Hot Fudge Cake

Hot Fudge Cake is a rich, fudgy cake that creates a chocolate sauce as it bakes. This old-fashioned cake has been enjoyed for generations. It’s a delicious dessert, especially served warm and topped with ice cream.

Slice of hot fudge cake topped with ice cream.

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What Makes Hot Fudge Cake So Good? 

If your favorite part of an ice cream sundae is the hot chocolate fudge sauce, you won’t want to skip this Hot Fudge Cake recipe. This classic dessert has seduced chocoholics for decades with its warm, decadent chocolate sauce and sinfully rich flavor.

Serving Hot Fudge Cake will turn the average weeknight into a special occasion! Make it instead of brownies for a nice surprise.

Why You Should This Recipe For Hot Fudge Cake 

Although this hot fudge pudding cake has been around for decades, many people are still reluctant to try it because the cooking method seems a little odd. Despite the unorthodox recipes, the results are absolutely amazing. And there is no reason to worry; Hot Fudge cake is one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever bake! 

Hot Fudge Chocolate Cake Ingredients

For this cake, you’ll need:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • White granulated sugar
  • Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Whole milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Hot water
  • Light brown sugar, well-packed
Hot fudge cake ingredients.

How to Make Hot Fudge Cake

To prepare the batter and bake the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, two tablespoons of cocoa powder (reserving the rest for later), baking powder, and salt. 
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla extract. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Whisk or stir until the batter is smooth. 
  6. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to help transfer the cake batter into an ungreased 9 X 9-inch square baking pan.
  7. Push the batter into the corners of the baking dish and smooth the top.
  8. Place brown sugar and the remaining cocoa powder in a clean bowl.
Collage of making hot fudge cake batter.
  1. Add hot water and stir until the brown sugar dissolves.
  2. Slowly pour the cocoa mixture over the top of the batter. Do not mix it into the batter. It needs to remain as a layer on top.
  3. Place the baking dish on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  4. Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Be aware that the cake is supposed to be gooey. Do not overbake. 
  5. Remove the cake and let it set on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving. Serve the cake while it is still warm but not hot.
Collage of making and baking hot fudge cake.

How to Serve the Cake 

Spoon the cake onto a plate or into a bowl. Scrape any extra hot fudge sauce from the bottom of the dish and drizzle on top.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream creates a wonderful temperature contrast to the warm cake. For extra texture and flavor, sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips, walnuts, or pecans over the top of the cake and garnish it with a maraschino cherry.

Hot fudge cake slice with ice cream on top.

What to Serve With Hot Fudge Cake Recipe

A glass of milk or a hot coffee or tea goes well with this Hot Fudge Cake recipe. 

How to Store the Cake

This is the kind of cake that you should really eat while it is still warm. However, unless you are serving a crowd, there will be leftovers. Therefore, the question is, what can I do with the extra Hot Fudge Cake?

The good news is that you can save it in an airtight container in the fridge, just let it cool to room temperature first.

The bad news is that even after reheating in the microwave until warm, the cake won’t have the same consistency it did when it was fresh. 

How Long Will Hot Fudge Cake Last?

Ideally, you want to serve this cake within a few minutes of taking it out of the oven. If you are willing to sacrifice texture, you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. 

Hot fudge cake slice topped with ice cream.

Favorite Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Check out more of my easy cake recipes and the best dessert recipes on CopyKat!

Slice of hot fudge cake topped with ice cream.

Hot Fudge Cake

This hot fudge cake is so easy to prepare. 
5 from 8 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 338kcal


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder divided use
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups hot water


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
  • Spread the batter evenly in an ungreased 9-inch square pan.
  • Combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder with the brown sugar and hot water. Carefully pour the mixture over the batter. DO NOT stir the mixture into the batter.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Valerie

    I am on a low carb diet and have to watch my cholesterol. Is there a way to convert this recipe into a lower cholesterol one? Maybe swapping out the flour and milk to Oat flour and oat milk and both sugars to Monkfruit blend? I would love to make this. Thank you.

  2. Carole

    Sounds yummy. However, I noticed when changing the serving size the size of the pan nor the baking times does not change. I would not make this.

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