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Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast

If you follow us over on Instagram, then you probably know that we just came home from a family vacation at Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania!  This was our second year visiting the park, and we decided that on this trip we would sign up for the Create Your Own Candy Bar at Hershey’s Chocolate World, located just outside the amusement park.

Each of us had the chance to make a custom chocolate bar – choosing the type of chocolate we wanted as the base, additional ingredients to include such as chocolate or butterscotch ships, pretzel bits and more; we designed our own label for our candy bars; and we got to watch it being made right before our eyes!  Here are a few photos from our fun production tour:

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast

So all of that wonderful chocolate had us craving a sweet treat when we got home – and we decided to make this fantastic Hot Fudge Pudding Cake from the Hershey’s Kitchen website.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast

This Hot Fudge Pudding Cake is outrageously good – and it couldn’t be any easier to make!  A simple batter (made from Hershey’s cocoa of course) is first spooned into the bottom of a lightly greased pan or baking dish.  Then a dry cocoa mixture is sprinkled on top of the batter.  Finally – right before baking – hot water gets poured over the top of the dry cocoa mixture.  But don’t stir it in – that process creates this fantastic, almost-crunchy topping on this Hot Fudge Pudding Cake as it bakes!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast

Then – once the Hot Fudge Pudding Cake comes out of the oven, just use a spoon to serve.  You’ll end up with a super moist cake with a warm and fudgy pudding center – plus a sweet crunchy topping!  Served with some vanilla ice cream – this is one amazingly good dessert that any chocolate lover will enjoy!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Hershey’s for this post.  We are simply sharing our vacation story with you today as well as the inspiration behind our recipe.

Additional note: We’ve received a few reader comments below complaining that the cake was very runny and not fudgy.  We’ve retested the recipe ourselves and can confirm that it is written correctly. But feel free to bake the cake for a few minutes longer if necessary (ovens may vary), and also make sure that you allow the cake to sit for 15 minutes before serving to give the sauce time to set up.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Serves: 8 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Recipe adapted from Hershey's Kitchens
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups hot water
  • Vanilla ice cream, if desired for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a pot of water on the stove to very hot (just under a simmer).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¾ cup of the granulated sugar, flour, ¼ cup of the cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into an lightly greased 2-quart ceramic dish (as shown in our photos) or a 9-inch square baking pan (if it's a non-stick pan, you don't have to grease it) and spread evenly.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, remaining ¼ cup cocoa and mix well. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter in your dish or pan. Pour the hot water over the top – but do not stir!
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes if using a glass dish (or 30-35 minutes if using a metal pan) – or until the center is almost set. Remove your dish from the oven and allow it to stand for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, spoon the cake into individual serving bowls – making sure to spoon the fudgy sauce from the bottom of the pan over the top of the cake. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired and serve immediately.

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Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - This outrageously good chocolate fudgy cake couldn't be any easier!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast


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  1. This looks like the perfect answer to a sweet tooth craving! We did Hershey Park quite a few years back, great family trip.

  2. Oh my, this hot fudge pudding cake looks absolutely Willie Wonkie devine. Or should I say Hersey? I love Hersey Park, haven’t been there since I was a kid. Love reading about your experience, I should take mine! A lot cheaper than Disney too. And much closer to where I live.
    Laura @ Raise Your Garden recently posted…The Return of the MonarchsMy Profile

  3. This is EXACTLY how I want my cake situation. Preferably within the next 30 seconds. Maybe if I wish real, real hard…

    • Wouldn’t that be great if we could reach into our computer monitor or phone and grab any of the wonderful blog food we see? Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

  4. All of that fudge, holy crap.
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist recently posted…Chocolate Tofu PieMy Profile

  5. It’s been years but I used to go to Hershey all the time!
    The Food Hunter recently posted…Grilling Recipe Round UpMy Profile

  6. Oh my goodness. This is like a dream come true! 🙂
    Stephanie @ Back For Seconds recently posted…Funfetti White Chocolate BrowniesMy Profile

  7. Visiting Hershey is on my bucket list. Since I live on the West Coast, it’s a little more planning. This dish is out of my childhood. and what a family favorite it was. Kind of a pre-molten cake. I had forgotten about it. I am going to have to make it again.
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea recently posted…Wild Goose on Fly–Jalapeno Peppers & Beer Part 2My Profile

    • That is exactly it Carol! Sort of a cross between a molten-lava cake and pudding…it’s been a family favorite of ours for a long time! Hope you get to Hershey one day – it’s a lot of fun!

