Chocolate Cobbler

Warm and gooey Chocolate Cobbler features moist chocolate cake floating on top of a caramel-streaked, coffee-laced, molten chocolate sauce!

Warm Chocolate Cobbler on a plate topped with vanilla ice cream, with text overlay


 

If you enjoy gooey chocolate desserts, you'll also love S'mores Dip, One-Minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake, or Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue!

We've all enjoyed cobbler before, right? Whether we're talking blackberry, blueberry, peach, or whatever your personal favorite may be, cobbler typically involves a fruity filling crowned with some sort of cakey or biscuit-ish topping.

But Chocolate Cobbler? That's served all warm and gooey? Ohhhhh, YES. Mark my words...you'll never think of cobbler the same way again.

close-up of gooey center oozing out

Ingredients

So to create this culinary masterpiece, the first step is to whip up a quick, basic, one-bowl chocolate cake batter.

In the meantime, cocoa powder and two kinds of sugar are melted into some strong, black coffee.

Now even if you're not a fan of coffee, it can do magical things to chocolate desserts. Coffee brings out a deeper, richer flavor in chocolate, and most of the time people can't even identify that there's coffee in there. I do think that this dessert has a slight coffee undertone, but nobody in my family seemed to mind. My kids scarfed down this Chocolate Cobbler without hesitation, and I can assure you that they are not known to be fans of coffee. 😉

Serving scooped out and missing from glass baking dish

After the cake batter is made and the coffee mixture is warming, it's time to unwrap the magical secret ingredients: Riesen chocolate candies!

Have y'all ever had these little bad boys? Oh my goodness...addictive would be the first word that pops into my head. Riesens are chewy chocolate caramels covered in a thin layer of rich chocolate. Seeing as how I have a hard time stopping at 20, it's a pity they're individually wrapped, since the wad of candy wrappers in the trash gives me away every time.

Wrapped and unwrapped Riesen caramel candies scattered on table

I got the idea to blog about this Chocolate Cobbler while walking past a giant bag of Riesens in the grocery store one day. I didn't have the recipe handy, but I knew that 2 pounds of candy should be more than enough...and if necessary, I suppose I could figure out a way to somehow use up the leftovers.

Fast forward to later that night, when I wasn't quite ready to make this dessert. But surely I could open the bag and sneak just *one* chewy chocolate caramel, right? I mean, there were more than enough.

Well, one turned into five turned into FIFTEEN.

So before I managed to decimate the whole bag, I had to staple it shut and hide it under some other packages at the very back of the pantry. And thanks to that excellent, adult-like display of self-control, I am now able to bring you this stunning masterpiece of chocolate euphoria!

Chocolate Cobbler on a white plate with a spoon topped with melting vanilla ice cream

This recipe actually originated from one of those little paperback cookbooks that you find on a rack above the magazines at the grocery store checkout line. When I graduated from college, my mom passed down to me some of her old cookbooks, and the little treasure that yielded this recipe was among then.

My fellow teacher roommate and I discovered it one day when hunting for a chocolate fix, and it became an immediate favorite of two early 20-somethings who didn't yet boast a lot of cooking experience. But warm Chocolate Cobbler??? That we could figure out!

Close-up aerial view of Chocolate Cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top and a spoon

How to Make Chocolate Cobbler

Putting the recipe together is pretty simple.

  1. Scatter your Riesen candies over the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch baking dish.
  2. Pour the chocolate cake batter on top.
  3. Then carefully pour the warm coffee mixture all over the top. It's going to look like a flooded, soupy mess, but DO NOT STIR! While the cobbler bakes, the cake will rise to the top and the chocolate caramels and coffee mixture will form a thick, gooey, glossy, pudding-like layer of deliciousness on the bottom. Just like fruit cobbler except, you know, CHOCOLATE.

If you are able to restrain yourself, let the baked cobbler rest for 15 minutes before scooping up a big glob and serving with vanilla ice cream. Because everyone knows that any good warm cobbler should have ice cream melting down over the top!

Aeriel view of glass dish of Chocolate Cobbler with missing serving

Substitutions

I've gotten some questions about making substitutions in this recipe. While I have personally only made the recipe as directed, here are some ideas for substitutions that reportedly work...according to others who have tried them or according to similar recipes.

Can I use anything in place of the coffee?

As mentioned earlier, in a recipe like this, coffee serves to accentuate the chocolate flavor more so than stand alone. I find that most people don't even detect any coffee flavor in the final cobbler. However, if you prefer not to use coffee in this recipe, I can't really think of an equivalent substitute aside from plain water.

