Copycat Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake Recipe


Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake

Shoney’s hot fudge cake copycat recipe is a deliciously easy dessert to make, that has an elegant presentation. This basic chocolate cake is sandwiched around your favorite ice cream and topped with amazing homemade hot fudge. This recipe will show you how to make this tasty dessert that is surprisingly easy to prepare. 

Shoney's hot fudge cake close up

This Hot Fudge Cake recipe takes very little ingredients but tastes like it took hours!

Depending on how much of this you want to make from scratch, this copycat Shoney’s hot fudge cake recipe can take very little time, but tastes as if it took you forever to prepare! We are going to walk you through a simple method to prepare a fabulously delicious cake. This dessert features a delicious chocolate cake, with ice cream in the center and topped with amazing hot fudge, cool whip, and a cherry. Our copycat hot fudge cake looks gorgeous and tastes fabulous! 

Recreate your own Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake at home

Shoney’s hot fudge cake is not the average cake, that you typically make at home. This cake, once you know how to make it, is just as easy to prepare, and looks very elegant. If you wish, you can also try substituting the chocolate cake, for a delicious fudgy chocolate brownie to make the overall dessert even better. Let’s take a look at home you can make this copycat Shoney’s hot fudge cake at home and wow your family and friends. 

Copycat Shoney’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake (Bob’s Big Boy)

First, we will begin looking at how you can make this hot fudge Sunday cake at home, by going over the ingredients you will need to be sure you have on hand. Before you begin, be sure you have all the following ingredients. 

Get This:

Box Chocolate Cake Mix and ingredients called for on the back OR boxed brownie mix 
Dutch cocoa powder
Heavy cream
Salted butter
Half gallon ice cream
Cool whip
Chocolate sauce
Cooking spray
Metal 9×13 cake pan or 8-inch springform pan
Parchment paper

Hot Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Cake, and Ice Cream

The three main elements of this cake. Those three sections include the hot fudge sauce, the chocolate cake, and the ice cream. Let’s look at these individual sections. 

Sauce: The hot fudge is what makes this cake in my opinion. For this recipe, hot fudge is used in place of the frosting and created a delicious topping that is hard to beat. If you are looking for an easy out, you can purchase a jar of hot fudge ice cream topping from the store, or we are going to show you our favorite recipe to make it, which is extremely easy. The next section of this dessert is the cake. 

Chocolate Cake: Shoney’s hot fudge cake recipe centers around the deliciously moist chocolate cake. This dessert is served with two layers of a basic chocolate cake. This is easily made from a boxed cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Or you can mix it up and try making this with a boxed brownie mix. If you prefer your favorite chocolate or brownie recipe can also be used to make this layer from scratch. To keep things easy, in this recipe we are going to use a boxed cake mix, we will also provide a link to our favorite substitute recipes at the end. Now let’s look at the delightful filling for this cake recipe. 

Ice Cream: Ice cream makes of the center filling of Shoney’s hot fudge cake. Typically, Shoney’s cake uses vanilla ice cream, however, when you make this cake at home, the flavor of ice cream you use is limitless. Now, let’s look at how to prepare this hot fudge cake. 

Easiest Way to Prepare Award-Winning Hot Fudge Cake

There are many ways you could approach preparing this hot fudge cake. If you wanted, the cake and hot fudge could all be made from scratch, even the ice cream could be homemade if you wanted. However, since most of us don’t have a ton of extra time to devote to making desserts from scratch, we are going to focus on the easiest way to prepare this recipe, that will give you the most delicious cake for your work. 

Shoney's hot fudge cake, side view

Hot Fudge Cake Recipe: How to Make It

Start by making your boxed chocolate cake mix according to the instructions on the back of the box. Be sure to bake it in a metal pan, not glass, so that your edges are straight up and down. You can bake the cake in two pans, such as 8×8 or 8-inch round pans. Or you can bake it in a 9×13 pan but know that you will later need to cut the cake evenly in half. Because I prefer to have even layers, I would recommend using two 8×8 pans, or two 8-inch springform pans. Once your cakes are baked, allow them to fully cool. 

In the same sized pan as your cakes are baked in, line it with parchment paper. Fill it with your choice of ice cream, and pack it down solid. Allow to freeze for 1-2 hours in this form. 

When your cake is completely cooled off, and your ice cream has sat, it is time to assemble the cake. On your serving dish, add your bottom layer of chocolate cake. Then remove your ice cream layer from the parchment paper and place it on top of your first cake layer. Place the second layer of cake on top. Cover the entire cake and place in the freezer for 12-24 hours to completely freeze. 

Before serving, prepare your hot fudge. Remove the cake from the freezer and cut into pieces to serve. Top with your freshly prepared hot fudge, cool whip, and a cherry. Serve and enjoy! 

Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake Recipe


Cake Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix, prepared according to box instructions

Hot Fudge Sauce

2 cups Dutch cocoa powder
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup salted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla

Ice Cream

½ gallon ice cream


8 oz cool whip
Maraschino cherries
Chocolate sauce


Step by Step Method

Step 1: Cake

Prepare the chocolate cake according to the instructions on the back of your boxed cake mix. We recommend that you bake the cake in an 8-inch springform pan or an 8×8 metal cake pan. Allow the cake to fully cool after baking. 

