Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake

Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake is a dessert that has ice cream sandwiched between devil food cake. Shoney’s and Bob’s Big Boy aren’t around as much as they used to be, but you can make this menu item at home.

Homemade Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake in a bowl.

When I was growing up, I would spend large parts of my summer in Jefferson City, Missouri. My grandparents loved eating at Shoney’s and I did too. They had two dessert items you had to try. One was the Strawberry Pie and the other must-try dessert was the Hot Fudge Cake.

Who doesn’t remember this glorious dessert from Shoney’s Big Boy (or Bob’s Big Boy)? The iconic hot fudge cake was many a suburban kid’s birthday dessert. It’s a retro vibe and the irresistible combination of moist devil’s food cake, creamy vanilla ice cream, thick and rich hot fudge sauce, and billowy whipped cream is not to be missed, even if you’ve never tried it before. And don’t forget the cherry on top!

And don’t forget National FREE Hot Fudge Cake Day at Shoney’s! Last year, it was December 6th, so keep your eye on the calendar for when you can enjoy this treat free. Until then, make and enjoy this CopyKat version whenever the mood strikes!

Make your own version of Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake at home with this copycat recipe.

Note: This recipe only uses half the sheet cake, so either make 2 hot fudge cakes to use all the cake or save the other half for another use. Regardless, it will be easier to assemble the cake if you work with half at a time. If you decide to make the whole cake into fudge cake, you will have enough fudge sauce for all the slices, but you will need to get 2 containers of ice cream, of which you will probably use about 1 1/2.

Love chocolate cake? Try these recipes

Popular Chocolate Desserts

Be sure to check out more of my copycat cake recipes and easy homemade desserts.

This recipe is from Jenni Field from the Online Pastry Chef, be sure to check out more of her recipes on her blog.

Homemade Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake in a bowl

Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake

You can make your own Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake at home. 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 709kcal


Cake Ingredients

  • 15.25 ounces Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 32 ounces vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream (do not use French vanilla) (Use the rectangular cartons of ice cream)

For Hot Fudge Sauce

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (by weight) (chips or chopped chocolate)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup or dark corn syrup
  • Heavy pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • Lightly sweetened homemade or canned whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries drained and patted dry, one per serving


  • For the Cake Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9”x13” metal cake pan (Don’t use glass, because you want the cake to have straight sides) Line the bottom of the pan with parchment, and spray lightly. Set aside. Combine cake mix and the rest of the cake ingredients in a large bowl. With a hand mixer, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the batter. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed lightly and the cake starts to shrink away from the sides of the pan. Remove to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Then turn out onto a cooling rack. Peel off the parchment and let the cake cool completely. 
  • To Make the Fudge Sauce Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring constantly until all the chocolate has melted. Stir in the vanilla after you have removed the pan from the stove. This way the vanilla will not evaporate. Keep warm (or reheat) for serving. Makes a generous 2 cups of sauce. 
  • To Assemble Level the top of the cake if necessary with a knife. You want the cake pieces to have the same thickness so it looks uniform when served. Carefully slice the cake in half horizontally. Leave the halves in place. Each half should be about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the cake in half, short-wise. You will end up with 4 rectangles of cake, each about 9” x 6”. Set half the cake aside (for another use or to repeat the assembly process depending on how much hot fudge cake you want) Spread 2 long, overlapping sheets of plastic wrap on the counter. Place the bottom rectangle of cake on the wrap. Peel off the cardboard from around the ice cream. 
  • Slice the ice cream into 3⁄4” slices and arrange them, touching, on top of the cake layer. You will have to trim some to fit. You will probably not use all the ice cream, so put the leftover portion in a freezer container to eat later. Place the second rectangle of cake on top of the ice cream and press down lightly. Wrap the cake in the plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours. To Serve Slice the Cake into 6 squares, each approximately 2” per side. Pour some of the fudge sauce over, top with whipped cream and a cherry.


Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 293mg | Iron: 3.4mg

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.

Never miss a recipe

Join the CopyKat eNewletter

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions


  1. Linda Brewer

    My sis worked at Shoney’s for years. They thinned the hot fudge with premade coffee, which was necessary often. That is party of the flavor most people’s have experienced. I would add it to the recipe.

  2. Vicky

    Just a note on this recipe…ice cream hardly ever comes in those cartons any more! I’ve been making this dessert for YEARS and have found that I can either form the ice cream in a pan using parchment for easy take out and then lay on cake layer OR if in a hurry, I just use ice cream sandwiches and lay them out on the cake layer. Not quite the same, but in a hurry, it works.

  3. Sharon C Scian

    Thanks Stephanie…you have given me a great idea for our monthly luncheon. Might try this with other flavors of cake and ice cream. Cherry comes to mind since cherries are in season and plentiful right now. You always get me rave reviews when I use your recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating