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Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

A cupcake inspired by the beloved ice cream dessert! A easy and delicious vanilla cupcake with a hot fudge core topped with vanilla buttercream, hot fudge drizzle, chopped nuts, sprinkles and a cherry!
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, coke-a-cola frosting, cupcakes, dessert, hot fudge, sprinkles, sundae
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24


  • standard size muffin/cupcake pan


  • (1) 15.25 ounce yellow cake mix
  • (1) 3.4 ounce instant vanilla pudding use instant pudding, not cook & serve
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 jars store bought hot fudge sauce room temperature (see note*)

For the Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tbsp milk or heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

For Decorating the Cupcakes:

  • hot fudge
  • chopped nuts
  • rainbow sprinkles
  • cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees or according to package (cake mix) instructions. Line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the the cake mix and pudding mix and give it a quick stir to mix the dry ingredients together. Add in the eggs, sour cream, oil, milk and vanilla extract, mix everything together using a handheld mixer on medium speed, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix until batter is thoroughly combined and smooth, do not over beat the cake batter. Scoop cake batter into cupcake pan, filling each liner about half way, do not fill to the top. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Using a cupcake corer or just a small spoon, scoop out a small hole from the top of the cupcake to the center of the cupcake. It should look like a small well. Spoon out a small amout of hot fudge sauce (room temperature, do not heat the hot fudge sauce) and fill the hole of the each cupcake.
  • Make the frosting: add the butter to a large mixing bowl, beat on medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the powdered sugar, beat on low speed for about a minute and then work your way back up to medium speed. While on medium speed add in the milk, vanilla extract and the pinch of salt. Allow the frosting to mix for about 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed so it can get a nice fluffy texture. Frost cupcakes to your preference!
  • Garnish the top of each cupcake with a drizzle of hot fudge, chopped nuts, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry! You can also use cookie crumbs, candy pieces or whatever you would love on your cupcake sundae, enjoy :)


Hot Fudge Sauce - make sure t use the hot fudge sauce at room temperature. It will be easiest to work with while filling the cupcakes and for drizzling over the top of the frosting. Do not use warm hot fudge sauce.
I recommend buying 2 jars of hot fudge sauce just to make sure you have enough, between the hot fudge core and the drizzle. You may not use all of two jars but luckily hot fudge sauce does keep well in the fridge for future uses if needed.
Bake time - the time indicated at the top of the recipe card is for baking time only. This cake batter and cupcakes come together pretty quickly, within about 30 minutes. Allow yourself additional time for the cupcakes to cool completely, make the frosting, and decorate the cupcakes to your preference.