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Tunnel of Fudge Cake, Hurray!


the ravages of the tunnel fudge the day after

the ravages of the tunnel fudge the day after

Every year, as a child, when I had a birthday, there were two things I could count on: Sausage Casserole and Tunnel of Fudge Cake. Now, we’ll leave sausage casserole for another day; it’s a cardiac surgeon’s dream dinner for gaining future patients….

Tunnel of Fudge Cake, second prize winner of the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-off, was my absolute favorite bundt cake growing up. It really should have won first prize for Ella Rita Helfrich who told reporters there were four major foodgroups for her: butter, chocolate, pecans, and sugar. Oh, a woman after my own heart.

[ominous silence now] Then a time came, when devoted mothers around the nation could not find the secret ingredient to make the Tunnel of Fudge cake, Pillsbury’s double dutch fudge buttercream icing mix, on their grocer’s shelves. American children everywhere became traumatized as Tunnel of Fudge cake became a distant memory. I was one of those traumatized children, no more Tunnel of Fudge cake for my birthday [insert sobbing]. That has all changed now as Pillsbury released a revised recipe that closely resembles the original. I recently made it for Easter and it’s just about as good as the original. Hurray!

Tunnel of Fudge: Before the Ravaging

Tunnel of Fudge: Before the Ravaging


Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Serving Size: 16


  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped (do not omit says the Pillsbury dough boy)
  • ***glaze ****
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4-6 T. milk

Cooking Directions:

  1. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan or 10 inch tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar.By hand, stir in flour, cocoa and nuts until well blended.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth the top out.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees until top is set and edges are beginning to pull away from side of pan. This cake has a gooey filling, so an ordinary doneness test can not be used. Cool upright in pat on wire rack for 1-1/2 hours then invert onto a serving plate. Cool for at least 2 hours.
  5. Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, cocoa and milk. Add milk until you have your desired consistency. Spoon over the top of the cake, allowing the glaze to run down the sides.

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