Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

hot fudge pudding cake
Ahhh, Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.  Man.

side view of hot fudge pudding cake slice
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, drooly drool drool.
Look, I know, this is not an earth-shattering brand new recipe by any means.  Heck, my mom made this for us for as long as I can remember and that’s a mighty long time. 

You can find just as many versions of this online as you can, well, people.  So why would I waste everyone’s time on something so ubiquitous?   I’m not.   Here’s why…

It is darn tasty. 

It is so darn easy to make.  Easy!  Easy easy easy. 

Double the darn batch and you’ve got dessert for a darn crowd.  

No darn eggs in case you’re egg-less.  In fact, you can replace the butter too and likely the milk, though I have not tried the latter.  I have not tried replacing the flour with gluten-free but I suspect it should work.  It requires so darn few ingredients and so little darn time and it is soooo darn chocolate, why the heck not make it?

And ultimately, this is the best darn version out there ever.  Ok, fair, I’ve never tried any other version ahem but who needs to when you have this version?

And it is daaaarrnn tasty. 

Darn it, it’s a stomp my foot with emphasis gosh darn winner.

If you’ve never heard of this magical treat, it’s a two layer concoction of cake and pudding in one dish.  As the cake part bakes, it rises to the top while the pudding portion works its way through to the bottom.  When you scoop it out to serve, invert that luscious chocolate decadence so the pudding becomes the topping. 

Pudding.  Cake.  Pudding and cake together.  Riiiiight?!?!

Oh man.  Darn tasty!!

Mike is always thrilled, thrilled!, when he comes home to this one.  I tend to make it when the dessert cupboard is bare, I don’t have oodles of time, or I’m seeking a chocolate-y chocolate finish to the day.  He’ll eat it twice in one day, I think even for breakfast once maybe.

Normally I use Dutch cocoa powder* for this as it results in a darker, richer, more chocolate cake and pudding.  You can use natural for sure (I did in these photos) which is what you’ll typically find in the grocery store.  Since Blommer closed up its factory store with zero plans to reopen it making me quite irritated, I’m rationing my last heavenly bag. 

If you get your hands on Dutch, use that.  I’ve never tried black cocoa* but I hear it’s essentially Dutch.  Maybe more bitter.

But really yes, my mom made this for us forever.  She got it from the Chicago Tribune’s Food section, submitted by Bonnie Bogard of Champaign, Illinois and I tried to search it out but as I don’t have a subscription, I couldn’t find the exact link, so, sorry Bonnie and Trib.

photo of newspaper clipping recipe
Hahaha, hilarious how my mom wrote “great!” on there! I’m amazed she found her clipping!
On occasion, we’d luck into some whipped cream on top and I gotta tell ya, that, darn it my friends, is Thee Way to serve it.  Warm with whipped cream, aw swoony swoon swoon.  Mike likes his cold which I think is weird but he’s weird but no judgment, enjoy how you see fit.  Some vanilla ice cream, yep, definitely recommended as well. 

You can customize this, add whatever nuts you like (we’re partial to walnuts) or no nuts at all.  Dash in some cinnamon and/or a sprinkle of cayenne, give it a south of the border bent.  Some espresso powder in the dry ingredients or use coffee instead of water?  Sure!

Double the recipe for a 9×13 pan as I mentioned, works just as well and then it’s a party. 

I’ve always used a glass baking dish* for this so if you only have metal, I would expect baking time to maybe be a little less; keep an eye on it. 

prepping hot fudge pudding cake ingredients
Get yourself set up with everything ready to go, it comes together in a flash.
Testing with a toothpick, which I’ve never done, you might get fooled by the pudding.  It’s more of a time, visual, and scent cue.  You’ll smell it when it’s done, trust me.

But again, I can’t even begin to express how simple this is to make.  

In a small bowl, mix up the brown sugar and cocoa powder.  Heat up the water in the microwave.

mixing cocoa powder and brown sugar
Simply mix the two together, breaking up the clumps of brown sugar.
Measure all the dry ingredients right into the dish you’re baking this in, yep, just straight in.  Fluff it together well with a fork or whisk.
mixing dry ingredients together in baking dish
Yep, just with a fork, fluff and mix.
Pour the milk and melted butter into the pan (or melted shortening, melted margarine/vegan/oil spread, or vegetable oil) and stir it up with that same fork until well mixed.  Spread the cake batter level.

adding milk and melted butter
Dump in that milk and melted butter.

cake batter mixed in baking dish
Once it’s nicely combined, spread the batter level.
Oh the nuts!  You can mix them into the batter or as I do, sprinkle them evenly atop the batter.   Or, leave them out completely, it’s a fab dessert even without.  I always eyeball the quantity; do the same or measure them out, whatever works best for you.

sprinkling nuts atop everything
I goofed my usual order here.  Nuts then brown sugar/cocoa topping but eh, it all comes together however you assemble.  It’s generally error-friendly.
Dump that small bowl of brown sugar and cocoa powder over the whole thing, spread that out nice and even. 

Grab your hot hot water and carefully pour it over the whole shebang. 

Pop the dish into the oven, try not to splash, then enjoy that heady, heavenly chocolate scent building and wafting through the house.  Wow it’s so, so mouthwatering. 

The cake will puff, crackle a little, the pudding will be bubbling up through the cake here and there, and it’s ready.  The cake will sink as it cools so don’t fret.

baked hot fudge pudding cake
Yep.  I see you running off.  Hey wait, don’t forget to print the recipe!
So yeah, let it cool enough to serve or cool completely then chill and serve.  Pour a glass of icy cold milk and bask in that rich chocolate-y cake and pudding combo delight.  Ugh I gotta go make another one now.

hot fudge pudding cake plated
You can’t resist that.
I can’t imagine how any other recipe could compare to this one, yeah I’m rudely biased, but do let me know if you’ve got a winner. 

It is incredibly difficult not to snatch the entire dish, a shovel spoon, and scurry off to a hiding place and eat the whole darn thing up solo.

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

6 servings
Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
45 Min
Total time
55 Min
A chocolate fudge wonderland of a cake and pudding magically combined in one amazing, easy to make dessert.


  • 1 cup (213 g) brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (21 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup (414 ml) very hot water
  • 1 cup (120 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (149 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (11 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (57 g) chopped walnuts nuts optional, more or less as desired
  • whipped cream to serve, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (176° C). In a 9” square glass baking dish, add the flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder. Fluff to aerate and stir to combine fully.
  2. Heat the water in a two cup glass measuring cup in the microwave and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, add the brown sugar and cocoa powder and mash with a fork to combine well, breaking up larger chunks of brown sugar. Set aside.
  4. Pour the milk and melted butter into the dish, stirring with a fork to create the cake batter. Spread the batter evenly in the dish then sprinkle the nuts atop if using.
  5. Pour the brown sugar/cocoa powder on top of the cake batter and spread evenly. Set the baking dish close to the oven.
  6. Carefully pour the hot water into the dish on top of the brown sugar/cocoa mixture. Open the oven and slowly place the dish in, careful not to splash the water around.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until the pudding is bubbling up around and through the cake. The cake will look dark and possibly cracked.
  8. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Reheat portions or the whole dish in the microwave.


Adapted from The Chicago Tribune.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)


Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

cake, chocolate, pudding

*The Dutch cocoa powder, black cocoa powder, and glass baking dishes are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

Share your thoughts :

Spam is not good for baking. Please don't leave any, thanks.

Follow @thebakedept on Instagram