  8. My mom took my brothers and I to Hershey when we were kids! I loved it there! This cake looks so divine!
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes recently posted…Cinderella’s Royal Table, Magic Kingdom ReviewMy Profile

  9. I love pudding cakes, and yours looks so decadent! I would love a bowl, yum!
    Angie recently posted…Lush Coconut CocktailMy Profile

  10. Holy cow. This is my love language. Wish I had a giant bowl right now!
    Courtney @ Neighborfood recently posted…Minty Tropical SmoothiesMy Profile

  11. My first thought when I saw your pudding cake was ” I want to swim in that”. I still do. It looks amazing!
    Amanda @The Kitcheneer recently posted…Protein Potato Chip Encrusted TilapiaMy Profile

  12. YUM! Totally had to pin this because it looks Fabulous!

  13. So much fun! Love Hershey’s
    Paula – bell’alimento recently posted…Cherry MojitoMy Profile

  14. This looks so amazing. I’m almost drooling! So gooey looking. What a great vacation story!
    samantha recently posted…Mixed Nut Butter Recipe and Making healthy choices with Walgreens Balance RewardsMy Profile

  15. This is such a wonderful family dessert! So great to take it out of the oven just as dinner is finishing up. Help with clean up is assured! Been making this for about 40 years. A good recipe is a good recipe.(period)

    • Thanks Shelby – it is very easy!

    • Shelby and Martha! I saw this posted on a friend’s Pinterest board just now, and it reminded me of “the good old days” when the kids (now grown, and 6th grandchild due imminently) were small and scratch cooking was the rule of the kitchen! Tight budget made eating out a rare treat, but not eating good food! This was a family favorite dessert, coming from my very favorite, and now well worn cookbook, and my husband always complained of being “stuffed to the gills” after eating his fill of it. But that never seemed to stop him! This was also a favorite birthday “cake” request for kid parties ~ serve up in a bowl with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream and everyone enjoyed! Never any leftovers, but lots of requests for sharing the recipe with their moms.
      What a great reminder of wonderful times past. I may make it for the grandkids one of these days! Very very important to remember NOT TO STIR when you add the hot water too. If you do, that will definitely change the outcome, and might be accounting for the skewed results some are getting. That’s not a misprint ~ don’t stir in the hot water! That’s crucial to getting the crusty, crunchy topping at the end.

      • Thank you for sharing such nice memories with us Shari! This recipe is definitely a family favorite of ours too! And thanks for the advice about not stirring the hot water – it seems like such a strange step but it creates the best part of this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to write to us today!

      • Martha ~ I have no clue in the world how the name “Shelby” got turned into “Jack”!!! My ” smartphone ” has done some pretty dumb things from time to time, but this literally takes the cake!!! Apologies to both of you ~ I know for a fact I double checked and even corrected the spelling of Shelby’s name when writing my reply above, because when I was typing it, for some reason it didn’t put in the “b” in Shelby. So, I had fixed it!
        (Do you have an edit function for comments so you could change it to what it should be? Otherwise, I guess this response to that very odd reply will have to serve!)
        Sorry about that!
        Shari D.

  16. Ginny McMeans :

    You are all so cute! That pudding cake does sound so simple and good!

  17. I remember going to Hershey Pennsylvania when I was a kid and it holds some wonderful memories for me. I’m sure it’s changed a lot but do they still have the Hershey’s kisses street lamps? My memory is pretty foggy (it was a long time ago) but I do remember those 🙂
    Your cake looks incredible! So rich and decedent! Love it!
    Renee – Kudos Kitchen recently posted…Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese with White WineMy Profile

    • Hi Renee – They do – they have some of the kisses street lamps around the park as well as in Downtown Hershey! So fun! Thanks for visiting today!

