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:

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


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
  • 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.



Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

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

    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?

    • Martha wrote:

      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

  • Beverlee wrote:

    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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Beverlee – We haven’t adapted this recipe with any lower sugar alternatives so I’d really only be guessing! If you try the cacao and/or sugar alternatives, please let us know how it comes out! I’m sorry I’m not much help with your question…Martha

    • jody wrote:

      you can google the equivalent for the sweetener you use – here is the link to the amount of Truvia to sub for sugar:

    • June byrd wrote:

      I have used half sugar and the rest Splenda. It came out very good, but the original recipe is THE BEST. Just use less serving and top with a big scoop of sugarfree ice cream.

      • Martha wrote:

        Thanks for the suggestion June!

  • Dianne wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds delicious Dianne!

  • Terri wrote:

    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!! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoyed the recipe Terri!

  • barbara hill wrote:

    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…

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Sela Amelinda wrote:

    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~

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sela! I hope you can make it to Hershey Park someday too!

  • Chelsea wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Chelsea! It’s one of our favorites!

  • Morgan L wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Morgan – unsweetened! The sugar in the recipe is enough that you wouldn’t want to use a sweetened cocoa powder!

  • Jennifer wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      I think so too Jennifer!

  • Serena wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Ryan wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

      • Ryan wrote:

        Thank you for replying, I’m making this cake for tonight and can’t wait to try it!

        • Martha wrote:

          Hope you enjoy it Ryan!

  • Michelle wrote:


    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Michelle!

  • Shiloh Barkley wrote:

    This is in the oven right now!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you like it Shiloh!

      • Shiloh Barkley wrote:

        It was fantastic! Great recipe. I’ve been looking forever for a chocolate cake that would rival Shoney’s. My husband thinks theirs is the best. (But they’re all closing because their restaurant sucks.) thank you!

        • Martha wrote:

          Thanks Shiloh – glad it’s a hubby-approved recipe!

  • Kelly wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      I don’t know Kelly – but we would love to hear how it turns out if you try it with gluten free flour!

  • Carissa @ Domestic Dreamboat wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Carissa!

  • Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kirsten!

  • Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kellie!

  • Nicole wrote:

    Wow! I want to dive in face first!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Nicole!

  • Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Aly! I’ve heard good things to about the onsite hotel – maybe next time!

  • Jessica (Savory Experiments) wrote:

    No kidding! This looks absolutely amazing. I’ll take ooey gooey chocolate any day of the week!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jessica!

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