Step 2: Ice Cream

Taking your choice of ice cream, line the same sized baking pan you used for your cakes, with parchment paper. Scoop your ice cream and pack it down with another layer of parchment paper. Place in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours. 

Step 3: Assemble

Once your cakes are fully cooled, and your ice cream is solid, it is time to assemble. Place your first layer of cake on the serving dish. Remove your ice cream from the pan and peel back the parchment paper. Place the ice cream on top of your first cake. Set the top layer of cake on the ice cream. We recommend that you cover and place your assembled cake in the freezer for 12-24 hours to allow it to fully freeze. 

Step 4: Hot Fudge

After your cake is frozen, it is time to prepare your hot fudge. In a large saucepan add your sugar and cocoa powder and mix them together. Add your heavy cream and mix until combined. Place your saucepan over medium heat and allow it to warm up. Once warm add your butter and stir until melted. Once your butter is melted, your mixture should be hot. Stir in your vanilla and remove from the burner’s heat. Allow it to sit for five minutes. 

Step 5: Serve

Remove your frozen cake from the freezer and slice your pieces to serve. Top with fresh hot fudge, cool whip, and cherries. Serve right away and enjoy! 

Tips & Variations

A couple of tips to make this cake the best, include freezing and pan size. Let’s look at each one individually. 

Freezing. It is important to fully freeze this cake before cutting your pieces and serving it. If you try to skip this step, you will not be able to cut nice pieces, and the cake and ice cream will mush together as you try to cut. Allowing the assembled cake to fully freeze before cutting will allow you to have nice even slices with crisp lines. 

Pan Size. There are many different types of pans you can use for this cake. No matter what kind of pan you use, it works best if the sides of your pan go streight up and down. I would reccomend using two 8×8 pans, or my preference is to use two 8-inch springform pans.

There are many variations you can do for this dessert. First, let’s look at substitutions for hot fudge, then we will look at ice cream variations as well as what else you could top the cake with. 

Shoney's hot fudge cake top view

VARIATION Brownie Hot Fudge Cake:

If you would like to try a twist on a basic chocolate cake, try making Shoney’s hot fudge cake, using a brownie in the pace of chocolate cake. This is one of my favorite ways to make this dessert! My favorite brownie recipe is included here. To make a brownie, prepare the brownie as instructed, then use your two pans of brownies to sandwich the ice cream. Freeze as instructed above for the chocolate cake, and top with hot fudge. Serve and enjoy! NOTE: When I prepare this dessert using a brownie, I enjoy adding hot fudge layers to the filling as well. Please note that this will require extra freezing so that the fudge does not melt your ice cream. Try getting creative with this and see what you enjoy the most! 

VARIATIONS Butterscotch Sunday Cake Ingredients:

Instead of using hot fudge, you could mix it up by topping the cake with butterscotch ice cream topping. To make this you are going to want to melt ½ cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add 1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tsp large chunks of salt, and 1 cup heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and scraping the sides. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp vanilla. Allow the mixture to sit off the heat for 5-10 minutes before adding the topping to the cake. 

VARIATIONS Peanut Sunday Cake Ingredients:

Another easy variation to use in place of hot fudge would be melted peanut butter. This adds a bit of savory to your cake. Simply take the amount of peanut butter you want to use as topping and microwave it for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. If you would like it to be runnier, repeat this process once more. Allow it to sit for five minutes before adding to the top of the cake. Drizzle on top and serve immediately. 

Ice Cream Variations

There are all kinds of ice cream flavors you can try using in place of your typical vanilla ice cream. Some of our favorite flavors to use are cookies and cream, cookie dough, moose tracks, mackinaw island fudge, and chocolate. However, you most definitely are NOT limited to these flavors. When it comes to the ice cream center, the sky is the limit. So use your imagination and choose your favorite flavor to use in the center. 

What Else Could I Top The Cake With?

If you are looking for a little added pizzazz, you can try a few of the ideas listed below for additional toppings for your homemade Shoney’s hot fudge cake. Some topping ideas include:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kit Kats
Andes Mints


How do you make homemade fudge sauce?

To make homemade fudge sauce mix your cocoa powder and sugar. Then add heavy cream and whisk in. Place over medium heat and warm through. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Mix. There you have it! Easy fudge, that tastes amazing! 

Is hot fudge gluten-free?

As long as the cocoa powder you use to make it does not contain any gluten, then yes! Your hot fudge should be gluten-free. 

How do you make chocolate fudge cake?

You can make an easy chocolate fudge cake by baking a chocolate boxed cake mix according to its instructions. Then press ice cream into the same size cake pan using parchment paper. Allow ice cream to freeze solid before stacking the cake with an ice cream layer in the center. Cut into pieces and top with hot fudge before serving. 

Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake Recipe

Recipe Shortcuts:

In this recipe, we have given you the easiest recipe to make the most delicious cake. If you prefer to make things from scratch, any basic chocolate cake recipe will work well, for this. Otherwise, follow our instructions for the easiest method. 

Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake Recipe

This recipe for Shoney’s hot fudge cake recipe is an easy and yet elegant dessert that you can easily make at home. Our copycat recipe is made by using chocolate cake as your two layers and filling it with your favorite ice cream. Top this amazing dessert off with some amazing homemade hot fudge, and you are in for a fabulous treat! Give this recipe a try today and let us know what you think about it! 

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This is a recipe I came up with to replicate the real thing.

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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