiffy frosting mix in my Tunnel cake.

This was it. I was going to make this cake, this cake with 3 sticks of butter and six eggs in it, and then I was going to dump in boxes of premade frosting mix and watch the magic happen. It was going to be the complete 1966 experience, with no updated recipe and only a small substitution of a brand name.

And it…

was…

awesome!

By the time I got it in the oven, I was pretty impatient for it to be done. But I had a three hour waiting period to endure. First, the 60 minute baking time. Then the 2 hour cool down while the mysterious fudge came into being.

Meanwhile, this was the conversation in the kitchen:

“Is it fudge yet?”

“Nope.”

“How ‘bout now?”

“Nope.”

“Now?”

“Not yet!”

We settled in with a DVD of Streetcar Named Desire to entertain us and low fat ice cream sandwiches to keep our sweet teeth happy. But Tom kept coming in the kitchen to refill his lemonade, and every time he found me already there, staring at the cooling cake, mumbling to myself about how long two hours really is.

Finally, after Blanche had gone completely crazy and I had stopped swooning over the dresses, the cake mostly cooled. (It was stillpretty warm, though!) This was it. It was finally the moment of fudgy truth.

I cut the cake carefully, lifting out a slice and craning my neck, my view blocked by my serrated knife.

“Did it work?,” I asked breathlessly, “Is it fudgy?”

“Oh yes,” Tom said, “very, very much so.”

I was so excited. This was it! It had really worked! Even as the cake started to collapse, the fudge on the insidestill too warm and starting to run out of the center, I leaned over and breathed in the smell of success. It was slightly chocolaty, with a hint of toffee, and very, very sweet.

“How is it? Is it good?”

“Oh yeah.”

“It isn’t too sweet, is it?

“Nope, it’s just perfect.”

The Verdict: Success!! The texture of the cake was perfect, exactly what I had hoped it would be. It had a toffee taste (probably from the cups and cups of sugar) and was chewy, with the fudge center thick and gooey even when completely cool. The only bad thing I can think of saying is that there wasn’t a rich chocolate flavor to the cake, which could probably be easily fixed by adding some extra cocoa powder in with the frosting mix. But only if you want to mess with it. To me, it tasted absolutely perfect. Tunnel of Fudge magical.

*Hopefully you are lucky enough to have your local grocery store carry Jiffy fudge frosting mix, like mine. Make sure to check every corner of the baking aisle, in case it is hiding in plain sight. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, it is available online from different retailers.

*UPDATE: There has been some confusion about the texture of the “fudge tunnel” inside the cake. When you are making it, try not to think of it as cake, try to think of it as brownies. If you pull brownies early, they will be gooey. If you let them bake too long, they will firm up. The same applies to this cake. If you want the molten center, pull the cake early and cut it hot. If you want it to be more firm, leave it for the entire baking time and let your cake cool completely before cutting.

  1. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (17)

    Tomon June 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Stella! … I mean: Ruuuth!! Hey, Ruuuth!!

  2. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (18)

    RetroRuthon June 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Keep yelling, you big ape! 🙂

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    Inkyon June 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    You have officially earned your place in baking heaven where the ovens heat in a perfect even way and everything comes out just right. Bless you – you ARE the Tunnel of Fudge angel!!!

  4. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (20)

    RetroRuthon June 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you, Inky!!! It’s everything I could have ever dreamed it would be… 🙂

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    veg-o-maticon June 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I have been meaning to try this for years, but nobody carries Jiffy frosting mix around here. Maybe it’s time to order it online…
    What gets me is that the batter turns into cake without any leavening. How does it do that? Some kind of chocolaty cake voodoo, I guess.

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    Andreaon June 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Heh, I think the look on Tom’s face on the last picture says it all – you are the chocolate fudge tunnel cake genius who got it just right!

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    Marlenaon June 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    That’s so funny! As I read the beginning of this entry I thought, “Ohmigod! I have to tell her about Jiffy frosting mix!” I might have known that’s where the post was headed. 🙂 Their cornbread mix is also the only box mix I ever use. My dad always made it when he made split pea soup, navy bean soup, and chili.

