Chocolate Pudding Cake

4.85 from 45 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.

This Chocolate Pudding Cake is probably the easiest chocolate cake recipe out there. There are only 4 ingredients! One of the best tasting chocolate cakes I have ever had.

Spatula of Chocolate Pudding Cake coming out of the dish.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Chocolate Pudding Cake
  2. No Frosting Necessary
  3. How to Serve Chocolate Pudding Cake
  4. Additions and Substitutions for this Recipe
  5. Questions
  6. Easy Desserts That Start With a Cake Mix
  7. How To Make Chocolate Pudding Cake
  8. Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

I got this recipe at a women’s retreat many years ago and it has been a favorite ever since. It was a suggested dessert for holiday entertaining because it is so easy to make, yet it tastes so good. You can put it in the oven right before dinner and it is ready right when you are ready to serve it for dessert. In this recipe, I usually use a Devil’s Food Cake mix, but a German Chocolate mix or regular chocolate cake mix work just as well. If you like nuts on your cake, you can also sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts on top with the chocolate chips.

Ingredients in Chocolate Pudding Cake

This decadent chocolate cake comes together with just four ingredients! Every bite is rich with chocolate flavor. Your chocolate cravings are sure to be satisfied with this easy dessert. Here’s all you need:

  • A box of Devil’s Food cake mix – you’re just going to use the dry mix. Don’t make the cake according to the box.
  • Chocolate pudding – you’ll need the good old fashioned pudding mix, the cook and serve, NOT instant
  • Milk – you can make this recipe with boiling water or hot water but the cake batter is just more creamy and rich with milk. Use any kind of milk you have on hand.
  • Chocolate chips – we like semi-sweet chocolate chips but you can add any kind you like.

That’s it! You’ll whisk the milk and chocolate pudding on the stovetop until it boils, then pour the pudding sauce over the dry cake mix in a large mixing bowl. Fold it all together, or use an electric mixer to blend, then spread in a prepared pan (for this size you’ll need a 9×13 inch baking dish and bake.

Ingredients to make Chocolate Pudding Cake.

No Frosting Necessary

The amount of pudding used in the recipe makes the cake so moist and delicious. What I love most about this cake is that you don’t need to frost it. The hot fudge pudding cake itself is so rich that you can eat it as is. You can also simply add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. One of my favorite treats during the holidays is to serve it with a scoop of peppermint ice cream or with a big mug of hot cocoa.

How to Serve Chocolate Pudding Cake

I think this cake is best served warm right out of the oven. It makes the house smell wonderful. However, if you need to make it ahead to serve later, it is every bit as moist and delicious served cold. To reheat leftovers, simply pop a slice or two in the microwave for about thirty seconds and it’ll be nice and gooey again. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Two slices of Chocolate Pudding Cake topped with vanilla ice cream.

Additions and Substitutions for this Recipe

This chocolate pudding cake recipe is perfect just as it is, but you can also dress it up depending on when you’re planning to serve it. 

  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Drizzle hot fudge sauce over the top.
  • Dust lightly with some unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish.
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter for an extra rich flavor.
  • For a thicker cake, bake in a square baking pan instead of a rectangle.


Can this pudding cake be made with different flavors?

Yes, this pudding cake can easily be made as a lemon pudding cake, a banana pudding cake, or a vanilla pudding cake. Simply swap out the chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix for the flavors you want to make.

For the topping use vanilla or white chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips. Another option is to bake the cake without melting flavored chips on top, and instead add fresh berries.

Should pudding cake be refrigerated?

Yes, store leftover pieces of cake in an airtight container in the fridge. It also keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake in the fridge for a day before serving.

Can this cake be made gluten free?

Yes! All you need to do is use a gluten free cake mix instead of a regular cake mix.

What happens when you add pudding mix to cake?

When you add a pudding mix to a cake, it makes the cake more moist and more dense. In this recipe, it is even more so because we don’t just add the mix, we cook the pudding and then add the cake mix. You will love the rich texture and taste of this cake!

Easy Desserts That Start With a Cake Mix

Using a cake mix for a dessert makes preparation quick and easy, but you don’t have to settle for a basic cake. There are so many fun and fancy desserts that start with a cake mix. These are some of our favorites.

  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Nothing Bundt Cake – A rich, moist, and delicious chocolate cake that tastes just like the cake you can buy from the Nothing Bundt Cake store.
  • Raspberry Lemon Cake – This cake is so cold and refreshing. The Jell-O gelatin in the cake makes it so moist and flavorful.
  • Better Than You Know What Cake – Turn a basic chocolate cake mix into a decadent dessert. A chocolate cake filled with sweet, caramel filling and topped with toffee bars.
  • Cake Mix Coffee Cake – If you like coffee cake, you are going to LOVE this Cake Mix Coffee Cake! I am a big fan of coffee cake and I am even a bigger fan of it when I can skip a couple steps to get it done quicker!
  • Coca-Cola Cake – This Coca-Cola Cake is a moist, chocolatey dessert flavored with the popular, fizzy, soft drink. Topped with frosting and maraschino cherries.

How To Make Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake

4.85 from 45 votes
This Chocolate Pudding Cake is probably the easiest chocolate cake recipe out there. There are only 4 ingredients! One of the best tasting chocolate cakes I have ever had.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings



  • 9×13 inch pan
  • Hand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls


  • 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix dry
  • 5 ounces chocolate pudding mix cook and serve, not instant
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gather your ingredients.
    Ingredients to make Chocolate Pudding Cake.
  • Pour contents of cake mix box into a large bowl.
    Bowl of chocolate cake mix.
  • Stir dry pudding mix and milk together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
    Saucepan of pudding mix and milk combined.
  • Fold cooked pudding into the dry cake mix.
    Dry and wet chocolate ingredients folded together in a bowl.
  • Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top.
    Chocolate Pudding Cake batter sprinkled with chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
    Full 9x13 dish of baked Chocolate Pudding Cake.
  • This cake is delicious served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
    Two slices of Chocolate Pudding Cake topped with vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 494mgPotassium: 312mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 105IUCalcium: 134mgIron: 2.7mg

Love this recipe?

We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.

Rate and Review






Share This With the World


About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

More about Echo Blickenstaff

Similar Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. Has anyone tried this with a gluten-free box chocolate cake mix?? I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday next week but I need it to be gluten-free so the whole family can enjoy.

    1. 5 stars
      4 ingredients, a measuring cup, a baking pan, 20 min prep, 25 min writing up a glowing review while it bakes in the convection oven. My second time so I can honestly rate this as an “Oh my god, amazing”, while this one is still baking.👌😘❤🤗😋

  2. I haven’t made it yet, so can’t rate it. I do have a question, can I make this ahead of time and put it in the fridge until my guests arrive so that I can serve it warm?

    1. Great question! This recipe is usually the same in all altitude locations. Enjoy your cake!

  3. I’ve been making a version of this cake since the early 70s and it was old when it was passed down to me. Instead of chocolate cake mix, I use yellow cake mix with pudding in it. Then stir in cooked chocolate pudding and add chocolate chips and chopped pecans on the top. It’s gooey when done. Toothpick test to test doneness does NOT work. If it passes the toothpick test, it’s over baked. Can be served with vanilla ice cream or a cold glass of milk.

  4. 5 stars
    This cake recipe was one I grew up on. My mom used to call it Chocolate Lunchbox Cake, because she would take each slice and slice it horizontally, then put the bottom on the top and wrap in plastic wrap to put in our lunchboxes . This was so the chocolate chips would not stick to the plastic. It was the best cake. I am in my 60’s now and I can still remember the taste. Thanks for the memories!

  5. 5 stars
    This is by far the best cake I have ever eaten. I might try it with vanilla pudding and a lemon or orange cake mix with white chocolate chips and see how that turns out

    1. Do u still add the cake mix ingredients, like eggs and oil before you add the cooked pudding?

  6. Hi my mom has made this for as long as I can remember she got it out of the old Betty crocker Cookbook we add walnuts with the chocolate chips I don’t have cook and serve pudding so going to try instant hopefully it still turns out. I have never thought to do other cakes with other chips that’s an awesome idea thanks. If it turns out I will post update

  7. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious! I love the simple ingredients. Instead of chocolate chips I used reeces pieces in miniature Reeces cups. Since there’s no egg in it I actually under baked it just a little bit to to make it extra gooey

  8. This was a favorite recipe growing up- my parents got it in the late 70s from a co-worker of my mother’s, she called it Rickie Dickie cake. Only difference is we’d top with half butterscotch and half chocolate chips and always serve with a scope of vanilla ice cream. Just brought me back to my childhood!

    1. We also have made this cake from the beginning of time. I am SO mixing up the chips next time. Sounds great. We also do a butterscotch version with butterscotch chips, butterscotch pudding and white or yellow cake. Amazing!

  9. 5 stars
    Came across your recipe looking for a chocolate birthday dessert for my wife that she would really enjoy. She is a chocolate lover and this was fantastic. Delicious cake that the whole family loved with or without ice cream. We especially enjoyed no frosting because we both enjoy the cake more anyway. Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    Save a bowl, dump the dry cake mix straight into the pan of cooked pudding!
    Best chocolate cake ever; so easy, so chocolatey, so moist!

  11. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness that is wonderful I learned how to make this 25 years 30 years ago and never forgot the recipe and I just started making it again for the grandkids and they just go crazy over it so thank you for helping me to remember my favorite recipe thank you Mary Smith

    1. I purchased it at a kitchen supply store and I love it! I use it all the time. The round shape keeps thick batter and other ingredients from getting stuck inside the whisk. This is a similar whisk I found on Amazon:

  12. Could this cake be made as a Bundt? If so, how would you adjust the cooking time?
    I’m going to try it for my 67th birthday which is coming up soon!

    1. We haven’t made this as a bundt before. If you do make it as a bundt, you can try reducing the heat and increasing the time. Let us know how it turns out if you try it!

