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Chocolate Pudding Cake

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a close up shot of Pudding Cake with a spoon grabbing a piece in a baking dish
An irresistible dessert that is overflowing with rich chocolate molten lava, this pudding cake is almost too good to be true.
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Table of Contents
  1. Chocolate Pudding Cake Ingredients
  2. Substitutions And Additions For An Easy Pudding Cake
  3. How To Make This Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe
  4. How To Serve an Old Fashioned Pudding Cake
  5. When To Serve An Easy Pudding Cake
  6. Storing A Chocolate Pudding Cake
  7. Why We Love This Recipe for Chocolate Pudding Cake
  8. More Chocolate Cake Recipes
  9. JUMP TO RECIPE
  10. Easy Dessert Recipes
  11. Cake Recipes
  12. Cakes With Fruit or Berries

I don’t think you can get more indulgent than this gooey chocolate pudding cake. Also known as chocolate lava cake or self-saucing chocolate cake, the pudding cake is made with a heavenly layer of moist chocolate cake that, once you dig in, reveals a fudgy molten lava layer.

overhead shot of a piece of Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake Ingredients

Pudding Cake raw ingredients that are labeled
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A pudding cake is a delightfully rich and decadent dessert. As the name suggests, it has a texture that is a cross between cake and pudding.

For this recipe for chocolate pudding cake, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ⅔ cup of granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup of unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 4 tablespoons of unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of boiling water

Substitutions And Additions For An Easy Pudding Cake

COCOA POWDER: You can substitute dark chocolate or plain unsweetened cocoa powder for the unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder.

The flavor might be slightly less intense, but it will still be delicious.

BROWN SUGAR: Dark brown sugar can be used in place of light brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor.

ADD-INS: Consider adding chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, pecans, or dried fruit to the batter for added texture and flavor.

EXPERIMENT WITH FLAVORS: Add a hint of cinnamon, chili, or orange zest to the batter for a unique twist on the classic chocolate flavor.

Remember, any substitutions may alter the taste and texture of the recipe, so use them at your own discretion.

Always ensure that the quantities remain consistent to maintain the integrity of the recipe.

How To Make Your Own Half and Half

If you’re out of half and half, you can use a mixture of milk and heavy cream as a substitute. This combination will still give you the rich and creamy texture desired for the cake.

To make ½ cup plus two tablespoons of half and half using a mixture of milk and heavy cream, you’ll typically use equal parts of both.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Milk: ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon
  • Heavy Cream: ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon

Combine these amounts to get your desired ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of a half and half substitute.

How To Make This Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

This dessert is unique because it’s prepared using a single batter that separates into two distinct layers during baking: a fluffy cake on top and a thick, pudding-like sauce beneath.

The magic happens through the baking process, where the cake rises to the top while the sauce settles at the bottom.

Our step-by-step instructions will walk you through making this cake. While it’s super easy to make, it’s important to follow the directions so that you’ll end up with the right texture.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.

STEP TWO: Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt combined in a bowl

STEP THREE: Whisk in the half and half, oil, and vanilla. Whisk the batter just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake.

half and half, oil, and vanilla whisked together

STEP FOUR: Evenly spread the chocolate cake batter into the prepared baking dish.

STEP FIVE: Add the sugars and cocoa powder to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. 

STEP SIX: Sprinkle the dry mixture over top of the cake batter.

dry mixture sprinkled over the cake batter

STEP SEVEN: Pour the boiling water over the dry ingredients. Make sure to do it slowly and evenly. This ensures that the water penetrates the entire surface, leading to a consistent pudding layer.

Do not stir.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake should have a gooey pudding-like texture at the bottom. It’s okay if a toothpick doesn’t come out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. 

PRO TIP:

It is very important to allow the cake to rest before serving. It will be incredibly hot, and the chocolatey, gooey goodness will thicken the longer it is allowed to cool.

boiling water poured over he dry ingredients

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

How To Serve an Old Fashioned Pudding Cake

While the pudding cake is typically served warm to enjoy its molten texture, you can certainly serve it cold. The texture will be denser, but it will still be delicious.

SERVE WITH ICE CREAM: Enhance the warmth of the pudding cake with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. The contrast of temperatures and textures is such a treat.

SERVE WITH BERRIES: Drizzle some raspberry or strawberry sauce over the cake.

The tartness of the berries will complement the sweetness of the chocolate, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

SERVE WITH WHIPPED CREAM: A dollop of freshly whipped cream, perhaps with a sprinkle of cocoa or shaved chocolate, can add a light and airy contrast.

SERVE WITH NUTS: Sprinkle some toasted almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans for a crunchy element.

Nuts not only add texture but also introduce a nutty flavor that pairs well with chocolate.

SERVE WITH A DRINK: Serve a slice alongside a cup of frothy latte. The coffee notes will accentuate the chocolate flavors. Chocolate lovers can try it with homemade hot chocolate or a chocolate milkshake.

Can’t get enough of rich, decadent chocolate? We have plenty of chocolate dessert recipes to check out. Try our chocolate lasagna or chocolate trifle for two of our favorites.

When To Serve An Easy Pudding Cake

Pudding cake is a versatile dessert that can be served on so many occasions throughout the year. Here are some ideal moments to enjoy this recipe:

CASUAL FAMILY DINNERS: Its comforting and homey nature makes it perfect for a relaxed family meal.

HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS: Be it Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter, a pudding cake can be a delightful addition to the festive spread.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES: For those who prefer a non-traditional birthday cake, pudding cake can be a unique and delicious choice.

POTLUCK DINNERS: Its easy-to-make nature and crowd-pleasing taste make it a hit at communal meals.

SUMMER BBQs: Paired with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream, it can be a delightful contrast to grilled savory dishes like grilled chicken.

Storing A Chocolate Pudding Cake

In the Fridge

If you have leftovers or if you’re saving a freshly baked pudding cake for later, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Remember, the flavors often meld and become even more pronounced after a day, making the next slice even more delightful.

In the Freezer

For longer storage, this pudding cake can be frozen. Once cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil.

Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating a Pudding Cake

To reheat the pudding cake, you have a few options. For oven reheating, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.

If you’re using a microwave, place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat on medium power for 1-2 minutes, checking every 30 seconds to ensure it doesn’t overheat.

Remember, the goal is to warm the cake without drying it out, so always keep an eye on it during the reheating process.

Why We Love This Recipe for Chocolate Pudding Cake

DECADENT TEXTURE: The combination of a fluffy cake layer on top and a gooey, molten pudding layer beneath is irresistibly rich and satisfying.

EASY TO MAKE: Despite its luxurious texture and flavor, chocolate pudding cake is surprisingly simple to whip up, often with ingredients already in the pantry.

ADAPTABLE RECIPE: It’s easy to tweak the recipe to suit different preferences, be it adding nuts for crunch or spices for a hint of warmth.

PAIRS WELL: The cake’s flavor complements a variety of beverages, from a cold glass of milk to a warm cup of coffee or even a glass of red wine.

MEMORABLE DESSERT: Its unique two-layered texture makes it stand out from other desserts, leaving a lasting impression on anyone who tries it.

a close up shot of Pudding Cake with a spoon grabbing a piece in a baking dish

This indulgent masterpiece is one of the easiest cakes to make. With barely any prep work required, you’ll be amazed at the magic that happens once this chocolate pudding cake is baked.

Perfect for chocoholics, this chocolate pudding cake recipe is like a celebration of all things chocolate. Varying textures, from the soft cake to the creamy sauce, create a multi-dimensional dessert that’s rich, comforting, and deeply satisfying.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is this called a pudding cake?

This delicious cake is called a pudding cake because as the cake bakes, the mix of hot water and cocoa/sugar melts down through the cake to form a “sauce” or “pudding” on the bottom.

What’s the best way to measure flour to ensure accuracy?

For best results, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife. This prevents over-packing and ensures the right amount.

Should I refrigerate this hot fudge chocolate pudding cake recipe or store it on the counter?

We recommend keeping it in the fridge to keep the cake as fresh as possible.

Can I add other ingredients to this hot fudge pudding cake?

If you would like to mix in nuts or chocolate chips, it would make this cake even more fantastic.

Adding fruits like raspberries or cherries can give a delightful twist to the cake. Just sprinkle them on top of the batter before baking.

More Chocolate Cake Recipes

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a close up shot of Pudding Cake with a spoon grabbing a piece in a baking dish

Pudding Cake

5 from 31 votes
An irresistible dessert that is overflowing with rich chocolate molten lava, this pudding cake is almost too good to be true.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoon half and half
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Whisk in the half and half, oil and vanilla. Whisk just until combined.
  • Evenly spread the cake batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Add the sugars and cocoa powder to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Sprinkle the dry mixture over the cake batter.
  • Pour the boiling water over the dry ingredients. Do not stir. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • I recommend wrapping a piece of foil around the outside of the baking pan or laying a piece of foil underneath the pan to catch any possible chocolate dribbles from the molten chocolate that cooks out.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  • It is very important to allow the cake to rest before serving. It will be incredibly hot, and the chocolatey, gooey goodness will thicken the longer it is allowed to cool.

Nutrition

Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 2mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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  1. Karen says

    5 stars
    I would definitely add walnuts to this mixture to cut some of the richness that this cake would have and definitely serve ice cream on top

  2. Mary jean Goodman says

    What do you do with the 2 tablespoons of boiling water at the end of the ingredients?

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