When my guy really, really likes a recipe, he gives it grunts. Sometimes one, sometimes two, and on the very rare occasion, three.

I like when my guy gives my recipes grunts. What can I say – I get a certain sort of satisfaction out of it. One grunt makes me smile. Three and I practically jump into the air. Just call me a 50s housewife, I don’t care.

Wait. I just realized you guys might be imagining actual grunts. And now I’m imagining him making actual grunts over food too. And giggling.

No no. Metaphorical grunts. They’re sort of like giving a recipe stars, but in a manly way.

This recipe didn’t quite make it to the coveted three-grunt club, but! It was super, super close.

“Two grunts,” my guy said. “Maybe 2.5.”

Two and a half grunts up! No chump change, that.

While you’re mentally trying to figure out what half a grunt sounds like, I’ll go ahead and tell you a little about this recipe.

It’s really sort of a weird one, in the way that it comes together. You spread a thick batter into the pan. Then you top it with chocolate chips. Then you sprinkle a dry mix of cocoa and sugars over the top. Then you pour some hot water and instant espresso over the top.

Then you bake it, and magical things happen. A rich, gooey cake forms on the top, and a warm, melty, dark, fudgy sauce forms on the bottom.

Things really get real when you spoon it into a bowl along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The ice cream gets all melty and cuts the super-sweet richness of the cake and the sauce.

Grunt-worthy indeed. Metaphorical or out loud.

5 from 2 votes

Deep Dark Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 6 servings
Magical things happen when you bake this deep, dark hot fudge pudding cake. A rich, gooey cake forms on the top, and a warm, melty, dark, fudgy sauce forms on the bottom. Serve with ice cream and life is complete.


  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa (divided (I like Hershey's Special Dark))
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 3 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional, but highly recommended)


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  • Spread this batter mixture into an 8" x 8" baking pan.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • In another medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons cocoa, and brown sugar.
  • Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the batter.
  • In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, stir together the espresso powder and the hot water.
  • Carefully pour the hot water mixture over the top of the cake. Do not stir.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center is no longer jiggly.
  • Spoon cake and sauce into bowls and top with immediately with ice cream or whipped cream.


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