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3 Layer French Vanilla Pudding with Chocolate Fudge Frosting Cake

3 Layer French Vanilla Pudding Cake & Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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  • Author: Cupcake from Brown Sugar
  • 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. 


Units Scale
  • 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)


  1. Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set them aside. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one cup at a time. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. To make the frosting: Sift the powder sugar and cocoa powder together in a large bowl to remove clumps.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. 
  13. 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!


  1. Place a wooden skewer in the middle of the cake to keep it stabilized.
  2. 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