Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

yummy chocolate pudding cakeWe all have certain recipes in our repertoire that are full-proof, that we can come back to again and again because we know they’ll always be good. That’s how I feel about this Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake. It’s the most forgiving recipe I know.

True story: one time, I was half-way through the recipe before I realized I didn’t have any milk. So I mixed some coffee creamer with water and used that instead. It still can out fine.

Warning: this recipe is seriously death by chocolate. You definitely need ice cream or whipped cream to cut the chocolatey sweetness. But who’s going to complain about too much chocolate? I’m certain not going to! (Check out even more chocolate recipes here.)

This recipe has three main steps that I’m going to call batter, crust, and water. First, mix together the ingredients for the batter part. This will seem pretty thick for a cake batter, but that’s okay.

Plop the batter into a 9×13 cake pan (or half the recipe and put it in an 8×8 baking dish) and use a spatula to make sure it’s evenly spread to all of the corners. Then, mix together all the dry crust ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the batter. I like to mix with my hands to make sure all the brown sugar lumps are broken up.

The third “water” step is a little tricky and you want to move relatively quickly (hence the lack of picture). Turn you tap as hot as it will go – you want hot water, but not boiling. Carefully pour the hot water over the entire crust. Do NOT mix. I like to use a spoon as I pour so it’s not a stream of water, which will create valleys in the crust. Basically, you want to pour all the hot water into the pan as quickly as possible while still keeping the crust layer as even as possible.

Easier said than done, I know, but remember: this recipe is very forgiving!

Once all of the water is pour over the crust, pop it in the oven. How this weird layering of ingredients makes a pudding cake, I have no idea, but when it comes out, you’ll have a firm, cake-y crust on top and pudding on the bottom.

chocolate pudding cake out of the oven

Initially when the cake comes out of the over, the “pudding” is a little thin, more like chocolate sauce. If you wait for it to cool or refrigerate it to serve later, it will be more of traditional pudding consistency. Both are really yummy.

Like I mentioned, you’ll definitely need something to cut the sweetness. My favorite option is Talenti!

Talenti Vanilla Bean

Talenti makes gelato instead of ice cream, which means that the final product has less fat and less air whipped into it. Gelato is generally a smoother texture (but ice cream certainly works too if that’s what you have in your freezer). I like Talenti because they have a really high-quality product, and their Vanilla Bean flavor is more of a natural vanilla flavor than super sweet, so it pairs great with this cake.

And no, Talenti isn’t paying me to say that. I just truly love their product! (Also, they rock at social media, which I recently wrote about on the NMX blog.)

If you do whipped creak instead, I recommend making your own and going light on the sugar so it is less sweet than what you buy in the store. Trust me, making homemade whipped cream is totally worth the trouble. Store-bough stuff doesn’t even compare.

chocolate pudding cake

Mmmm. If you serve it hot out of the oven, you’re not going to get a perfect slice of cake, but that’s okay. Use a spoon to pour extra pudding sauce that got left behind in the pan over the top. Delish!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 1½ cup + 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 Tablespoons + ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅔ cup butter/margarine, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2½ cup hot water
  • Whipped cream, ice cream, or gelato for garnish (optional)
  1. In large bowl, combine ingredients for batter: 1½ cup sugar, flour, baking powder, 6 Tablespoons cocoa, salt, milk, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Pour batter into a 9x13 cake pan, using a spatula to spread evenly into corners.
  3. In medium bowl, combine ingredients for crust: 1 cup sugar, ½ cup cocoa, and brown sugar.
  4. Sprinkle crust mixture over batter.
  5. Gently pour hot water (as hot as your tap will go) over the crust. Do not mix.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with whipped cream, ice cream, or gelato.


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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at

One thought on “Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

  1. I notice your comment about having no milk for the recipe. I keep the packets of dry milk in my pantry for such occasions. It is is good for all recipes that call for milk, and is a great price saver.

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