Even after six years or so, I still find this dessert ridiculously delicious. In fact, if you had to nail me down, I might, under duress, admit that it is probably my favorite chocolate dessert in the whole entire world.

Wow. I feel liberated admitting that. Really. You should make it.

And perhaps this is where I should say: I’m sorry. I am so very, very sorry. After all the talk and dedication of New Year’s Resolutions and the somewhat healthy recipes I’ve tried to post so far this year, I should not be this rude, posting this decadent, otherworldly dessert that is so ultimately satisfying it will send you into chocolate heaven.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Right up there with the other fantastic pudding cakes I enjoyed last year, this chocolate version is sinfully delicious and yet so worth it.

Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Well, I probably should tell you it was terrible, disgusting and absolutely not worth the calories – just so you won’t splurge and ruin your diet, but I love you all too much to lie to you.

So instead I’ll say this: make this but don’t hate me for it. After all, you probably have much more self-control than I and can get away with eating a tiny smidgeon instead of the whole pan.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Yield: Makes an 8X8-inch pan

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup cocoa powder and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining ¼ cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk milk, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (the batter will be stiff).
  3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and spread into corners. Sprinkle reserved cocoa and sugar mixture evenly over the top. Gently pour boiling water over cocoa. Do not stir.
  4. Bake until the top of the cake is cracked, sauce is bubbling and a toothpick inserted into cakey area comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 22-24 minutes. Cool on rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country

84 Responses to Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

  1. LJ says:

    Great! Everyone’s descriptions have me drooling so bad I have to go buy some ice cream so I can serve this amazing sounding treat at our next family get together. But knowing us it will be worth the trip. Anyone have any ideas on how we can ‘doctor’ it for our diabetic that won’t ruin the flavor? I hate when he has to say no to dessert. Or when he has to eat fruit while everyone else is eating cake.

  2. Emily says:

    Excited to try this–what kind of cocoa powder is recommended?

  3. Melanie S says:

    I made this last night. We all loved it!! I wanted to make it ahead of time, since we were having friends over. I made the cake batter and spread it in the pan. I waited to sprinkle the chocolate and sugar mixture and boiling water until right before I put in in the oven. It came out great!

  4. Julie says:

    This is seriously a favorite! My kids often ask for this on their birthdays! Thanks!

  5. Eve says:

    Hi, would this work without the chocolate chips?

  6. Kami says:

    We are making this for Father’s Day tonight. Loved it last time and I LOVE that I have all the ingredients on hand (since I didn’t plan ahead very well!) Thanks!

  7. Jessica says:

    Made this last night and it was fantastic! Rich, fudgey, and perfect paired with ice cream! 🙂

  8. Emily says:

    Looking forward to trying this tonight! In the pictures, it looks like the cakes were made in individual ramekins, but in the directions, it’s an 8×8 pan. Can you give instructions for baking in the ramekins (I’m worried that with the sprinkling and the boiling water, it might not turn out too great), or did you just cut pieces out and serve them in the ramekins? Thanks so much for being a *great* resource for yummy, yummy recipes!!

  9. Liz says:

    This was definitely a hit tonight at our house! It’s a keeper!

  10. allison says:

    I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve made this as a microwave instant dessert (many, many times) and it works wonderfully! 1/8 of the recipe in a ramekin for a single serving (I just omit the egg) and microwave at 30 sec intervals until done. So delicious!! Love this recipe- thanks again!

  11. Jeri Lynn says:

    This was the PERFECT remedy for a crummy day. I desperately wanted something decadent but didn’t have the energy to make something fancy. This totally fit the bill in every way!

    I’ve tried many pudding cakes hoping they will taste as good as they sound (and smell and look), but I’ve always been left wanting. Until today, that is! This one is going in my keeper file.

  12. Andrea says:

    This is so good!! I made a recipe like this for years but it wasn’t chocolaty enough- more milk chocolate. This one is beyond amazing chocolaty! My poor husband couldn’t handle it so I finished off his piece and the rest of the cake solo (in the next few days). Yikes! I’m blaming the whole 8 months pregnant and not being able to eat for the first 5 months. How can I make him like dark chocolate!?