  18. This pudding cake looks amazing! So fudgy and delicious.
    Nutmeg Nanny recently posted…Greek Lamb MeatballsMy Profile

  19. I’ve always wanted to go to Hershey Park! How neat! Oh I love this hot fudge pudding cake!
    Angie | Big Bears Wife recently posted…Baked Manwich Burritos #ManwichMy Profile

  20. Holy moly! I would love a bowl of this warm gooey chocolate goodness!

  21. No kidding! This looks absolutely amazing. I’ll take ooey gooey chocolate any day of the week!
    Jessica (Savory Experiments) recently posted…Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore- New Pier Menu and Hand Crafted CocktailsMy Profile

  22. Love the pics Martha! Hershey has to go on my bucket list now that I live in Philly – heard their hotel spa is to die for and the park is a blast! That cake looks so rich and chocolatey!
    Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos recently posted…Roasted Harvest Fruit Sangria With A Bit Of A Homestyle TwistMy Profile

  23. Wow! I want to dive in face first!
    Nicole recently posted…Nut Free Granola BarsMy Profile

  24. I have visited Hershey so many times I can’t even count them…and I never knew you could make your own candy bar! Looks like so much fun! And this cake….drooling.
    Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox recently posted…Comment on Easy Bolognese French Bread Pizza by Lauren @ Healthy DeliciousMy Profile

  25. A visit to Hershey Park has been on my Bucket List since I was a little girl. What an awesome family vacation. Reminiscing over a little hot fudge pudding cake at home isn’t a bad idea, either.
    Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic recently posted…Cherry Apricot Crumb Pie, a.k.a. Squeezing in the Last Bites of SummerMy Profile

  26. Wow, this looks SO good! I want to eat it NOW!

  27. I wonder of this would work with gluten free flour, this is a favorite from my childhood!

  28. This is in the oven right now!
    Shiloh Barkley recently posted…Carrot Cake CupcakesMy Profile

  29. YUM!!
    Michelle recently posted…Easy Crockpot Chicken Chili RecipeMy Profile

  30. I saw in the description/narrative it’s says to spoon the batter in to a greased pan but the recipe says ungreased, not sure which way to go.

    • Thank you so much for alerting us to that confusing recipe Ryan! The original recipe called for this to be made in a non-stick metal 9×9 baking pan (ungreased) – but we made it in a round ceramic dish and I did spray it with cooking spray before baking it. I will update the recipe to clarify that! Thank you again for writing to us!

  31. What will happen if I have leftovers or can’t serve right away? How would you recomend storing?

    • Hi Serena – I’d recommend reheating it in the microwave just until warm (if you’ve baked it in an oven-safe glass dish – just cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate). If you’ve baked it in a metal baking pan, you’ll need to transfer it to a microwave-safe dish before reheating. Hope that helps!

  32. This sounds like it would be fantastic with some walnuts thrown into the mixture.

  33. This may be a silly question…but do you use Hershey’s UNsweetened cocoa? Or should it be sweetened instead?

  34. This was amazing! Thank you 😉 I’ve made it twice already!

  35. I just tried this recipe and the results were amazing. All members of my family loved it (except for my father, he does not eat sweets). This recipe will be one of my favorite recipes!
    And I wish I could visit Hershey Park someday~

  36. Dear Martha, i had this recipe ” years” ago and it was one of my favorites… but,alas, i lost the recipe….Thank you so much for bringing it back to me… I promise not to lose this one…. Thanks again…it is a GREAT recipe…. Barbara
    P.S. all of your recipes are great…

    • Hi Barb – Thank you so much! This IS a GREAT recipe and I would have been sad if I lost it too…but now you know where to find it just in case you lose it again! Enjoy!

  37. OMG this looks amazing! I am making it right now…. I was craving something chocolate, and this looks like the best dessert to satisfy my craving!! 🙂

  38. I used to make this cake twenty years ago but lost the recipe. It’s so moist, yummy and easy to make. After baking, top with cherry pie filling and cream cheese frosting for a black forest cake.

  39. This looks scrumptious!! Being pre-diabetic, what could I use (proportion equivalents) instead of regular sugar? Also, can Cacao be used instead of Cocoa? I love “A Family Feast”!! Keep those great recipes, etc. coming!…Beverlee

  40. I made this cake in a 9×9 but there seems to be too much water because it’s been in the oven for half an hour and it’s still pure liquid on top. Hasn’t even begun to set anywhere. Anyone else have this problem?

    • Hi Danielle – I haven’t heard of any other similar issues. We also used a 9×9 pan. I’ll put this comment through in case anyone else had a similar issue. Martha

  41. can this recipe be doubled into a 9×13 pan?

  42. dear god in heaven…if we could just eat dessert for every meal…

  43. Do you know if anybody has tried using gluten free with this recipe and still get the same texture and flavor?

  44. I have made the hot fudge cake in a small crock pot many times. I mix the batter and put it in the crock pot, mix the topping just like i would do it in the oven. Turn it on high for a couple of hours. The reason i do it in a crock pot is because i am doing it in my office for parties. Everyone loves it.

