Sunday, October 11, 2009

Black and White Chocolate Pudding Cake

Black & White Chocolate Pudding Cake - October 11, 2009

When I first read a recipe for pudding cake, I was intrigued. How could you pour water on top of cake batter and have everything come out okay? It just seemed - well, weird. So I never really made pudding cakes before but always wanted to try one. Today, because I had a fresh carton of milk to use up before it expired next week, it seemed like a good time to try it.

This recipe is from The Family Baker by Susan G. Purdy and touts itself as "one of the easiest cakes to make". Since I had just taken two layers of a devil's food cake out of the oven and popped in a "hot milk cake" to take its place (more about those in a future post), easy sounded good to me. And it was. Mix up the cake batter, spread it in the pan, sprinkle a layer of cocoa and sugar on top, and pour a cup of boiling water over it before sliding into the oven. And whaddaya know, when it comes out, it's both cake and liquid fudge mixed in with much of the fudgy liquid pooled at the bottom. Whoever discovered this was a genius.

Unlike lava cake which is baked in small ramekins at a high temperature and taken out while the center is still liquid, pudding cake is a random combination of cake and fudge sauce in every spoonful. Like lava cake, it's meant to be served warm with ice cream. The nice thing is pudding cake can be made in a single pan so no messing around with individual-sized ramekins. On the other hand, this recipe isn't as rich as the other lava cakes I've tried in the past. Still, it's got a homey touch to it in both taste and appearance. I'd consider it a poor man's lava cake (nothing wrong with either).

Black and White Chocolate Pudding Cake
1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided (2/3 cup and 2/3 cup)
½ cup sifted, unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed, divided (¼ cup and ¼ cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
¼ cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup white chocolate, very coarsely chopped, or white chocolate chips (largest size available) or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup boiling water

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350˚F. Butter an 8” square baking pan and set it aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, 2/3 cup of sugar, ¼ cup of cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir to blend, then mix in the milk, oil, vanilla and white chocolate. The batter will feel quite stiff. Spread it in the baking pan.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ¼ cup cocoa with the remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Spread this evenly over the batter in the pan and pour the boiling water on top. Do not stir.
4. Bake the cake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top looks crisp and crackled and a cake tester inserted in a cakey area comes out clean. Cool the cake a few minutes, then serve warm, spooned directly from the pan. Top with vanilla ice cream or unsweetened heavy cream.


  1. Just made this one today for MIL and her best friend - both chocophiles. It was a hit! I inverted it onto a plate so the pudding sauce oozed down the side. Didn't have any heavy cream or ice cream so I served it as is. Think I will make it again next Friday for Moms group Halloween potluck.

  2. Glad it turned out! If you do make it again, I recommend serving with vanilla ice cream if you can - it cuts the richness and provides a nice contrast to the warm cake :).

  3. Can I use butter instead of vegetable oil?

  4. Remee, I don't know but you could try it. Perhaps melt the butter first so at least it's liquid like the vegetable oil. Only thing I'm thinking is the cake part might not turn out as moist but that shouldn't be a big deal given the liquid fudge the water turns into with the mix. But if you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  5. Wow this looks soooo chocolatey and delicious!

    We are having a themed linky party over at my blog, (Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays) and this weeks theme is chocolate. The link will be up tonight beginning at 8 pm Please come by and link up a few of your favorite chocolate recipes! We hope to see you there.