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Hot Fudge Pudding Cake is a delicious, vintage recipe that everyone absolutely loves! A fudge sauce forms under a rich chocolate cake as it bakes in the oven.

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.

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.

You may enjoy these other Chocolate Dessert recipes:

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Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: American


Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Kitchens


  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Hershey’s Cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/3 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 F. 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.

Keywords: hot fudge pudding cake



Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake - A Family Feast
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  • Meseidy wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Meseidy!

  • Angie | Big Bears Wife wrote:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Hershey Park! How neat! Oh I love this hot fudge pudding cake!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Angie!

  • Nutmeg Nanny wrote:

    This pudding cake looks amazing! So fudgy and delicious.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Renee – Kudos Kitchen wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Ginny McMeans wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ginny!

  • Shelby wrote:

    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)

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Shelby – it is very easy!

    • ShariD wrote:

      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.

      • Martha wrote:

        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!

      • Shari D wrote:

        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.

        • Martha wrote:

          Hi Shari – no problem! I’ll make the edit! 🙂

  • samantha wrote:

    This looks so amazing. I’m almost drooling! So gooey looking. What a great vacation story!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Samantha!

  • Paula – bell’alimento wrote:

    So much fun! Love Hershey’s

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Paula!

  • Jeni wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Jeni!

  • Amanda @The Kitcheneer wrote:

    My first thought when I saw your pudding cake was ” I want to swim in that”. I still do. It looks amazing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Amanda! Great idea! 😉

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