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Hot Fudge Cake is a deliciously rich chocolate cake that makes it’s own hot fudge sauce as it bakes! Moist chocolate cake combined with a homemade fudge sauce yields the perfect chocolate dessert. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream for a magical dessert. 

If you want more hot fudge recipes be sure and try my ridiculously easy No Bake Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl Pie

A serving of fudge cake on a white plate with a scoop of ice cream that is melting into the warm cake.

Hot Fudge Cake Recipe

When you want a rich chocolate, gooey dessert then this hot fudge cake is a must-make! Rich, moist, full of delicious chocolatey goodness and it even creates it’s own hot fudge sauce while it bakes!

It is pretty much magical and simple to make with easy baking ingredients that you probably already have. 

This warm, gooey cake is perfect when served topped with ice cream or whipped cream. My kids love eating this with a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream while I prefer vanilla bean ice cream. 

A white baking dish of chocolate cake with fudge sauce and a spoon inside the cake.

Ingredients Needed

  • Granulated Sugar 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – This amount is divided, meaning that you will use some of it for one mixing bowl, and the other part in a different mixture. I use the Hershey’s brand unsweetened cocoa powder. 
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder – This is part of the magic of this cake! The baking powder makes the cake rise to the top above the fudge sauce. 
  • Salt – I use regular iodized table salt for this recipe. 
  • Whole Milk – I do not recommend substituting this with another milk. You want the fat and thickness that whole milk provides to the cake. 
  • Melted Butter
  • Large Egg Yolk – Discard the egg whites as we only need the yolk.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Hot Boiling Water – Heat up water in a tea pot or kettle, microwave, or on the stove top. It needs to be boiling water, so like really really hot. 

Ingredients for this recipe laid out on a white background with each one labeled in text with what it is.

How To Make a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Learn how to make this hot fudge cake with these step-by-step instructions. Be sure and read to the bottom of the post where there is a printable recipe card, a pin it button so you can save the recipe for later, and a detailed recipe card with all the ingredients and step by step instructions with pictures. 

  • Prep : Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8×8 square baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. 
  • Cocoa Powder + Sugar : Whisk together the cocoa powder and granulated sugar in a small bowl. The amounts called for in this recipe are divided, meaning that you will use half in one mixture and the other half in another mix. 
  • Dry Ingredients : In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, remaining amounts of sugar and cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. 
  • Wet Ingredients : In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredient like melted butter, milk, an egg, and vanilla extract. 
  • Chocolate Cake : Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips and mix. 
  • Assemble Cake For Baking : Spread the chocolate cake mixture into the baking dish. Evenly spread the cocoa powder + sugar mixture (from the first step) onto it. Pour the boiling water over everything and do not mix it. Leave it. 
  • Bake : Cook for 22-25 minutes. Serve warm from the oven with ice cream or whipped cream. 

How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.

How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.

How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.

How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.

How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Magically Makes It’s Own Hot Fudge Sauce

    • I love making this cake because as it bakes in the oven, the hot water combined with the cocoa powder + sugar mixture and creates this ultra smooth & rich chocolate fudge sauce. The baking powder in the chocolate cake part literally makes the cake rise to the top. It’s an impressive dessert that bakes up like magic!
  • Simple Prep Work

    • Although this recipe calls for 3 different mixing bowls, each step is very simple, and involves combining a few ingredients. Using the three separate bowls is so important became this cake is layered when it’s put into the baking dish. The chocolate cake layer with chips + the cocoa powder and sugar layer that will mix to make the fudge sauce + the final layer of boiling hot water. 
  • Chocolate Gooey Goodness

    • If you love chocolate, or just need to cure a craving, then this hot fudge cake is just what you need. It’s so moist, gooey, and just full of rich chocolatey goodness. I think it’s even better when topped with some ice cream and then drizzle some extra hot fudge sauce over top. The cold ice cream paired with the hot and gooey cake is incredible. 

A baking dish of chocolate cake with a serving spoon inside taking a scoop.

