Decadent Chocolate Pudding Cake is a little bit pudding, a little bit cake, and a whole lot of chocolate. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream!
Why We Love Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
- This isn’t just chocolate cake with pudding mix, it’s so much better! Rich, ooey-gooey chocolate in every bite, from the cake to the pudding-like sauce, makes for a dessert no one wants to stop eating.
- Chocolate pudding cake is super easy to make, with no complicated ingredients or steps so from start to finish it takes about 1 hour to mix, bake, and cool. Then you’re ready to eat!
- Old-fashioned chocolate pudding cake is perfect for birthdays, holidays, or a weeknight treat. Chocolate is a must-have all year long!
- All of your favorite toppings can also be added to this cake, like whipped cream, ice cream, caramel sauce, maraschino cherries, or hot fudge sauce!
What is pudding cake made of?
TO MAKE THE CAKE
DRY INGREDIENTS: Pantry staples will be needed to make this cake, so gather your all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt.
WET INGREDIENTS: You will need vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Check out the tips section if you don’t have buttermilk.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE
SUGAR: You will need more of both granulated sugar and light brown sugar.
CHOCOLATE: More unsweetened cocoa powder, along with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips will be used to make the sauce.
How to Make Pudding CakeJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch round baking dish or pie plate with non-stick spray. Then whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
STEP 2 Stir in the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until there are no dry patches. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it so that the batter lays evenly in the pan.
STEP 3 In a separate bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients- the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Sprinkle this mixture over the cake batter. Pour the boiling water over the top of the cake but do not mix it in.
STEP 4 Bake the cake for 28-32 minutes, or until the top looks set and cracked and the sides start pulling away from the pan. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Tips & Tricks
- Yes, it is weird to pour boiling water over the cake batter and not stir it in! As the cake bakes and rises, however, the water collects on the bottom of the pan, with the sauce ingredients, and creates the pudding portion of this cake. One of the other names for this cake is Chocolate Upside Down Cake for a reason!
- Adding another layer of flavor to this cake is easy to do with extracts. Almond, coffee, peppermint, or even a strawberry extract would be delicious additions!
- Be sure you don’t overbake the cake. When you remove it from the oven the middle will still be a little jiggly, and that’s what you want. As the cake sets and cools a little, the cake will firm up and the pudding will thicken slightly.
- To make a buttermilk substitute, add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then fill it with milk to the 3/4 cup mark. Whisk and then let this sit for 5 minutes and it’s ready to be used in the recipe.
Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe FAQ
What type of cocoa powder should I use?
In baking, there are generally two types of cocoa powder that are easily found at your local grocery store- Natural baking cocoa powder and Dutch-pressed cocoa powder, so which do you choose? The answer lies in how rich you like your chocolate!
When using Dutch-pressed cocoa the pudding cake will come out rich and I do mean riiiich. For some, this chocolate richness is exactly what they are looking for while others find they need a way to cut the richness, like by adding ice cream or whipped cream.
If you prefer your chocolate a little on the lighter side, like eating a chocolate candy bar for example, then you would want to choose natural baking cocoa powder. Both options will give you an amazing chocolate pudding cake so try it both ways and see which you like better!
How should I serve this hot fudge cake?
For the perfect pudding texture, letting the cake set for 15 minutes after baking is a great idea and then plaiting it while warm is the best way to serve it. As the cake cools the pudding will become firmer and less saucy, which is easy to fix by microwaving it for a few seconds when you plan to enjoy leftovers.
When it comes to toppings, don’t be shy- load it up! Just like a chocolate lava cake, vanilla ice cream is a really great choice as a side, or pull out a tub of whipped cream for a lighter option. A caramel sauce, or better yet, a bourbon caramel sauce, would be delicious on this cake, along with a sprinkling of chopped almonds or walnuts.
Chocolate Pudding Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup buttermilk (see note)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 ¼ cups boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round baking dish or pie plate with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir together until well combined with no dry patches.
- Spread the batter in the bottom of the baking dish and smooth it out in an even layer.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the cake batter. Pour the boiling water over the top of the cake, do not mix it in.
- Bake for 28-32 minutes until the top looks set and cracked and the sides and starting to pull away from the dish.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use sour milk instead. Pour 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup and then fill to the 3/4 cup mark with milk. Stir that together and let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
- You can leave the mini chocolate chips out of the sauce if desired. I just like the added chocolate decadence they give this cake.
- You want to make sure you don’t overbake this cake. It will still be a little jiggly in the very center and the sauce will be bubbly up through some holes in the cake when you take it out of the oven. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal. The longer the cake sits the more it will set up, so serve it while still warm.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until just warm. You can freeze this cake for up to 3 months.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
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