  45. sarah gavagni :

    We wanted something warm, sweet, and quick and this was the perfect dessert! Thank you for the recipe, we will be making it again soon!

  46. What a disaster this was!

    I made it twice thinking I did something wrong the first time and each time it turned to liquid after about 20 minutes of baking. It looked good at the 15 minute mark and somewhere between that and 20 minutes it liquefied, twice!! I tried it using a le crueset 9×9 pan and again using a regular 9×9 metal baking pan, the results were the same both times.

    I followed the recipe perfectly, except I did not read the comments and after seeing someone else had the same problem I am sorry now that I didn’t. I’m not sure what could have went wrong. Definitely a waste of money and time.

    • I’m very sorry to hear that Robin…I’m afraid I have not idea why the recipe didn’t work for you. I certainly understand your disappointment!

  47. My mom, who is now 82, used to make this for the family when growing up. We all loved it. I’ve made similar recipes, but never has one turned out so perfectly. My husband was craving something chocolate. When he finished inhaling (lol) I asked, ‘so, did this do ya for your chocolate fix?’ I ate it, he replied. I won’t hear how great it was until a ways down the road when he asks, “Why don’t you make that chocolate pudding stuff, again?” 😉

    • LOL Joy – I’m so glad your family (husband included) 😉 enjoyed the recipe as much as we did! Thanks for taking the time to write to us today!

  48. This is soooo delicious. I made it last night because I wanted something chocolate-y. I accidentally messed up and put in too much sugar (whoops) so it’s super sweet but it still tastes so good. I love the fudgyness.

    Also, just for the record, it’s just as good cold the next day. I will definitely be making this again. Preferably for a crowd so I don’t eat it all.

  49. I have made this three times and cant keep it in the icebox for more thena few hours…….it just seems to fly out of the bowl before I know it. The last two times I made it I mixed 1/4 cup Dark Hershey’s Cocoa powder and 1/4 cup Traditional Hershey’s Cocoa powder before I separated it….. Now I am no chocolate connoisseur and rarely eat chocolate but I can tell you this much ……the savory decadent flavor runs circles around Portillo’s Chocolate cake that I love.
    This is absolutely the bomb in my house. Next I am going to try gluten free flour and if it is a success I will let you know. Thanks for posting this reccipe

    • Thanks so much for your email (I agree-this cake IS the bomb!) and I’d love to hear how it comes out made with gluten free flour Tamra! Please let us know!!

  50. Hot fudge pudding cake look so good by the picture. I think it needs a longer cook time as it cannot be toothpick tested. When I took this out of the oven after 40 minutes, it still came out doughy. The middle just fell through when I cut into it. Other then that, very chocolty and sweet.

  51. This looks decadent. Since it is just my husband and I, would the recipe work if I halved it?

    • Sure Robyn – You’ll want to bake it in a smaller dish and I would imagine the baking time might be different (probably less time than the original).

  52. If I don’t have unsalted butter should I hold off on making? Anyone used salted butter?

  53. There is something definitely wrong with this recipe. Runny and tasted like raw flour. I did everything right by the recipe and waited at least 15 minutes for it to thicken. My oven cooks correctly so that is not the problem either. I was so disappointed…..really wanted to eat it.

    • Wow Susan – I’m stumped again! We actually made the recipe this past weekend to confirm that it was written correctly (it came out fine for us) – and checked our recipe against the original that appears on the Hershey website and it is correct as written. I’d suggest baking it for a little longer if it’s that undercooked. I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you!

  54. My mom used to make this when we were younger. It was so good will need to make this & see if it taste as good as I remember.

  55. Just made this, it was amazing!!

  56. OMG this is something unique! It looks like heaven to me 🙂 I can’t even wait for tomorrow, need this today!

  57. This looks soo good! I really want to make this but I don’t have enough cocoa powder, would it be ok if I melted some chocolate into the batter?

  58. Hi Martha!

    Lovely recipe 🙂

    Just wanted to know if this recipe is still great if you have leftovers. ie cover leftovers, store in fridge, reheat in microwave (or oven), then let sit again for 15 mins before serving.

    Otherwise, I will scale it right down. It’s just that scaling it down for 2 serves is a little difficult.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Viviane – Yes! You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator and it reheats beautifully in the microwave (you won’t need to reheat for long – just enough to take the chill off and warm it up a bit). Enjoy!

