Offbeat Bites: Fudge Pudding Cake

Chef’s note: This deliciously fudgy cake magically makes its own chocolate sauce, and tastes great on its own or a la mode. It tastes of rich and sweet decadent chocolate, and is savored best when warm and fresh, though it keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge and can be reheated. Check out the links at the bottom for tasty variations.

This recipe keeps a simple flavor profile, sticking with a rich chocolate taste.


  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of heavy cream or table cream
The chocolate chips, when used, add a little extra oomph.

For topping:

  • ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½  cups of hot water
  • ½ cup of semisweet chips (optional)
  • Confectioner’s sugar, to dust (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.

Uniformity is key in this recipe.

Whisk together the flour, white sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

The batter might seem gloopy at first, but should even out with mixing.
Spread batter: keeping with the theme of uniformity. Make sure the batter is thinned out and even.

Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and cream to the dry ingredients, stirring together with a rubber spatula.

Keeping with the theme of uniformity, make sure the batter is thinned out and even.

Spread this mixture evenly into the buttered dish.

By the time you’ve finished distributing the brown sugar topping you won’t be able to see the batter.

In another bowl, combine the brown sugar and cocoa powder with your hands until the mixture is uniform. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter. Don’t stir.

I know it seems odd, but the water plays a large role in “magically” creating the pudding sauce.

Pour the hot water evenly over the batter. Don’t stir. Scatter the chocolate chips over the batter, if using. Once again, don’t stir.

The cake should have risen quite a bit.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pudding sauce is bubbling from the sides and the top has risen and is crusty. Serve warm, spooning the sauce over the cake, and dusting powdered sugar on top if desired.

 Click here for cranberry pudding cake, here for lemon pudding cake, and here for Food Network’s take on the original.

All photos by Lauren Quinn


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