      1. We haven’t tried it that way, but it sounds delicious! Let us know how it goes if you try it!

  13. Cake mixes have changed in size, depending on brand. What size do you use in this one? I do gluten free which are usually about 15 oz. If this isn ‘t big enough the liquid would be too much.
    Love your site by the way, Thank you, Linda

    1. I’ve actually made this with a gluten free cake mix, even though the gluten free mix is less ounces, it still turned out great! The 15 oz will work perfect.

  14. 5 stars
    Wow! This was super easy to make and was an absolute hit with my family and friends! (You were right-some whipped cream sent it over the top.) Thank you!

      1. I have to know if I need to add the ingredients listed on the cake mix box? Is the cooked pudding the only thing I need ?
        Thank you ,
        Constance Theis

  15. This recipe has been in my family for over 60 years. In our house it is called ( Grandpa Ihde’s cake). Grandpa Ihde was a wiz in the kitchen. I hope everyone enjoys this cake.

    1. Thanks Gerry! It is a great recipe – and so easy to make. It became a tradition in my family to bake it during the holidays. I love the way food can bring back such wonderful memories. I’m glad it brought back a memory for you of your Grandpa!

    1. It might be too much batter for a 11×7 pan– if you do bake it, just keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t overflow. Is the pan you are using deeper than a typical 9×13?

  16. Could I make this with sugar free cake mix an sugar free pudding? My husband is diabetic .

      1. I love this cake. I always use a can of chocolate pudding in the baking section where they keep pie fillings. I use the brand “Thank You” pudding. I’m sure it comes out the same. I also sprinkle some powdered sugar over it just to look pretty.

  17. Where can I get the cook pudding mix in Australia or what may it be called in Australia we only have the cold milk puddling mixture

    1. Yes, if the cake mix suggests adding flour, add the flour and adjust the baking time and temperature. Don’t add oil, eggs, or water. Thanks for asking!

    1. I haven’t ever tried freezing it, but I don’t know why not. It probably will taste best fresh from the oven. My favorite way to serve it (and eat it) is when it is still warm – kind of like eating warm cookies from the oven. Thanks for asking!

  18. I cannot find the 5 oz pudding I made it before and my family wants it again I have tried six stores any suggestions,I have to make it for a party.Thanks

    1. I would suggest using two of the 3 oz pudding mixes. Each pudding mix contains about 1/2 cup of the pudding powder. Before combining the dry pudding mix with the milk, remove 2 Tablespoons of the powder from one of the boxes. This should give you approximately the same amount as a 5 oz pudding mix. Thanks for asking!

      1. Thank you I have to make this for my son’s birthday that’s all he wanted ,I will let you know how it comes out.

    2. Pkg sizes vary now, so I buy three 3.5 oz. Pkg’s and weigh out 5 oz on my kitchen scale save the rest and make another cake in the near future!

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out. The only thing I can think of is maybe it’s a difference in the brand of cake mix or pudding mix. I don’t use a cake mix that already has pudding in the mix, because I will be adding the pudding. I also use the Jell-O cook and serve pudding mix, not instant. I hope that helps!

  19. 5 stars
    I made this cake with my kids earlier this summer and it was SO YUMMY! I just baked another one to bring to a get together tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Looks delicious! I usually prefer taller cakes. Would this still bake ok in a 8×8 or 9×9? How would you change the bake time?

    1. I think the baking time would be the same or just slightly shorter if you have 2 8×8 or 9×9 pans. Just keep an eye on it as it is baking. When a toothpick comes out clean in the middle it’s done. Good luck!

  21. What about the I gradients that the cake mix calls for? =) also could I possibly pour caramel over this or would it be too rich? Thanx

    1. You use the cake mix dry with no other added ingredients. The cake is already quite rich, but I think caramel on top would be delicious! Thanks for the idea!

  22. Can this be made using other flavors of cake and pudding mixes ? ie … Butter Pecan Cake , Butterscotch Pudding and Butterscotch Chips Thank you

    1. I haven’t ever tried it with any other cake or pudding flavors, but I think it sounds great. I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work. Thank you for the idea!

      1. 5 stars
        Any flavor combo works! I found your blog searching for the directions to the recipe my grandma uses- she does butterscotch pudding with spice cake mix (always Duncan Hines!!) and it is my very favorite version (she occasionally makes chocolate, so I’ve had both). I *think* she uses 2 cups of milk, but I’m going to try your way and see how it goes!

    1. No, I don’t cool the pudding first. You can mix it with the cake as soon as it’s finished cooking and pop it in the oven. Thanks for asking!

    1. The instant pudding mix won’t bake the same. The cooked pudding mix works the best in this recipe. Thanks for asking!

      1. 5 stars
        I followed the recipe except rather than putting chocolate chips on top, I made a chocolate glaze using the chips, kept the cake covered with foil. This lasted a week and never dried out, instead of was delicious and moist, we cut brownie size portions and enjoyed it all week!!