On the other hand, if you don't already have brewed coffee on hand, you can whip some up quickly by mixing instant coffee granules or espresso powder (per the directions on the jar) into 1 ½ cups hot water.

Do I have to use Riesen caramels?

If you can't find firm, chewy, chocolate-covered caramels (like Riesens), regular chewy caramel candies (like Kraft) should work instead. (Mary in the Comments section shared that she uses regular unwrapped caramels and they work just fine.)

Can I use a cake mix in this recipe?

Yes! The original recipe actually called for using half of a prepared Devil's Food cake mix for the cake portion. So you could certainly use that instead of the from-scratch modification of my favorite, one-bowl chocolate cake, which is what's listed in this recipe.

Warm Chocolate Cobbler with a Scoop of Ice Cream on a White Scalloped Plate

The bottom line is that if you like molten chocolate cake, this warm, gooey Chocolate Cobbler is sure to win you over! However, if your grocery store only has that 2 pound bag of Riesens in stock when you get ready to make it, feel free to send the extras my way...because I'm flat out. After all, a stapled, hidden bag doesn't do much good if you're the one who stapled it and hid it.

More Chocolate Favorites

Warm Chocolate Cobbler ~ a layer of moist chocolate cake floats on a caramel-streaked, coffee-laced, pudding-like layer of chocolate decadence | FiveHeartHome.com

Chocolate Cobbler

Warm and gooey Chocolate Cobbler features moist chocolate cake floating on top of a caramel-streaked, coffee-laced, molten chocolate sauce.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 320kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups brewed coffee
  • 7 ounces Riesen chewy chocolate caramels

FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, such as sunflower
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Adjust rack to center position of oven and preheat to 350°F. In a small pot set over medium-low heat, combine cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, and coffee. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugars are dissolved and mixture is hot. Keep warm.
  • Unwrap Riesen candies and evenly space on the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch square glass baking dish.
  • Prepare cake batter by whisking together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Blend in eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour cake batter over candies. Carefully and evenly pour warm coffee mixture over cake batter. DO NOT STIR! Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake layer is firm (the cake will float to the top of the sauce while baking). Cool for 15 minutes before serving warm topped with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Video

Notes

A glass baking dish is recommended because the Riesen caramels will stick to the bottom once the chocolate cobbler cools, and it's easier to scrape them off of a glass dish than a metal pan that may scratch.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Adapted from Best Recipes: Rich & Gooey Dessert Sensations.
Originally published October 28, 2014.

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65 Comments

  1. This looks out of this world!! But I am a little confused about the caramels. In the recipe you call for "Riesen chewy chocolate caramels" but in response to one of the questions in the Comments you recommend "chocolate-covered caramels (like Riesens)". I guess I must be the only one confused but could you please clarify which caramels you are recommending?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Debbie! Sorry for any confusion. I have always used Riesens in this recipe, so I meant the same thing in both places, even if I worded it slightly different. 😉 This link may help to show you what I use: https://amzn.to/3KzfkAA Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I can't even begin to describe how delicious this dessert is! I have an absolute, hands down new favorite! I have no less than three people on my list to make this for. We had family over for dinner and this was a huge hit. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Question- I used to make the chocolate pudding cake from the Jiffy cake mix and frosting mix which I think they discontinued. Is this down that alley and I don't want caramel in it for the 1st time so hopefully that can just be taken out of the recipe.

    1. Hi Michelle. I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with the Jiffy recipe and I've never tried making this particular recipe without the caramels. So unfortunately, I'm not able to answer your questions.

  4. Hello....great looking recipe! Have you ever tried a crust layer prior to putting the candies on the bottom?

    Thank you

    1. I'm sorry I can't offer any advice, Kathleen, but I've never added a crust to this recipe. However, I'd be interested to hear how it turns out if you decide to give it a try! 🙂

  5. Hi! I’m wondering.. can you do this recipe in a crockpot?? Our oven isn’t working right now and I really wanna try this!! 🙂

    1. Hi Nicole! I'm sorry...I have never attempted this recipe in a crock pot. But good luck if you decide to try it!

  6. We are making this for Father’s Day! Serving with Vanilla or Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Every recipe I have ever tried of yours has been a hit. I’ve used your cookbook and website for feeding my huge family to feeding high as high school sports teams. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your kind, affirming words, Seana. It makes me SO happy that you and your family enjoy my recipes! I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know. 🙂

  7. I am having family over for dinner and would love to have this as a dessert! Is there a way to partially make this ahead of time and baking it closer to time for dessert, or would you recommend baking this fully and then reheating it if necessary?