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    Sara In AZon June 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    There was a bundt cake mix I was completely obsessed with back in the early 90s that was very similar to this recipe – chocolate cake with a tunnel of fudge on the inside. I know, bad me for buying a mix — but it was SO good! I will totally try this one when I have the time!

    PS – I recognize that plate. 😉

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    RetroRuthon June 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Veg – It could be the 6 eggs! That’s just my guess. 🙂

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    RetroRuthon June 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks, Andrea! It was exciting, and I was really pleased that it actually turned out!

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    RetroRuthon June 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Great minds, Marlena! They think alike!!!

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    RetroRuthon June 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I knew you would recognize that! It is the plate of power. Whenever I want a Mid-Century Menu dish to REALLY taste good, I serve it on that plate.

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    Brieon June 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Totally making this. You are a baking genius! Now i’m going to be on the lookout for that jiffy frosting. 🙂

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    Jenny (VintageSugarcube)on July 10, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Ohhhhh, what I would do for a piece of that fudgy sinfullness right NOW!! Loving your site and all the fun! 🙂

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    CoolBlueon December 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I made the Tunnel of Fudge bundt cake over the weekend and I used the Jiffy frosting mix, but my cake did not end up having the fudgie center. It tastes good, but I was disappointed that there was no fudge in the middle.

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    RetroRuthon December 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Hi CoolBlue!

    I am not exactly sure what the problem was, but my guess would be that the cooking time was too long in your oven. Oven temps sometimes vary, and if the cake is overcooked (or the oven is too hot) the fudge will disappear. I would try again, but this time I would reduce the cooking time by 15 mins! Good luck!

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    CoolBlueon December 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Hi RetroRuth,

    I baked my cake for 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven. My stove is only a few years old and I bake all the time. Every thing else always comes out perfect. I can’t figure it out.

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    RetroRuthon December 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Sorry CoolBlue! Accidental overbaking is the only thing I can think of! 🙁

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    Brenda Bradberyon March 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I just did the same exact thing you did yesterday. I wanted to make this cake because it had been so long and I dearly love it, when I realized about the jiffy cake frosting. I my story was the same as I read yours right down to waiting for it to cool. When I cut it I was so excited. I just hate it took me so long to figure it out. Loved you story.

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    RetroRuthon March 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Thanks, Brenda!!! Did the recipe work for you??? I have been getting some mixed reviews, so I am curious!

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    P'Gellon April 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Oh, wow. I used to make this when I was first married. Then they discontinued the frosting mix you needed NEEDED to make the cake. I will have to see if any of our stores carry the Jiffy frosting mix. My brother and I were really the only ones who liked it, but huh, more for us.

    THANK YOU!!!!

  22. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (39)

    Allison Wilkinson May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I tried the recipe also, with the Jiffy frosting mix. I mixed in 2 boxes and was sadly disappointed when it came out nothing but a chocolate cake
    :(. How many boxes do you need to make the fudge inside?

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    RetroRuthon May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Hey Allison!

    I am sorry it didn’t work out! Two boxes is what you need to get it to work. Make sure your oven isn’t too hot and that you are using a heavy bundt pan. If the fudge disappeared, then it was baked for too long or the oven was too hot!

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    nosliwammon September 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I remember the cake itself. The tunnel wasa not runny like a molten type thing as shown in the pictures. It was almost like the center wasn’t quite a finished brownie, it didn’t run out it was more solidified than what you showed here.

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    RetroRuthon September 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

    That’s because when I took the pictures of our cake, it wasn’t completely cool yet, as I mentioned in the post. It did firm up more when it cooled.

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    Gentryon November 8, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I won”t be able to express my gratitude for this recipe. My mom always made this cake when I was young, she loved it and I loved it. In my adult life, I asked about it and she explained that they stopped making the frosting mix. However, her original recipe called for the Jiffy frosting mix that you substituted! I discovered the jiffy frosting was available online a couple years ago, but mom had since lost the recipe. Her birthday is in 2 weeks and this will be her surprise. Thanks so much!!

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    JERI KAUFMANon December 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    My friend made this for me when we were kids. I dreamed about it for years! My daughter mad it with a friend with the adapted version….it was awful!!
    There is such a following for this item (jiffy frosting) that the price is sky high. I found the vanilla one for .66 cents!
    Thanks for the great commentary!

