Top Secret Recipes Revealed

Get out your "easy" button for this one. While the clone recipe for this top-requested Chili's dessert is extremely simple to make — and can even be made days ahead of time — the resulting presentation is impressive.

A chocolate fudge cake mix is all you need for the cake part of the recipe (or you can use the scratch clone recipe here). The cake batter is poured into the large cups of a Texas-size muffin pan. When the cakes are done and cooled, invert them and cut a cylindrical chunk out of the bottom where the hot chocolate is loaded. Keep the cakes covered in the fridge until dessert time.

To serve, nuke each cake for 45 seconds, plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, thereby concealing the fudge compartment, and top it off with a little Smucker's Magic Shell (a chocolate topping that hardens on ice cream). When your diners dig into the cake, a delicious hot fudge center oozes out of the warm chocolate cake, and you're launched up to superhero status.


1 18.25-ounce box chocolate fudge or dark chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
½ cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

1 bottle Hershey hot fudge topping
8 scoops vanilla ice cream
Smucker's Magic Shell chocolate topping


Make cake batter following directions on the box and pour ½ cup of batter into the greased cups of a large (Texas size) muffin pan. If your pan has six cups, bake the cakes in two batches of 4 cakes each. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of one cake comes out clean. Turn all of the cakes out of the pan and let them cool.

The cakes will be served upside down, so you may have to slice a bit of the domed top of the cakes to help them lay flat when inverted. A serrated sandwich knife works best for this. After you've flipped over all of the cooled cakes, use a sharp paring knife to cut out a 1 ½-inch diameter cylindrical chunk in the center of the bottom (now the top) of each cake. The hole should be about 1 ½-inches deep. After slicing straight down into the cake in a circle, scoop out the chunk of cake with a teaspoon and discard the piece. Now you have a secret compartment to conceal the hot fudge payload.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of fudge into each of the holes you've made in the cakes, then store the cakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to serve, heat one cake at a time in the microwave for 40 to 45 seconds on high, or until you see the fudge begin to bubble. Remove the cake from the microwave and let it rest for 30 seconds or so, then place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the cake. Pour a coating of Magic Shell chocolate topping over the ice cream and serve.

*Makes 8 desserts

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