Hot Fudge Cake FAQ’s

  • Serving Suggestions

    • Serve hot fudge cake warm from the oven. Let the cake rest for about 10 minutes once it comes out of the oven, and then serve it immediately. 
    • It’s best served with a dollop of whipped cream (either homemade or store-bought) or a scoop of vanilla or chocolate chip ice cream on top. 
    • My family loves this with a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream to make the chocolate flavor even better. But vanilla ice cream is also really good too. 
    • Feel free to sprinkle some chocolate chips on top or gather up some of that hot fudge sauce inside the baking dish and drizzle it over top the ice cream. 
  • Can I Make This Ahead of Time?

    • No, I do not recommend making this ahead of time. Because this hot fudge cake needs to be served warm, it’s best to make it right before you need it. It does not need to sit for 10 minutes once it is out of the oven, but after that, it should be served warm within an hour. 
  • How To Store Leftovers

    • Keep leftovers stored in the fridge, in a covered pan or inside a Tupperware container, for up to 5 days. 
    • I have never liked this cake as leftovers. It it best served after making it. I would recommend warming up leftovers in the microwave before eating. 

A serving of chocolate cake topped with fudge sauce and ice cream.

Recipe Tips

Here are a few of my helpful tips for this recipe so that you can have success making it for your own family, friends, and loved ones ♥

  • Divided Ingredients : The granulated sugar and cocoa powder are both divided ingredients. The ‘divided’ next to those ingredients in the recipe card just means that you won’t use it all at once. For this certain recipe, you use half the sugar in one bowl and the other half in another bowl. Same thing with the cocoa powder. Just make sure you are aware of that so you don’t add all the sugar into the one bowl. 
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips : This recipe has been tested and created using semi-sweet chocolate chips. I recommend using semi-sweet as the milk chocolate chips I think would be too sweet. Dark chocolate chips will work fine but it will change the final taste of the cake. Feel free to use whatever chocolate chips you want, but I highly recommend only using semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
  • Don’t Mix In The Hot Water : Once you pour that hot boiling water into the baking dish, it’s tempting to mix it all in. Don’t do it! Just pour it all over and bake it. You don’t want to disturb the layering process of this cake by mixing in the water. 

A spoon with some cake on it and melted ice cream all over the warm cake.

More Chocolate Recipes You’ll Love

A spoon with some cake on it and melted ice cream all over the warm cake.
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Hot Fudge Cake


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 6
Hot Fudge Cake is a deliciously rich chocolate cake that makes it's own hot fudge sauce as it bakes! Moist chocolate cake combined with a homemade fudge sauce yields the perfect chocolate dessert. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream for a magical dessert. 

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (divided)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup very hot boiling water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a square 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Set aside.
    How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.
  • In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar , remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  • In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and egg yolk.
    Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients from earlier (flour, baking powder, etc.) and stir with a spatula just until combined and no flour pockets remain in the batter.
    Stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
    How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.
  • Evenly spread the chocolate chip mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the sugar + cocoa powder from earlier over top the cake batter. Gently pour the very hot, boiling water over top of everything. Do not stir!
    How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes. The top of the cake should be cracked and the hot fudge sauce bubbling.
    * This is a moist cake, thanks to the hot fudge sauce it makes, so just make sure the chocolate cake parts are cooked through.
    How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool, on a cooling rack, for 10 minutes before serving warm.
    Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or chocolate chip ice cream, or some whipped cream (homemade or store-bought spray can).
    How to make hot fudge cake with step by step process photos showing the instructions in this picture collage.

Notes

Nutrition Information : The amounts listed do not include any topping such as ice cream or whipped cream. 
Boiling Water : Make sure that you are boiling water for this recipe and NOT just using very hot water from the kitchen sink tap. You need boiling water. I use an electric kettle (which I have linked above in the recipe card) to boil water. You can also just use a pot on the stove top, over high heat, to boil water. 

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 3mg

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