    1. Hi Hannah! I think I would bake it and then reheat. If you're making it earlier the same day, I'd just let it hang out on the counter rather than popping it in the fridge, which will make for quicker reheating later (because the caramel does become quite hard when chilled). But reheating from cold is possible, too. It's such a moist, gooey cake that, in my experience, individual servings have reheated beautifully in the microwave.

  8. My significant other found this recipe and I was skeptical!, however, it turned out amazing. (Despite my oven dying the day I got all the ingredients). I ended up using an air fryer on bake settings! It turned out moist and gooey and delicious!! The bottom tastes similar to chocolate gravy or pudding. I'm so glad this version of the recipe called for homemade cake batter. It was a huge hit at my house!

  9. I notice that in the instructions for making it references “coconut oil”; but in the ingredients I don’t see coconut oil only vegetable oil??

    1. Sorry about that, Barbara...I recently updated the post and it was a typo. All fixed now! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    This is AMAZING! I made it for a church dinner and got dozens of compliments. I’ve made it several times since. I did substitute regular unwrapped caramel for the Reisens. When cooking large dinners, I just can’t take 1/2 hour to unwrap caramels. I thought it was fine.

  11. This recipe is very similar to a recipe that came from my grandmother called baked fudge pudding. Hers featured a yellow cake base made from scratch and then sprinkled with a mix of cocoa powder, white and brown sugars, and salt. Then the entire pan is topped with boiling water. The differences seem to be no candies in my recipe and coffee vs boiling water. To those wondering about a coffee substitute, I would guess an equal amount of water would work. This idea would also be good with cinnamon in the cake batter and chai tea as the liquid component.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Andrea! You grandmother's Baked Fudge Pudding sounds delicious. I'll have to play with this recipe and try it with a yellow cake base sometime... 🙂

  12. I have a question about the coffee in the recipe, and it's not the same question everyone else is asking. I'm not a coffee drinker so I just need a little clarification... when the recipe calls for 1+1/2 cups of coffee, I presume you are talking about coffee already brewed since I don't see any other liquid ingredient and I don't think the sugar would make enough liquid when melted. And you mentioned in your post that it should be strong black coffee - what do you consider "strong"? How much grounds do you use to make the coffee for the recipe?

    1. Hi Julia...great questions! Yes, the coffee should be brewed. As for the amount of grounds you should use to make your coffee, I'm not sure! It depends on the brand of coffee and the type of coffee maker that you have. I'd probably just check the directions on the bag of grounds and make your coffee slightly stronger. Honestly, you can also use coffee made from a small jar of instant coffee in a recipe like this and nobody will know the difference (again, just make it a tad stronger than directed). Hope that helps and that you enjoy...happy Friday! 🙂

      1. Wow. That explains why it bombed so bad when I made it. I used coffee crystals, not brewed coffee!! Please update that! I wasted a cup and a half of precious coffee!

        1. I'm so sorry for the confusion, Laura. The sugars and cocoa powder are stirred into the brewed coffee when combined on the stove...otherwise, there would be no liquid to dissolve them. I would have indicated coffee crystals by saying "instant coffee granules" or "espresso powder." This was discussed in the post, but I just clarified it in the recipe. Again, I apologize that it wasn't clearer...it's now fixed.

    1. You can absolutely use a boxed cake mix, Laura! In fact, I adapted this from a recipe that originally called for a boxed cake mix...but you were only supposed to use half of the cake mix. So if you want to make the whole cake mix, it's probably easiest to use half of the resulting batter for this recipe, and then bake the other half of the batter in a 9-inch round pan. Enjoy! 🙂

  13. Saw this on my FB. This will be our dessert for our Christmas get together. How can you go wrong with chocolate and coffee. Or the Reisens!!!! I'm diabetic but I will have a lil of this. My grands and great grands will love this.

    1. I hope it's a hit at your get-together, Sue! I agree...you pretty much can't go wrong with chocolate, coffee, or Reisens! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you have a very merry Christmas with your family!

  14. i want to make this for my work christmas party. do you think using an aluminum pan (the disposable kind) would work out with the reisens? I'm also thinking of lining the pan with reynolds non-stick or parchment paper too. what do you think?

    1. Hi Laura! I don't see why an aluminum pan wouldn't work just fine with this recipe. The Riesens don't really start to stick until the cobbler cools, but it wouldn't hurt to try nonstick foil. Hope that everyone at your Christmas party enjoy this! Happy December! 🙂