Best pudding cake! This easy hot fudge pudding cake recipe makes a delicious chocolate cake and hot fudge chocolate sauce all in one pan. Plus, it only takes about 30 minutes to make!
Chocolate pudding cake was one of the first cakes that I learned to bake. The recipe was in my junior cookbook, and I thought it was magical the way that the cake came out with a warm chocolate layer covering the moist chocolate cake.
This is an updated recipe with more more chocolate flavor, but it's still just as quick and easy as the original. Since it only takes about 30 minutes to make, it's perfect for weeknights and special occasions alike.
- Cocoa powder - I use unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Salt - If using unsalted butter, increase the salt to ½ teaspoon.
- Milk - Any milk, from skim milk to whole milk, will work. Nondairy milk like almond milk will also work.
- Butter - I use salted butter. If using unsalted butter, increase the total salt to ½ teaspoon.
- Brown sugar - Light or dark brown sugar will work.
- Hot water - Hot tap water is fine. There's no need to use boiling water.
How to make hot fudge chocolate pudding cake
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 2.5 quart baking dish. Set aside.
Top tip >> A 2.5 quart baking dish is a 9x9-inch square baking pan or an 8x11-inch rectangular baking dish.
Step 2: For the cake, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Step 3: Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir together until smooth.
Step 4: Pour the batter into prepared baking pan.
Step 5: For the topping, whisk together the sugars and cocoa; sprinkle the mixture evenly over the cake batter.
Step 6: Pour the hot water over the top of the cake batter. Do not stir the water in.
Step 7: Bake 25-30 minutes. It should look like a thin layer of baked brownie with hot fudge bubbling up in spots.
Step 8: Take out of the oven, and let stand 15 minutes before serving.
There are only a couple places where you can go wrong.
First: Don't stir the water in! The water combines with the topping to form the hot fudge sauce, and there's no need to stir it in.
Second: You won't want to overbake or underbake the cake. It should look like a layer of thick hot fudge is bubbling underneath the cooked cake layer.
If you underbake the cake, you'll have watery sauce. If you overbake it, you'll lose some of the fudgy sauce.
What to serve with this cake
The cake and hot fudge sauce are delicious on their own. However, it's also great served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Cover and store any leftovers at room temperature for 2-3 days.
More pudding cake recipes!
If you’ve tried this hot fudge pudding cake recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who've made my recipes!
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ cups hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 2.5 quart baking dish. Set aside.
- For the cake, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Whisk in the milk, butter, and vanilla.
- Stir together until smooth.
- Pour the batter into prepared baking pan.
- For the topping, whisk together the sugars and cocoa; sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
- Pour the hot water over the top. Do not stir the water in.
- Bake 25-30 minutes. It should look like a thin layer of baked brownie with fudge bubbling up in spots.
- Take out of the oven, and let stand 15 minutes.
- Baking dish: a 9x9-inch baking dish or an 8x11-inch baking dish will work well.
- It's important not to overcook the cake. If you do, you won't get as much of the hot fudge sauce.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
Published 10/3/12. Updated with new photos and tips 10/10/18. Updated again on 3/1/22 with new photos and information.