  13. Brittney M says:

    I stumbled across your blog thanks to a key lime bar recipe on Pinterest, and I am hooked! I am nine months pregnant with my first baby, and this looks heavenly. I have gestational diabetes at the moment, but in ten days or less, after baby’s arrival, this will be on my to eat list! Keep up the awesome blog work! Visit me at missnola-ssippi.blogspot.com sometime! Happy blogging! (And cooking!)

  14. Amy P says:

    This was okay. I found that I still got gritty bits of the sugar/cocoa mixture that’s put on top in the finished product. Next time I might mix the boiling water with the sugar/cocoa mixture first, then top the cake and see if that helps. It was a good ratio of gooey:cakey though. And the leftovers were just fine so next time I’ll be less worried about making it fresh as needed!

  15. Sandy Butler says:

    This is such a wonderfully gooey mix of cake and sauce , it is undoubtedly my families favorite. Even after 20 years of making it.

  16. Julie says:

    Just made this tonight and it is pretty much almost gobbled up by DH and me. I didn’t have the chocolate chips, but it was yummy! I came across a recipe similar to this, passed down from someone’s grandmom. It took reading your review and these comments fro me to give it a try, so glad I did. Will definitely be my go to recipe for easy chocolate desserts.

  17. digrr says:

    Just made this tonight after your republish of this awesome recipe. Really easy and really good! Mel, you are a rock star!

  18. Jenn says:

    Mel, this is a dessert that goes back to my childhood. My mom used to make it for us – she called it Chocolate Pudding Cake. I’ve always loved it and started making it for my own kids. My version doesn’t have chocolate chips…I’m intrigued. I’ll be making it this weekend for sure!

  19. Kristy says:

    I grew up having this cake for dessert on special occasions at my grandmother’s house. She called this “Nanny’s fudge surprise cake”. I thought we were the only ones who had ever been blessed with this recipe! Now I need to go make it for for my family tonight. Thanks for the memories!

  20. Olivia says:

    Haha you crack me up! Thank you so much for your glorious recipes and fast replies 🙂

  21. Olivia says:

    I loved this! However, some of my non dark chocolate loving family members did not. Do you think I could sub milk chocolate chips for semi sweet next time I make this? Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Olivia – sure, you could try it (in the meantime, I’ll cry buckets of tears over those who can’t stomach dark chocolate…)

  22. Diane K says:

    This is probably a silly question, but I’m pretty sure that I only have 9×9 pans. Is it okay to make in a 9×9? Should I decrease the time slightly? It seems like it should be worth investing in an 8×8, since most recipes I’ve seen call for one, I just have so many other things I’ve prioritized above more kitchen gadgets.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Diane – sure, you could make this in a 9X9 but I would cut the baking time by 5-7 minutes (definitely check and add more if needed) because you don’t want to lose that pudding layer. The entire cake, pudding and all, will be a bit thinner but that shouldn’t matter if it’s baked just right.

  23. Jessica says:

    LOL, I was just thinking about this recipe today… I really was. I was debating between this and the slow cooker peanut butter one. Hee, I LOVE this and make it often! I’ve also put whipped cream and strawberries with it.

  24. Natasha says:

    I found your blog a few days ago and have several recipes bookmarked to try! This one I tried last night and it was amazing! We had friends over for dinner and there wasn’t a scrap of it left. Even the bowl was licked clean 😉 We had ice cream and raspberries with it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  25. Angelique says:

    I am making this tonught for my birthday and can’t wait. I discovered your blog around Easter while looking for a good carrot cake recipe. Since then, I have made at least ten of your recipes and all have been amazing. My husband thanks you too, as he is eating really well since you revitalized my cooking!

  26. Megan says:

    Oh my, chocolate lovers, this is for you. This is a wonderful dessert. It’s so rich and delicious served warm. I will definitely be making this often. Everyone loved it. I am sad I forgot the ice cream (would have done a last minute run but it was Sunday) so we had it with whipped cream. Big fans on this one, Mel. It’s so easy too. I think since there’s not two sticks of butter that means its ok if I have seconds….and thirds. Thanks, Mel, for recommending this one to me. I might not have tried it but I love it…so does my husband. My mom, who is off sugar, was standing nearby, and my husband said, “this is disgusting” as he heaped his plate again with this divine cake. Make this….it’s heavenly!

