Duncan Hines Pudding Cake is a delectably rich and easy cake to make, using shortcuts and minimal ingredients. Dare I say, it will be the best cake you ever make.Jump to Recipe
This Duncan Hines Pudding Cake is one of the best cakes I’ve ever had and I’m not exaggerating – I’ve tested a lot of cake too!
This delectably rich chocolate cake is made only with a few ingredients. The two main ingredients being shortcuts actually – are chocolate cake mix & instant chocolate pudding.
I don’t know what magic happens when you combine cake mix with pudding mix, but it does something really wonderful to it. It’s like it’s another level of moisture and density that I can really only compare to brownies. It’s even more moist than adding sour cream to a homemade cake.
Boxed cake mix could be considered a cheat, but honestly, if you’re short on time because you have a toddler like me, or for whatever reason, this is going to be a wonderful option to still make a delicious cake. Plus, it’s great for beginners who lack experience and just want to get started with baking.
This easy dessert recipe is really not much different from a homemade cake in the end.
DUNCAN HINES PUDDING CAKE
I believe that the origin of this recipe came from a Duncan Hines Pound Cake, but it has since changed a little. You can also use any boxed cake mix you want, like Betty Crocker, Ghiradelli, etc.
Mixing cake mix (doesn’t have to be chocolate) with some instant pudding mix results in a dense, very wet, fudgy cake. This recipe is for an all-chocolate cake where the flavor is a deep intense chocolate with a brownie-like texture. It’s topped with whipped cream frosting that makes things a bit more delicate and contrasts nicely with the dense cake.
I’ve also tested mixing in strong coffee or espresso into the batter because the coffee flavor actually brings out more of the chocolate flavor in baked goods. That’s a tip you can apply to any baking with chocolate that you may do! Such as in brownies, other chocolate cakes and cupcakes, and dare I say, hot chocolate.
In this dessert, even though we’re using shortcuts, it’s no different, we still want that cake to be bursting with chocolate flavor!
Note: If you’re making a variation on the flavor and not making chocolate, skip the coffee and instead add vanilla extract.
The whip cream frosting is made with heavy cream that gets whipped with a small amount of confectioners’ sugar, coffee, and a bit of cocoa powder to make a chocolate homemade whip cream.
If you’re really in a pinch and need a shortcut for the frosting too, you can use cool whip as the frosting base instead. I won’t tell 😉
You can doctor up the cool whip in the same way you would homemade whipped cream. The directions would be the same once the whipped cream is finished, just add coffee & cocoa, then whip together well.
SERVING THIS CAKE
Because this cake is so simple and bakes right into a 9x13 baking dish, it’s perfect for so many occasions. You can make this for a party, small get-together, hot weather, cold weather, as a birthday or celebration cake – really, it’s completely versatile. Just remember to save about 50 minutes for baking the cake, an hour for it to cool, and a little time to frost the top of the cake and decorate however you like.
And what I really love about recipes like these is that they’re just a formula. Meaning, you can take the recipe as a formula and change up the flavors of the ingredients to make something completely different. It’s like working within a framework that makes the whole thing an easy experiment.
Okay, let’s bake this super simple Duncan Hines Pudding Cake!
You’re going to need:
- Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake mix (or another brand) – as I also mentioned, you can change up the flavor if you want
- Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix – just the powder mix, do not make the pudding
- Vegetable oil – canola is fine as a substitute
- Cup of water
- Strong coffee or espresso – ¼ cup is just enough
- Chocolate chips – bittersweet, semisweet, or even dark chocolate will work here
- Heavy cream or cool whip – keep your cream cold until you’re ready to whip!
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Cocoa powder
The easiest way to make this is to mix it all by hand in a large bowl. Then, make the whipped cream in your stand mixer or with an electric mixer. You don’t need to use the stand mixer or electric mixer for the cake batter if you want to keep things simple!
Refer to the directions below for measurements and more accurate instructions:
To make this very simple cake, first, you’re just going to take your box of cake mix and pudding mix and pour them into a large bowl.
Then into the dry ingredients, crack in the eggs, add in the ½ cup oil and the 1 cup water, mix ingredients together either by hand or with an electric mixer. Stop once everything is combined, do not over-mix.
Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips into the cake batter.
Bake cake in a 9x13 dish at 350 for about 50 minutes. A fork will come out of the center almost clean. Cool cake on the top of the stove or on top of a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling make the frosting: In a stand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream with the whisk attachment, first on the medium speed so you don’t splash yourself! Then gradually increase the speed until it’s set to one of the highest speeds. Make sure the cream is cold or it will not whip. Add in the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and coffee and combine.
Frost the cake when the cake has completely cooled and decorate to your liking!
Other easy Dessert recipes you may like:
- Easy Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
- Chocolate Italian Love Cake
- Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding
- Chocolate Graham Cracker Ice Box Cake
Variations of cake flavors you can also try, they’re endless!
- Vanilla Cake – use yellow cake mix + instant vanilla pudding mix
- Lemon Cake – use yellow cake mix + lemon pudding (add lemon juice instead of vanilla extract or even more lemon flavor!)
- Red Velvet Cake – red velvet cake mix + vanilla pudding
- Spice Cake – spice or pumpkin cake + pumpkin pudding
Note: You can also change up the shape that you bake the batter in, such as making cupcakes or sheet cakes. If you make two smaller round cakes, you can also make a layer cake – it would be out of this world.
There are 20 slices in this cake. Each serving has 276 calories, 13.5 grams of fat, 35.5 grams of carbs, and 3.5 grams of protein.
To store this cake, keep refrigerated and cover it tightly so the frosting doesn’t harden. You can serve cold or wait for it to come back to room temperature (about 30 minutes or so). The cake will keep for about a week.
AS ALWAYS, IF YOU MAKE THIS – PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
Duncan Hines Pudding Cake
- 1 package of chocolate Duncan Hines cake mix or another brand
- 1 4 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup strong coffee or espresso
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp coffee or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, pour in the packets of the cake mix and the pudding.
Add in the water, vegetable oil, eggs, and coffee or espresso. Mix everything well with a large spoon or with an electrical mixer.
When everything is well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour into the baking dish and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour.
While the cake is baking, make the frosting: in a stand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream on the highest speed with the whisk attachment (make sure the cream is cold or it will not whip).
On low, add in the coffee or vanilla extract, confectioners sugar, and cocoa powder. You can adjust the amounts of each to your liking.
The cake will be done when a fork comes out of the center of the cake mostly clean. Let it cool completely before frosting.
Keep leftovers refrigerated.
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