I had actually forgotten that this yummy chocolate cake, hot fudge, and ice cream dessert existed (or that Shoney’s existed) until recently while browsing Pinterest. When I saw a picture of it, immediately recognized it without even reading the text, and was instantly overcome by a wave of nostalgia.
I used to have those all the time!
When I was eleven or twelve years old we would head to Shoney’s (you may remember it as Bob’s Big Boy) occasionally for a meal and the only thing I remember about those restaurant visits is the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. (You may also know it as Hot Fudge Cake, Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake, etc.) I’m sure they had other dishes that I liked but, you know, priorities.
And since National Chocolate Day is September 23, I figured this is a great recipe to honor what should be (and in my mind, IS) its own food group….CHOCOLATE.
It’s a pretty simple recipe with few ingredients. Just make sure that you have time to allow for baking and freezing.
- 1 dark chocolate fudge cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
- plus ingredients for the cake mix (usually eggs, vegetable oil, water)
- 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 Tbsp. whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Reddi Whip or prepared whipped cream
- maraschino cherries with stems
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil so that, length-wise, the foil extends over the ends of the pan (this will become "handles" later to take out the cake). Spray with nonstick cooking spray and dust with a little of the cake mix powder (or use flour if you like).
- Mix cake mix according to package directions. Pour into you prepared pan and bake for the length of time your cake mix suggest. For me this was 26 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with just a hint of cake crumbs on it.
- Cool completely for (about an hour).
- Carefully lift up on your foil handles and place the cake on the counter. Using a long serrated knife (like a bread knife), carefully cut into the edges of the cake to a depth of about 2-3". Do this all the way around trying to stay even. Then, insert the whole knife at one end of the cake and carefully zig zag your way through the entire cake. (Using those starting cuts should help your knife to stay in a "channel" so that you don't end up with it cut unlevel.)
- Lift both layers at the same time from the foil and place back into the pan. Then carefully lift out the top layer and lay on top of the foil. I found this to be the easiest way to move fragile cake layers. But you do you!
- Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer. The easiest way to slice up the ice cream is to remove it as a block from it's container onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut 1"-ish slabs from the ice cream. Place these slabs on the top of that bottom cake layer, laying them like puzzle pieces to fit as tightly together as possible. You may need to take some ice cream scraps and fill in any gaps.
- Replace the top cake layer, cover with that foil you used before, and place the whole thing in the freezer for at least an hour.
- When you're about ready to serve the cake, place the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and whipping cream in a saucepan and melt the mixture together over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and cut into 12 portions (4 by 3....or smaller portions if you want). Remove a piece to a serving plate, top with sauce, whipped cream, and cherry and you're ready to dive in!
I work at Shoney’s in the 1980s and there is one ingredient missing which is coffee!!
They use coffee in the hot fudge sauce!!!