  27. Winona Lumague says:

    I should’ve read the introduction to this cake before making it, because it was so addicting! Why did I read the intro after I ate almost most of the cake!? It was so good! My tongue loved it! Haha, but my diet didn’t.. anyways.. Thanks so much! Ever recipe I tried from your website is good! 🙂

  28. Jessica says:

    I just made this tonight as part of our Super Bowl party. I doubled it and used a 9×13 pan with great results. Everyone LOVED it and this recipe will now replace all my other hfpc recipes.

  29. Amanda says:

    Sooo yummy! Just had this for dessert and my hubby and I are both trying to leave the rest of the pan untouched lol

  30. momof3 says:

    I love your website! My question is whether you have doubled this before-or made it in a 9X13-I have a lot of people coming over and dont want to mess this up! Thanks

    • Mel says:

      momof3 – I haven’t doubled this in a 9X13 before but I know others have with good results. The only thing I would keep an eye on is baking time. Make sure it doesn’t overbake and become dry.

  31. Melanie says:

    Audra – sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve been out of town and by now, I’m sure you’ve eaten the leftovers, but I’ve heated up the leftovers in the microwave for about 1 minute on 50% power. I hope it worked out for you!

  32. Audra says:

    I made this tonight and it was amazing! I loved it! I have leftovers that I want to try tomorrow but I’m not sure how it will taste. Maybe if I heat it up? Such a good treat and very easy to make!!

  33. Melanie says:

    Yummalicious – that made me laugh, Sarah! Thanks for letting me know you (and the kids) liked this! Sounds like a great predinner snack!

  34. Sarah says:

    One word–Yummalicious!! I am picky about chocolate cake and this was surprisingly good. I made it in the afternoon and ended up eating it before dinner with the kids. We HAD to eat it while it was still warm and it would have cooled off too much after dinner. 😉 Actually ran to the store and got some ice cream just for this. But I have to add that it is really good after it cools too. The chocolate becomes all pudding-like. Good stuff!! Off to the treadmill I go!

  35. Brittany says:

    Oh wow that looks to die for! I LOVE chocolate anything but add a bit of gooiness and I’m a goner! I have to add that your writing always makes me smile – you’re funny! 🙂

  36. Melanie says:

    Sonya – glad the second time was better. Thanks for letting me know!

  37. Melanie says:

    Nate & Jan – Thanks for letting me know that you liked this!

  38. Melanie says:

    Julianne – love your “ahems.” And so glad you liked this. So glad.

  39. Julianne says:

    Ahem. I made this last night. And then I cried, it was so good.

    Had it today, cold from the fridge. Just as good. I mean, REALLY good.

    Great recipe!

  40. megan says:

    you know, I don’t even like chocolate cake, but with all the fudge-like sauce on there, I think I could overlook that small fact. 🙂

  41. Nicole says:

    Ah! Very rude! This looks like it could become my favorite dessert and I haven’t even made it yet. Mmmmm.

  42. My Sister's Kitchen says:

    I have this on my blog too. I agree, it is divine! Pudding cakes are the best. We just had the apple cider pudding cake and my husband and I agree it’s one of our favorite desserts of all time. That’s saying a lot for me since it’s not chocolate!

  43. rickandangie says:

    Yummmmmm…. enough said.

  44. jill says:

    perfect timing! I often have my brother and sister in law over for dinner and last time they were here, my brother in law said “there is this kind of cake, that when you cook it, it has this chocolate stuff that forms…can you cook that?”

    I told him I would see what I could do!

    I will be making this ASAP!

  45. Jschmalle says:

    You have to have a free day, right? Right. So this fits perfectly on my free day meal calendar. You’re a peach, thanks!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Where do you store all of your cookbooks? Just read about a site that does it for you http://stephanieklein.com/2010/01/what-your-cookbooks-say-about-you.html

  47. Cammee says:

    My kids are going to die over this!

  48. Me and My Pink Mixer says:

    Oh my goodness! Hot Fudge, Pudding and Chocolate…..3 of my favorite words all in one! Trying this soon 🙂

  49. Sook says:

    ha ha I just love the way you write on your blog. Funny! This looks so good!

  50. AmandaS says:

    You’re wicked.

  51. Julie says:

    Self control? What’s that? I’ve been wanting to try to make a cake like this. Definitely bookmarking!

  52. teresa says:

    alright, i forgive you, only because i know it’s going to be so good that i won’t even care about calories!

