Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake

This is another recipe that takes me back to my Mom’s kitchen. It’s something she made frequently when we were growing up and still makes every now and then when we come down for supper. While it’s tasty on any occasion, Chocolate Pudding Cake is a great last-minute dessert because it requires only basic pantry ingredients. You don’t even need eggs! If you’re scrambling for something to make because your dinner guests have a sweet tooth, Chocolate Pudding Cake is perfect. My Nanny loved desserts, and we’d often make this when she came over for supper.

Chocolate Pudding Cake, also known as Chocolate Pudding with Sauce, is a classic, old-fashioned dessert. I’ve also seen it called Chocolate Cobbler, or Self-Saucing Pudding, and every cook has their own variation. Essentially, it’s a brownie-like chocolate cake with a thick, fudgy chocolate sauce underneath. The process to arrive at this finished product is the surprising part. The cake batter is spread in the pan and the sauce poured over the top. Somehow, it ends up underneath the cake and gloriously thick!

My original recipe calls for shortening in the cake (with a note that margarine can be substituted), and margarine in the sauce. I’ve not done a lot of experimenting, but I imagine you could use shortening, margarine or butter interchangeably in both the cake and sauce. Whole milk would probably give a richer finished product, but we usually use skim as that’s what’s in the fridge. Rice or soy milk work fine too.

The cast of characters: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, milk and shortening. You’ll also need brown sugar, margarine or butter, more cocoa and boiling water for the sauce.

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Preheat the oven to 350°. You’ll need boiling water for the sauce, so turn the kettle on or start a pot of water heating on the stove.

Start by combing the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa.

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Stir or whisk the dry ingredients together until no lumps remain.

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Pour in the milk and melted shortening and mix until combined. You’ll have a thick, brownie-like batter.

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Spread the cake batter evenly in a greased 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan. It’ll be a little thicker in an 8 x 8 pan but both work well. My mom always made chocolate pudding cake in a white and blue Corningware dish – that’s how I picture it when I read the recipe! I used a 9 x 9 Corningware pan.

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For the sauce, mix together the brown sugar and second amount of cocoa. Add the melted margarine or butter and then slowly add the boiling water. Stir as you pour to ensure that the sugar and cocoa dissolve. If you have a 4-cup glass measuring cup, it’s perfect for mixing the sauce and makes it much easier to pour it over the cake.

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Now comes the crazy part. Pour the sauce over the cake batter and don’t stir!

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Carefully place the pan in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. When it’s done, the top will be dry with a few cracks and the sauce will be bubbling around the edges. The tip of a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

It’s better to overbake the cake than underbake – a few extra minutes in the oven will just mean a bit more cake than sauce. Underbaking will make the inside raw and unappetizingly gooey.

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Let the cake stand for a few minutes – which is difficult as your house will smell divine!

Use a large spoon to scoop out servings of the cake.

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You’ll see the sauce underneath once you get the cake out – pour that deliciousness right over the top!

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I didn’t have any on hand when I was shooting these photos, but ice cream and fresh berries really take the cake over the top!

Chocolate Pudding Cake by the Bluenose Baker

The cake is best served warm, but leftovers re-heat well in the microwave.

Makes 6- – 9 servings, depending on the size of the pan.

We moved into our new house yesterday and are starting to get settled. My kitchen is not anywhere close to being organized, but at least things are out of boxes! I foresee a lot of Pinterest searching for “utensil drawer organization” in my future! I tested the oven out with chicken wings and sweet potato fries last night, but I’ll be baking soon I’m sure!

For those of you in the US, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted shortening, margarine or butter

Sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter
  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water

Directions:

Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Stir or whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa until no lumps remain.

Pour in the milk and melted shortening and mix until combined. You’ll have a thick, brownie-like batter.

Spread the cake batter evenly in a greased 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan.

Sauce:

Mix together the brown sugar and second amount of cocoa.

Add the melted margarine or butter and then slowly add the boiling water. Stir as you pour to ensure that the sugar and cocoa dissolve.

Pour the sauce over the cake batter and don’t stir.

Bake for 40 minutes. When it’s done, the top will be dry with a few cracks and the sauce will be bubbling around the edges. The tip of a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

Let the cake stand for a few minutes before serving.

Use a large spoon to scoop out servings of the cake and pour the sauce underneath over the top of each serving.

Serve with ice cream and fresh berries if desired.

The cake is best served warm, but leftovers re-heat well in the microwave.

Makes 6- – 9 servings, depending on the size of the pan.

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