  28. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (45)

    Vickyon April 12, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Where is the recipe? Or do you use the standard Pillsbury recipe but add the 2 boxes of Jiffy Frosting to it? Thank you.

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    RetroRuthon April 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hey Vicky –
    It is the standard recipe, but with the Jiffy frosting subbed for the Double Dutch Frosting mix. However, I have just added a printable recipe. You will see it at the beginning of the post. Thanks!

  30. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (47)

    Debbieon June 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I also grew up with this recipe. Walmart usually sells all of the Jiffy mixes. I make a retro pumpkin squares recipe every Thanksgiving and it calls for plain yellow cake mix (no pudding in the mix) for the crust. Jiffy makes only yellow cake mix that does not contain pudding in the mix. Sometimes I can find it at Kroger but always at Walmart. Thanks for the great post!

  31. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (48)

    Dennison November 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    http://on.fb.me/1igVWqQ

    Came out great the first time, and I’m making it tonight to bring to Thanksgiving Dinner with the family. Thank you so much for the hard work in perfecting this recipe. I’ve SO missed this. Comes out just like Mom used to make. I add about two extra tablespoons of cocoa and almost an extra 1/4 cup of sugar at the stir.

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    Gweakson February 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I AM SO HAPPY YOU HAVE ALREADY TESTED THIS RECIPE SO NOW I CAN HAVE MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO! I CAN SEE WHERE THE EXTRA SUGAR AND COCOA WOULD COMPENSATE FOR THE DOUBLE DUTCH PART OF THE TUNNEL OF FUDGE. GOD BLESS YOU!

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    jason hillon March 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Hi i live in the uk and can’t get either of the chocolate mixes here, i have found a betty crocker rich and creamy chocolate fudge icing,we call frosting icing here,but its not a mix its premade , do you think that will work,and is it all purpose or self raising flour thanks

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    jason hillon March 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Sorry forgot to say looks cake looks amazing thanks

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    Michelle Michelon April 17, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    My grandmother made this all the time. When I learned to bake as a young teenager, she passed the recipe on to me (I’m now 61)! My question for you… do you use salted or unsalted butter when making this? Used to be butter was just butter!
    Thanks!

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    RetroRuthon April 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Hi! I used unsalted butter, and it turned out great. Good luck!

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    Elsieon May 26, 2014 at 3:55 am

    For anyone who cannot find Jiffy Fudge Frosting Mix in a store: I discovered that it can be purchased by the case from the Jiffy people. A case is 12 boxes — the product costs $6.00 (that’s $.50 a box), but the shipping is steep. In my case, being shipped from the East coast to the West coast, it’s $14.95. Checking on Amazon, the lowest price from a marketplace seller is $24.30 for a box of 6. At $20.95, I am getting double the amount at less than half the price.

    Going to try your recipe as soon as my frosting mix arrives… 😉 I still have the original recipe. It was printed on the back of an ancient Pillsbury cake box and has been hidden in one of my “safe places” for decades.

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    Nancy Hopkins Robeyon July 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Really !! I saw the frosting at a competitor grocery store and bought two boxes hoping to remake mom’s old recipe. Could not remember the recipe so I started searching the internet. So happy to have found this and cannot believe there are so many other people that grew up having tunnel cake. Started reading all these posts and OMGosh Gentry really ??? Lauren and Ron are at the store to collect the rest of the ingredients. Stay tuned and I’ll let ya know how it comes out. Unbelievable.

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    janon December 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I always wanted to make a TOF cake (I’m of that era), and when I stumbled across your site, I decided that, this time, I was really going to do it. I did think that finding the Jiffy fudge frosting mix would be a long shot, but there it was at the super supercenter, just like it was for you. I grabbed two boxes of it and a big bag of chopped pecans (personal preference), then scurried home to assemble the ingredients so I could bake the cake early Christmas morning. I toasted the pecans, set out the eggs, butter, and sugar, then measured out the flour. Since you implied your cake was not quite chocolatey enough, I removed 2 Tbsp of flour from the measured portion and replaced it with 2 Tbsp. cocoa. Similarly, I swapped out 2 Tbsp of the frosting mix. I brought the baked cake to my son’s house as a surprise Christmas dessert. Though it was cold when we cut it, the center was still oozy and fudgy. We put each piece in the microwave for a few seconds and served with a dollop of Blue Bell peppermint ice cream. The oohs and aahs and groans of delight around the table were almost shameful. What a fabulous dessert. And so easy! Much more like a brownie than a cake, but we can live with that!.