  59. Martha ~ I’m a big fan of this recipe, and have been for many years, as you will see from a response I left above to a comment left by Shelby, so I will skip background information here.
    Something sort of clicked for me when I was reading through the other comments from folks who were having issues with the cake coming out too soupy, or runny.
    For one thing, sometimes older ovens tend not to get up to proper temperature, even when the dial says it is. Thermostats can fail over time, and need to be replaced. BTDT! Check your oven temperature with a stand alone oven thermometer to be sure it’s coming up to temperature as it should. Even being ten degrees off can create problems.
    The other thing that came to mind right off, was the butter. It is very important that if a recipe calls for “butter” that butter be used ~ not margarine. Even stick margarine contains varying amounts of water, and tub margarine is worse. “Diet” margarine I won’t even discuss! This can add more water to a recipe, as well as less fat, which can make a recipe soupier than desired, and the results much less than desirable.
    So, if any of these issues are what you’re dealing with, and your fudgey cake is leaving you flat, fixing them and trying again will likely render you much better results!
    Unfortunately, if those aren’t the problem, I have no suggestions to offer. Hope this proves helpful for someone. (And remember, DON’T stir in that hot water at the end!)

  60. Hi

    I have a question 🙂 The temperature…is it in celcius or farenheit? I don’t want to just assume and get it wrong >.<

  61. Martha, I made this last night when we had a friend over. My husband won’t eat anything made with cow’s milk so I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and it turned out great! I would have to say, after reading the comments I was expecting something so good I would want to eat the whole pan. It was very good, but not mind-blowing… of course I DID make a few minor alterations, I didn’t use Hershey’s cocoa, I used an organic cocoa powder, and I used coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar, and my butter was salted, so my alterations could easily have changed the outcome. But just in case anyone was wondering about subbing another kind of milk, almond milk seemed to work just fine. 🙂

  62. Hi Martha!
    Can I bake this in a 9in medal pie pan? I don’t have 9×9 square pan =/

    • Yes – as long as it’s a deep dish pie plate. A standard pie plate might be too shallow. Also the bake time might need to be adjusted ?

  63. Wow… Seriously the BEST RECEIPE ever, truly on point. Restaurant quality!!! My recipes never turn out right. I don’t know these folks just a single mom hoping to be married one day and cook great meals for my son 🙂

    Ps. I ran out of butter so used bananas as a substitute

    • Thanks for writing to us Shon! And what an interesting substitution – I’ll have to try that sometime! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  64. Kathy Marshall :

    I can’t believe out of all the comments and questions i’m the only one to ask, no eggs? 🙂

  65. i just made the pudding and omg i forgot the flour. how can i recuperate the chocolate sauce. tyvm :((

  66. what awesome recipes, Can’t wait to try them!!

  67. This recipe is a winner everytime! The best ever for salving the wickedest chocolate cravings! Never sticks around very long either- it is just sooo good! Instead of ice cream, I have topped mine with homemade whipped cream ( just a quick whip of heavy cream with your mixer- done while cake is in the oven). Its creamy smoothness better complements the absolute super sweetness of the pudding/ cake beautifully!!! Ahhhhhh!

  68. Could this be adjusted to be made in a Crock-Pot?

    • I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker – but I don’t think you will get the same crunchy topping. I’ve seen some other recipes specifically for the slow cooker. You might be better off googling to find one of those!

  69. I can’t to get my hands on these recipes.

  70. i’ve made this recipe sooo many times and it always comes out great! but i was just wondering, do you think it would still turn out good if i were to make them in cupcake pans? i don’t know if the cake would come out whole….what do you think?

  71. This has been a family favourite in our house for over 20 years! I first got the recipe from a Betty Crocker cookbook I received as a wedding shower gift. So so good!

  72. I’m having 8 people around for dinner tonight will this comfortably serve 8??

    • Hi Laura – Sorry for the delay in responding – I realize you might already be serving your guests by the time this gets to you! It’s super rich so I think 8 servings is definitely doable – especially served with ice cream on the side. Hope you enjoy(ed) the recipe!

  73. Did you use unsweetened or dark

  74. Sharon K Schumann :

    I’m so sorry to say we didn’t care for this recipe…The cake texture was moist and lovely but the cocoa was so over powering I actually tossed it…Way to much cocoa to enjoy 🙁