Grandma’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

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Grandma’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake is a super easy cake that makes its own hot fudge sauce as it bakes! Perfect with ice cream.

I feel like we know each other well enough now that I can share with you a few family secrets. Like my Grandma’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake.

It’s a really big deal.

white pie plate with grandma's hot fudge sundae cake and scoop missing

My grandma has made all of her granddaughters and granddaughters-in-law a cookbook, with recipes written out by hand and pictures from cooking magazines. She collects recipes from family members to contribute, so it is an amazing compilation of well-loved recipes.

This cake has been my favourite dessert for many, many, many years. Certainly all throughout my childhood. And as I’ve grown up and started experimenting more in the kitchen, I tend not to make the same recipe repeatedly because there are just so many that I want to try.

But I made some pork chops in the slow cooker, and they tasted great, they just didn’t look great. And I have a hard time wanting to share things with you guys that don’t photograph well. Because we eat with our eyes first, they say.

So after supper I was feeling like I should make something blogworthy, but I just didn’t have a lot of energy. I wanted something outstanding without putting in a ridiculous amount of time. And I didn’t want to mess around a lot with recipes I don’t know.

So it just made sense that I would share this with you today.

overhead image of white pie plate with metal spoon scooping cake

I made this entire cake, minus the baking, in the time it took my husband to unload and reload the dishwasher.

Not that it was a race.

(It was a race.)

bowl of hot fudge sundae cake with pie plate in the background

And it’s not like it took him a really long time. I’m telling you, 10 minutes max and you can have this baby in the oven. The ingredients are all simple: there’s nothing to be chopped, melted, sifted, whatever it is that takes extra time. It’s all about minimal effort and maximum wow factor.

This recipe is awesome for entertaining, too. You could make the batter, spread it in the pan, top with the brown sugar mixture and then cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Then just pour the hot water on top and bake.

close up image of hot fudge sundae cake with pie plate in the background

This cake has a chewy, almost brownie-like layer on the top and a thick, hot, rich chocolate sauce on the bottom. And it’s divine. Grab a tub of your favourite ice cream and go to town.

*NOTE: Some people have mentioned the sauce was very runny. This is the recipe we have used over and over again, and yes, this is the recipe used to make the cake in the pictures! There is a lot of fudge sauce when all is said and done — as it cools it will continue to set up. If you want more of a gooey chocolate cake and less a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge sauce, reduce the boiling water to 1 ½ cups. I have done this before, but I find that as it sits it doesn’t leave much sauce, so we like to stick to the full 1 ¾ cups.

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Grandma’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

4.67 from 9 votes
Delicious chocolate cake that makes its own hot fudge sauce while it bakes, right in the pan! This is amazing served with any flavour of ice cream: mint, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry — you name it!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 8 servings
Calories 271cal


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or sub all-purpose
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp + ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder divided
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup hot water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa, baking powder, salt, milk, oil and vanilla. Batter will be very thick — don’t fear. You might need to stir with a metal spoon.
  • Spread batter into a greased 9″ pie plate or square pan (*Note: make sure your pan has tall sides, otherwise your cake might run over a bit.)
  • Combine brown sugar and ¼ cup cocoa. Spread over batter.
  • Top with hot water (I use freshly boiled). Bake for about 30-35 minutes until top is dry and puffed. (*Note: put a cookie sheet underneath your pan in the oven, just in case a little spills over).
  • Serve warm with ice cream.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 271cal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Zorbin says

    I’ve made this for over 40 years. It came from The Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, but the name is Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. I have also made the Lemon Pudding Cake, which also comes from The Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. Both are yummy and easy.

  2. Lady Cherston says

    I ‘ve made this before. and it is to die for. You can also add caramel ice cream topping just after removing from the oven. You can also add walnuts or pecans. I find this very rich, but the ice cream cuts the richness down to tolerable levels. Boiling water is the key I think. This is a stellar recipe. I plan to make it for friends when they come over. This one’s a keeper for sure. Thanks for posting it.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Carol! The water does bring it pretty close to the top, and it will definitely depend on how deep your pie plate is. How was the end result anyway? I would guess it just wouldn’t be quite as saucy but I hope you still enjoyed it!

  3. Della Robbins says

    Hi Ashley, I have six grandchildren and bake them homemade goodies several times a week, but my question is can you double this recipe and put it in a 9by13 pan? I usually bake all kinds of candies, cakes, cookies, bars, pies, you name I make it lol, but I ALWAYS have to make double for my daughter that has five children. One batch of whatever I make doesn’t go very far cuz of so many people in their family, plus I bake so much for others also. I am one of seven children and my grandmother, aunts and mom always cooked from scratch and I inherited the baking gene, which everyone looks to me to carry on the tradition of homemade goodies. I have just discovered your site and can’t wait to start baking away! Thanks for passing this one along and I hope you have a great day!

  4. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    That is SO nice that your Grandma made you a cookbook of recipe collections! I have a few of my Grandma’s recipes, but she made a lot of things from memory, which makes it hard for me to recreate. This cake looks amazing! Wishing I had this for breakfast right now! And your video is SO good, Ashley! You’re a pro!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Haha, thanks Gayle! Lots and lots and lots of practice 😉 And there’s still lots to improve! With this cake though? Nothing. Lol. Grandma’s recipes are the best!

  5. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! This is chocolate paradise! When my son went out of his own he suggested (more like insisted) that I compile a cookbook of all the recipes that I cooked for him and many of his friends. It ended up being more than 250 pages! I’m currently in the process of compiling another one specifically for my son and his best friend (my “other” son). I would urge every mother (or grandmother) to do that. It’s a gift from the heart! 🙂

  6. Medha @ Whisk & Shout says

    This hot fudge cake looks unreal! And as you said, the best part is how easy it is to throw together. I love the video- that steam coming out of the bowl of gooey chocolatey goodness was SO satisfying 🙂

      • Kirtida says

        Hi Ashley,
        made this fudge ,but was sticky…is it because of wheat flour…?
        though I will make again,but sad is nobody ate this,coz was so sticky

      • Ashley Fehr says

        Hi Kirtida! I’m not sure what to tell you — it is a hot fudge sundae CAKE and it is not fudge. It bakes up as a cake with a fudge sauce, so yes, it is sticky, and saucy. I recommend serving it warm with ice cream — it’s delicious!

  7. Tiffany says

    Oh man, I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw your recipe. It looked so good I immediately clicked over. I’m making this this weekend for sure. I know my husband and I will love it!

  8. kathryn davis says

    Does this do ok if kept in the fridge after you make it? If we don’t eat it all at once 🙂

    • Ashley says

      Thanks! I think I’ve only had it about 18,000 times since birth and I don’t think it will ever get old!

  9. Becky says

    First…. My family & I loved this incredible dessert. I was surprised though how much I could taste the whole wheat flour. This is the first dessert I’ve made with whole wheat instead of white flour. Have you substituted white flour instead?

    • Ashley says

      You know, I use whole wheat flour a lot in my baking. I think I would notice a change maybe if I switched to white flour, but I never really notice! It would definitely work fine if you use all-purpose though!

4.67 from 9 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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