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    janon December 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    No extra sugar is needed.

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    Loretta C.on March 7, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Made this cake for years & tried many times after they stopped selling the frosting mix. Nothing worked, so I’m trying your way.
    Had only one question: Your pictures of the “done” cake didn’t
    look like I remembered mine. Yours seemed to have a softer
    outer cake finish. I remembered more of a brownie-like crust.
    Please let me know what you think.
    Thanks, Loretta C.

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    Nancy Bon March 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Your recipe is the ONLY one that delivers the true TUNNEL experience! Thanks so much for sharing it! My husband Paul knew of my childhood TOF cake memories…for years my mom baked this one of a kind cake for seven chocolate loving kiddos! After finding your recipe on line, Paul surprised me last week with a case of Jiffy frosting mix purchased online! After gleefully jumping up and down, I got right to it! I agree that the cake does not have that real deep chocolate taste I so fondly remember. So as suggested, I added two tablespoons of cocoa. Also, my sister Deb suggested that I add a bit of instant coffee (approximately 1 tsp diluted in a tiny but of water) to enhance the chocolate flavor–this REALLY worked! Finslly, I added one half teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of vanilla. I used egg substitute (one and a half cups) instead of six eggs. Try these simple tweeks to an already excellent recipe! I guarantee you will take one bite and you will find yourself right back at the kitchen table of your TOF childhood! I plan to bake one and give it to my brother for Easter this weekend- he is the only one who loved TOF even more than I did! Again, thanks for this recipe using the Jiffy frosting mix- BRILLIANT!!! PERFECTION!!!

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    Cathy Scanlon-Stillon April 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I made this tunnel of fudge cake last night and it was marvelous. Wasn’t hard to find the fudge Jiffy frosting mix. I can’t believe how easy this was! Thank you so much for this recipe.

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    luvvyon April 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    has anyone made this in mini bundt pans. how many minutes did you bake it. My all time go to recipe. I’m going thru chemo right and want to take it to the nurses.

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    Peggyfon July 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I threw away my recipe for this cake after years of not being able to get the Double Dutch Frosting mix. I even wrote to the company to no avail. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks

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    Alison Hon November 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I’ve kept my mother’s Pillsbury Bake Off Cake Cook Book, circa 1969. It contains this recipe, as well as our family favorite, Kentucky Butter Cake. My son wants the tunnel of fudge cake for his birthday and I’ve been scouring the internet for updates. Thank you so much for doing the leg work and sharing your experience…Now to see if I can find Jiffy frosting mix in Kodiak, Alaska 🙂

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    Mary Kaweckion November 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Is there no cocoa in this recipe? Is it the dry frosting mix that actually makes the chocolate cake part and the tunnel? Thanks so much!

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    Tina Buescheron October 31, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this on your site! I just wanted to share that I couldn’t find jiffy mix where I live, but found Krusteaz brand chocolate fudge frosting mix at a local restaurant supply store. It came in a 5 pound box for $13–enough for 5 cakes. I used 15 ounces of mix (about 3 1/2 level cups), and I also added extra cocoa powder (1/4 cup). It came out perfect! Thanks again.

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    carol grubbson December 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you soon much for this recipe. My mother made this cake every Christmas back in the late 60’s and 70’s. I still have her handwritten recipe but was so disappointed when I found out the secret ingredient was no longer available. I will be trying it with the Jiffy mix! Thanks again for the chance to bring back memories of childhood!

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    Angieon January 28, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    We’ve been talking about these lately and wondering what different kinds we can make. I will have to do more research. I so remember all the cakes you could make with a pudding in the middle. I didn’t think that that was now a thing of the past but more we just got bored of them like Red Velvet. I would love it if you could cut my research down. We were thinking of a poppy seed cake with a lemon pudding middle. Now I wonder if that is possible.

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    SANDYon February 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I remember my mom making this cake for birthday’s when we were kids. WE LOVED IT! Have been looking for a revamped recipe and found one in Cook’s Country cookbook. It was awful and a big waste of money. Saw this recipe with the Jiffy Frosting mix and tried it. All of my siblings said it tasted just like moms and they really enjoyed it. Now we just have to hope Jiffy does not discontinue their frosting mix. I did add the 2 extra table spoons of cocoa and 1/4 cup of sugar like someone had suggested. DELICIOUS!

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    Reginaon February 15, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Are nuts necessary? Can they be omitted or something like chocolate chips substituted? Will it still make a tunnel without the nuts

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    RetroRuthon February 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve made this, but I believe the nuts are necessary. Unfortunately chips won’t work!

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    Roseon May 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I found the jiffy fudge frosting on amazon. I grew up with this cake that my mom made. Amazing. Baking it today for my husbands birthday. Love it.

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    Genevaon May 10, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    And now Jiffy emailed me 5/10/17 to inform me that production has stopped for the Jiffy Frosting Mix

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    RetroRuthon May 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    What!??! NOOOOOOO!

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    Saraon May 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    My mama made this for every birthday throughout the 60’s and 70’s. The tunnel was as you say, fudgy, but not like fudge sauce and I might add, devine A combo of brownies and real fudge, yummy!. I saw somewhere online where you ban substitute fudge brownie mix. I’ll try and let you know. Too bad about the Jiffy. I had my better half check today at Walmart and HEB, but no…

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    Nancyon May 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I live in Aurora, Colorado and am wondering if there is a high altitude recipe for the TOF? I also ordered a case of Jiffy Fudge Frosting a year ago and am storing it in the deep freeze.

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    Lindaon July 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    The Jiffy company website says the frosting was discontinued due to lack of demand…with enough people asking for it through their website, we could change that…..

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    Erinon July 23, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Hi Ruth,

    I have this original cookbook. It was my moms. I found a chocolate fudge buttercream boxed frosting on the King Arthur Flour website. It runs about $6. I made the cake tonight and it turned out wonderful. I use pecans instead of walnuts. Now that I know that it works, I am going to order a few boxes to stick in my pantry. Hope this info helps!

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    SANDYon July 26, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I looked for the frosting mix on the King Arthur website and could not find it there. Could you please put the exact name of the mix. It is nice to know there is another option since Jiffy discontinued their frosting mix. I had bought a case of the Jiffy mix when I found the Tunnel of Fudge Cake on Pinterest using the Jiffy mix. When I found out they were discontinuing, I purchased another case and have put It in the freezer. I actually made a TOF cake yesterday for my brother’s bday. He said it is as good as mom use to make and brought back some great memories.

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    ARouon September 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I wanted to make this for Friendsgiving, and had no luck finding the Jiffy frosting mix, then checked the comments here. Here’s a direct link to the King Arthur version mentioned above if anyone is looking for it: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/chocolate-buttercream-frosting-mix

    I’m going to give it a shot and see what my chocolate loving friends think.

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    Jeffon December 30, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    I was so excited to see this. My aunt used to make this cake growing up (did not know till recently that it wasn’T HER recipe! Always assumed it was). As for the powdered frosting, I found that Pillsbury is making a chocolate buttercream frosting mix and tried using that. Wasn’t sure if I should use the whole package since it’s 13 ounces, but I did, and in the end, didn’t get the fudgey inside. The cake part is good, but it also isn’t that deep chocolate taste I remember as a kid. Not sure if it’s all due to the original icing you’re supposed to use. I baked it for 60 minutes. From other comments, I’m assuming it overcooked so next time I’ll cut the baking time by 15 minutes. Anyone have any other suggestions on what else I should do? Has anyone else tried this new Pillsbury powder icing and had it work? Thanks for your help.

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    Jackie Johnsonon January 4, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Just stand me in line. My mom used to make tunnel of fudge for my birthday as a child, call me fifty eight as of today, thanks. And then as a young teenager, no more TOF, no filling anymore. I-( So I’ve looked off and on and knew there was a page. Hubby home today for snow day (and thank you, my Lord,for this glorious day I get to spend all day with love of my life married 36 years and still going, 2 great sons and their 2 great wives) SOOO much to be grateful for, so he’s home and planning to bake and I came for the recipe and here you all are waiting with that plus you’ve already found all the problems and written about how to fix them. Thanks so much to all of you for THIS unexpected birthday gift! and see you on the other side of the oven… Jackie

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    eevieon March 20, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Thank you! I haven’t had this cake since i was a teen..when the frosting mix disappeared 🙂
    Would you happen to have an original recipe for chocolate gravy and biscuits please? lol Both disappeared from my life about the same time.

