Are you looking for a delicious dessert that is easy to make and impressive to serve? Look no further than this 3-Layer French vanilla pudding cake with homemade Chocolate Fudge Frosting! This recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether a family gathering, a birthday party or a sweet treat to enjoy at home.
So, here is the thing. I am a good baker. Like, pretty darn awesome, if I must say so myself. Although I am a pretty good baker, I am not a good cake decorator…at all. Most of my cakes are made in a bundt pan. Now, you might be thinking by looking at the picture that everything I just said was bogus. I mean, that is one awesome-looking cake. I won’t lie. The cake-decorating gods gave me special powers this day because I am surprised at myself.
Aside from how pretty this cake looks, the flavor of the cake is better. This cake has three layers of moist and rich vanilla flavor with a rich and chocolatey fudge frosting made completely from scratch. This cake is perfect for potlucks, dinners, or special occasions.
How to make this Layered Vanilla Pudding Cake Recipe
To start, you’ll need a few basic ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. The cake layers are made with a box of French vanilla cake mix, instant vanilla pudding mix, eggs, oil, and water. Mix these ingredients, divide the batter into three 8-inch cake pans, and bake until golden brown and fully cooked.
Once the cake layers are done, it’s time to prepare the chocolate fudge frosting. This recipe calls for butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. The result is a rich, smooth frosting that pairs perfectly with the sweet, vanilla-flavored cake layers.
Place one of the cake layers on a plate or cake stand to assemble the cake. Spread a generous amount of frosting over the top of the cake layer, spreading it to the edges. Repeat this process with the second and third cake layers, then cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. You can decorate the cake with additional chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or fresh fruit if desired.
Tips and Tricks for Cake Baking
I have made this cake about 4-5 times, and that is after I published this recipe. I have learned a few things along the way that may be helpful, especially if you are new to baking:
Room Temperature Ingredients: Wet ingredients such as milk, eggs, and butter at room temperature ensure that the ingredients are well mixed and provide a smooth and even temperature. Also, it is easier for the butter to cream together with the sugars, and the eggs will increase in volume.
Making the chocolate frosting: I’d admit, I found it a bit tricky the first time I made this frosting. It didn’t seem like the chocolate was getting thick and appeared lumpy. The trick is to make sure you sift the powdered sugar gets rid of all of those lumps. This will make the frosting super smooth and creamy. I will use heavy whipping cream if you do not have half and half. I tried to use milk once, and although the frosting came out fine, it took a while to thicken.
Assembling the cake layers: Things get tricky because I need to gain that special skill to make all cakes look pretty. I have learned to take a serrated knife and cut the top layer of the baked cakes off, making them even. I flip the top layer upside down where the bottom layer is at the top because that makes the top look even.
This 3-Layer French Vanilla Pudding Cake with homemade Chocolate Fudge Frosting is a fantastic dessert to impress your family and friends. It’s easy to make, delicious to eat, and can be customized to suit your tastes. Give it a try today and enjoy the sweet satisfaction of a homemade dessert!
*Chocolate Frosting recipe adapted from Sifting Focus.
*Cake recipe partially adapted from Grandbaby Cakes.
Commonly Asked Questions
Adding pudding to the cake mix adds flavor and moistens the cake. Adding pudding is similar to adding sour cream or yogurt to a cake.
Sure! I am sure you supplement the ingredients in this cake with vegan or dairy-free alternatives. I have not done this myself so I am not sure how the cake will come out completely, but I am sure it will be fine.
Yes, you can. However, I do recommend using an alternative fat such as sour cream or yogurt.
If you like this cake recipe, you will enjoy the delicious cake recipes below:
- The Best Chocolate Cake Ever
- White Texas Sheet Cake Recipe
- Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Homemade Funfetti Sheet Cake
Baking Items you may need
Round Cake Pan
3 Layer French Vanilla Pudding Cake & Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 8–10 1x
This cake is not your average Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting! This is a French Vanilla Pudding Cake with rich and decadent Chocolate Fudge Frosting.
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 c. sugar
- 3 c. flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 6 large eggs, 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 1/4 c. French Vanilla Pudding (homemade or store bought)
- 2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
- 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 1 stick butter, softened and divided
- 1 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. half and half
- 6 oz. Semi-Sweet Bakers Chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- heavy whipping cream, as needed (see further instruction)
- Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set them aside. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
- Cream the butter, oil, and sugar in a large bowl with a stand or handheld mixer. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one cup at a time.
- Next, add the eggs one at a time on medium speed, along with the egg yolks. Scrape the sides as needed. Finally, blend in the pudding and vanilla extract. Once well mixed, stop mixing.
- Separate the cake batter into the pans evenly, spreading the tops of the cake smoothly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Finally, remove from the pan and place on a top cooling rack. Let the cakes cool completely for several hours or overnight.
- To make the frosting: Sift the powder sugar and cocoa powder together in a large bowl to remove clumps.
- In a large no-stick pot, melt 4 tbsp. butter, add the brown sugar, and salt, and pour 1/2 c. half and half over medium-high heat until you begin to see the mixture bubble along the sides and boil slightly.
- Continue to stir as the sauce thickens. Do this for about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes while stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken and begin to take on the form of caramel. Once thick, turn to a glass or metal mixing bowl.
- Stir in the last 4 tbsp. of butter and the last 1/2 cup of half and half. Finally, add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate dissolves and add vanilla extract. Allow cooling at room temperature slightly, about 15 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar mixture one cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar mixture had been added for me, the frosting was thick. Therefore, I added about 3 tbsp. of heavy cream (one at a time) until the frosting thinned out to the consistency I preferred. Add the salt and mix. Allow sitting at room temperature until ready to use.
- Assemble the cake: Use a serrated knife to make the cakes even (if necessary). Place one of the cakes on a serving platter. Spread a slightly thin layer of frosting on top. Layer with another cake and spread another slightly thin layer of chocolate frosting.
- Finally, top with the last layer and spread a thin layer on top and along the sides—place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Remove and spread the remaining frosting on top and around the cake. Spread as desired!
- Place a wooden skewer in the middle of the cake to keep it stabilized.
- Spread a little frosting in the middle of the serving tray to keep the cake from moving.
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vanilla pudding cake, layer vanilla cake, vanilla pudding cake recipe, vanilla pudding cake filling
Leave a Reply