The Chocolate Cake from Matilda
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Matilda was hands down one of my favorite movies (and books too!). Coming out during my formative childhood years, it’s definitely one of those movies that has stuck with me ever since I first watched it as a kid – and honestly, it still holds up to today’s standards when it comes to family-friendly comedies.
However for as much as I enjoyed this move, six-year-old me was also simutaneously terrified of the elementary school principal, Ms. Trunchbull.
One of the meanest teachers to ever exist on screen, she absolutely tortured the children of Crunchem Hall – especially one kid named Bruce Bogtrotter.
And yes, I am talking about THAT cake scene.
No matter the circumstances under which Bruce was pressured to eat the cake, I would be remiss to say that as a kid I didn’t imagine what it would be like to be allowed to do such a thing (minus the tummy ache that would surely follow).
Since then, I’ve often thought about making this cake – but finally after getting hundreds of requests over on Tiktok to make it, I finally caved.
Making Bruce Bogtrotter’s Chocolate Cake
For something that Trunchbull considered to be an afternoon snack, this cake is wildly decadent.
- cake flour – has less protein than regular flour, giving the cake a silky texture
- unsweetened cocoa powder – bitter and concentrated chocolate flavor that becomes sweet when mixed with other cake ingredients
- sugar, eggs & milk – standard ingredients for cake making
- baking soda – for giving the cake added rise
- vegetable oil – adds moisture and keeps the cake soft
- vinegar – not the lunch lady’s blood and sweat, as the video implies (lol)
- hot black coffee – cuts through some of the sweetness of the cake and adds depth to the flavor
- heavy cream & bittersweet chocolate chips – for the ganache
- fudge frosting – store bought or homemade can be used to cover the outside of the cake
Making the Cake
Once the cake has been baked, let it cool to room temperature before covering it lightly with plastic wrap and chilling for at least 24 hours. I recommend freezing the cake for this amount of time to make it easiest to work with.
You can make the cake part up to a week ahead and make the ganache filling the day before you intend to serve. For best results, spread the ganache on the cake as desired, then chill for a few hours to fully set the ganache.
A similar method can be applied to the fudge frosting. For this recipe, I am using a store bought fudge frosting. I spread it on the cake while the frosting was room temperature, then I chilled the cake for about two hours prior to cutting to make sure the frosting had fully set. A fully set frosting makes less mess – and personally I believe a cold cake is better than a room temperature one.
What fictional feasts should I make next? Head on over to Tiktok or leave a comment below with your suggestions!
The Chocolate Cake from Matilda
- cake stand
- freezer space
- 4 cups cake flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 cups milk
- 12 oz black coffee hot
FOR GANACHE FILLING & FROSTING TOPPING:
- 1 ½ pints heavy cream
- 20 oz 60% dark chocolate chips
- 32 oz chocolate fudge frosting room temperature, for topping cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prep three 9 inch round baking pans with parchment cut to fit the bottom. Grease the sides, bottom and top of the parchment with cooking spray oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients until there are no lumps or dry patches. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as your stir.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans until the cakes are room temperature.
- Cover the cakes lightly with plastic wrap then transfer to the freezer. Freeze the cakes for 24 hours – or up to a week in advance. DO NOT SKIP FREEZING THE CAKES.
- Up to 5-6 hours before serving, make the ganache. In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat the heavy cream until just steaming but not bubbling hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips in a large bowl. Stir until the chocolate chips are completely melted and the chocolate is glossy.
- Cool the ganache to room temperature, stirring every 15-20 minutes until the ganache reaches a spreadable, frosting-like consistency.
- Level the tops of two layers of cake so that they are flat. Place one cake on a cake stand and spread the ganache from edge to edge and over the sides as a crumb coat. Place the next layer on top and repeat with the remaining ganache. Finally, place the last layer on top and fill in the gaps around the layers with the ganache. Chill for one hour.
- About an hour prior to serving, use the fudge frosting to frost the cake from top to bottom in a swirling motion to mimick what is seen in the movie. Chill for at least thirty minutes prior to serving to fully set the frosting. Serve to an unwilling elementary school child and enjoy!