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    Mariaon March 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I too have lovely memories of TOF cake from my childhood. I came across Pillsbury Purely Simple Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Mix and after reading your recipe and reviews took a deep breath decided to give that a try. Used 1 bag and because it was chocolate and not a fudge frosting I added 3 Tbsps of Cocoa and additional 1/4 cup sugar. It was harder to mix with the addition dry ingredients but the bundt cake came out wonderfully after baking for 65 minutes. Gooey tunnel on the inside, thin crispy layer on top. The nuts complete it so be sure to have those handy. Just delicious! Thank you, Ruth for bringing this recipe back.

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    Connie Davison August 25, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Making this for my son before heads off to college tomorrow.

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    Connie Davison September 1, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve got to revamp my time. My oven cooks too hot – no fudge in the middle…but the cake was delicious & gone in a flash!

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    Jacqueline Pontelloon December 4, 2018 at 1:27 am

    Jan, my grandmother Ella RitaHelfrich, creator of ToF, was a proud Texan–and the original had pecans! Pillsbury subbed in walnuts!

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    Mariaon March 18, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    I used the new butter cream frosting and added 2 extra tablespoons of Cocoa and 1/4 cup extra sugar. I was more than satisfied with the results. It’s a real workout mixing it together though.

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    Waynaon June 16, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Hi, Ruth. I am so excited to have FOUND this! I tried another recipe in May…after longing for this cake for YEARS!!! It was dry…and disappointing. SO!!! Very excited to find this! One question: You said you waited 3 hours…one to cook and 2 to cool…but also to pull and cut it early for the soft center. So…how early? Can’t WAIT!!!

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    RetroRuthon June 18, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Hi! So glad you are interested in the recipe!!! If you want to pull your cake early to make sure it has a molten or gooey center, then do not bake it for the full hour. Especially if you have an oven that runs hot!!

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    Guice Howellon August 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    I’m glad you had this up and I caught it. My Mama made a few Tunnel of Fudge cakes and then quit. I think I remember her telling me she couldn’t get the frosting mix any more. I can get Jiffy things here and I’m going to look tomorrow. I have to do this by myself because I’ve got no one, but it’ll be fun to try. I’ll tell you how it went if it works. I’ll keep trying it until I get it to work.

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    Christinon October 19, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    There may still be hope! I bought a huge box of Krusteaz chocolate fudge icing mix today at my local Smart Foodservice (formerly Cash n Carry) store in hopes of making this cake for a co-worker’s birthday next week. I’m in Washington State, and Krusteaz is a local company, but perhaps their mixes are also sold in other food service/restaurant supply stores?

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    RetroRuthon October 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Sweet! Let me know how it goes!!!

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    Christinon October 22, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    I’m happy to report that this frosting mix was a winner! This was my first time trying this cake, but the tunnel was achieved (and it was a hit at the office!) I added about 3 cups of the frosting mix to the batter, and there is still many cakes’ worth left in the box! Did I mention this mix comes in a 5lb box!?

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    RetroRuthon October 23, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Hooray!!! Thank you so much for the field research, Christin! I am going to have to get some of this, now. We all owe you big time!

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    Bryanon November 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Does it depend on who makes the Double Dutch frosting mix ? If not, how much is required. I’m trying to get this correct because I have tried recipe after recipe. Thank you for your time and have a great day !!!

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    tayloron April 2, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    About 20 years ago I found a recipe for Tunnel of Fudge but the required “fudge” ingredient was Hershey’s Chocolate syrup. I cannot recall the recipe but the syrup has always stayed in my mind and I have searched endlessly for a similar recipe, without success.

  80. Tunnel Of Fudge Cake: A Mid-Century Recipe Test - Mid-Century Menu (99)

    RetroRuthon April 2, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    Now I am going to look for that recipe! Thank you for letting me know it exists!

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