  53. ARLENE says:

    I’ve only ever made my lava cakes (in the pudding cake family) in individual servings. I love the idea of just baking this in a pan. I really want to try it, but it would have to be on a Saturday (after my WW weigh in, tee hee).

  54. Kristen says:

    OMG, I just made this and I even made a special trip for the forgotten vanilla ice cream. So delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  55. Leigh Anne Wilkes says:

    I have fond memories of making this in college and pulling it out of the oven and having it jump right out of the pan onto the floor. I scrapped it up and we ate it anyway – we were poor college students!

  56. Jeni says:

    Would it work to double it and cook it in a 9×13 or could I cook two 8×8 pans side by side???

  57. Simply Be Photo/Melissa says:

    yummy. i have never tried something like this before.

  58. grace says:

    no one would believe you if you said it was gross anyway. there’s just no possibility of that. 🙂

  59. Melissa says:

    Well, I just logged on to see this a few hours ago. I couldn’t resist…I printed off the recipe and made it already. We had it after lunch. It’s now almost gone! It was soooo good 🙂 Thanks!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Made it….love it! Thanks,

  61. MaryMoh says:

    Haven’t tried this but it looks irresitibly good. Love it.

  62. Sonya says:

    I made this on Friday (along with the fajita’s), but I think I overcooked it because it wasn’t gooey at all. But it still tasted wonderful. I’m going to try again and watch the baking time better.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I made this today and it was not good at all. It was bland and not a strong chocolate flavor like the molten lava cake. Wont make this again. Sorry.

  64. Phyllis says:

    This recipe is a home run! My family LOVE LOVE LOVED it…so did I ofcourse! Everyone has these ingredients around the house and it tastes like it required special ingredients because it is restaurant grade!

  65. The Three Amigos says:

    This was fantastic. It was so rich and the fudge was so awesome. My husband loved it as well, and it tasted way better than any other type of dessert at any restaurant we’ve eaten at. Referring to the previous comment, I would check your ingredients and make sure you didn’t use any old cocoa powder or miss any ingredients, I cannot see how this recipe could have been anywhere close to bland. Thank you!!

  66. Melanie says:

    Kristen – I am so glad you liked this! And I definitely think the ice cream was worth the special trip – it definitely takes this cake over the top. Thanks for checking in to let me know!

  67. Melanie says:

    Jeni – I’m always a fan of trying to double it and make it work in a 9X13 but I’m afraid with this recipe that it might overflow. To be safe, I’d probably bake it in two 8X8’s side by side, like you suggested.

  68. Melanie says:

    Melissa – I’m glad you liked this and that it was the kind of recipe you had to make NOW. That happens to me all the time!

  69. Melanie says:

    Sylvie – thanks for checking in, I’m glad you liked it!

  70. Melanie says:

    Sonya – I’m sorry you didn’t get better results, but I think you are right – if it was lacking “goo” it was probably overbaked a bit. Hope it works out better the next time!

  71. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – sorry you didn’t like this cake. The end result should be over-the-top chocolatey goodness so I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  72. Melanie says:

    Phyllis – I agree, isn’t it wonderful when ordinary, everyday ingredients turn into something so delicious? Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it.

    The Three Amigos – thanks for weighing in on this dessert. I am glad it was a hit and that you found it completely opposite of bland, too!

  73. Aubri says:

    Wow…this is dangerous because I always have all of the ingredients to make this! This was fabulous, and I nearly made myself sick just now because I just couldn’t stop eating! The ice cream is a must! I have to agree that the “anonymous” commenter must have done something wrong because this was anything but bland (and I even forgot to add the vanilla!). Thanks for another great recipe!

  74. Megan says:

    I made this and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  75. Melanie says:

    Aubri – so glad you liked this and I hope you really didn’t get too sick. I am really, really guilty of eating too much of a good thing and then realizing I should have stopped a LONG time ago.

    Megan – thanks for letting me know you liked this!

  76. Heide says:

    My mouth is watering by the sound of this.

  77. Jannifer says:

    I made this last weekend and everyone loved it. It was so rich, gooey, and extremely easy. Thanks for the recipe! Love your site.

  78. Sonya says:

    Tried this again tonight and it turned out perfectly. I honestly think last time I didn’t keep out the sugar/coco topping…I don’t remember doing that step last time. Maybe thats why my first try wasn’t gooey. Great quick goto dessert.

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