This vintage Hot Fudge Cake is a must-make dessert for any occasion. Serve it straight from the oven while it’s gooey and warm or a la mode topped with vanilla ice cream and your favorite hot fudge sundae toppings.
Easy Hot Fudge Cake Recipe
This gooey chocolate hot fudge cake must have been made dozens of times in my Mom’s kitchen when I was growing up. She called it chocolate pudding cake. It’s simple, and made with pantry ingredients that you typically already have on hand. Adding a little espresso powder to amp up the flavor is a slight update but this cake is scrumptious just as it is. How to make Hot Fudge Cake: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)
- Toast Nuts – Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread chopped nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 6-8 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- Dry Ingredients – In a medium mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Wet Ingredients – Add milk, melted butter, vanilla and almond extracts.
- Nuts and Chocolate Chips – Add 3/4 cup nuts and chocolate chips, mix until fully blended.
- Prepare Pan – Spray a 9 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan.
- Brown Sugar-Cocoa Mixture – Sprinkle brown sugar and cocoa powder over batter. Dissolve espresso in hot water, then gently pour over the top. Do not stir.
- Bake – Bake per the recipe until the top appears dry.
- Serve – Scoop into bowls, spoon sauce from bottom of pan over cake with vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with additional walnuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries.
How to Make the Best Hot Fudge Cake Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Hot Fudge Cake: All purpose flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, chopped walnuts toasted in the oven, baking powder, salt, whole milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- To make the hot fudge sauce: Light brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and boiling hot water. You’ll also need vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and maraschino cherries for garnishing.
- You can use classic unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch process cocoa powder like Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. The amount would remain the same.
- You can use walnuts, pecans or almonds for this fudge cake. You can also omit the nuts altogether.
- There are no eggs in this hot fudge cake, that’s not an omission.
- Espresso isn’t an ingredient that would have been in the original version of this chocolate cake. It adds a depth of flavor without tasting mocha. You can omit it, if that’s your preference. Either way, the amount of hot water wouldn’t change.
- Top this cake with a generous scoop or two of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream with a maraschino cherry and you’ve got the makings of a hot fudge sundae.
- The biggest mistake you can make with this hot fudge cake is to overbake it. It’s supposed to be gooey and a bit runny, that’s the whole point of this type of recipe. Think of it as a pudding cake.
- Store leftover Hot Fudge Cake chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave in single serving portions and enjoy with vanilla ice cream.
More Southern Style Chocolate Cake Recipes to Make
I can’t imagine any gathering that wouldn’t benefit from chocolate cake. You know the saying, eat cake, it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere. More chocolate cake recipes you may like to make:
- Flourless Chocolate Cake topped with fresh cream and berries is a bistro style dessert.
- Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is topped with a fudgy icing and chocolate curls.
- Double Fudge Mississippi Mud Cake is ooey gooey goodness.
- Cherry Coca Cola Cake is a twist on a Southern classic.
- Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake is dense and fudgy.
- Easy Chocolate Cupcakes from Sugar Spun Run.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Hot Fudge Cake
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans toasted and cooled
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 Tbsp salted butter melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 3/4 cups hot water (almost boiling)
- vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread chopped nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 6-8 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add milk, melted butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Add 3/4 cup nuts and chocolate chips, mix until fully blended.
- Spray a 9 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan.
- Sprinkle brown sugar and cocoa powder over batter. Dissolve espresso in hot water, then gently pour over the top. Do not stir.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or just until the top is dry.
- Scoop into bowls, spoon sauce from bottom of pan over cake.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with additional walnuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries.