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Chocolate Pudding Cake is a decadent dessert that takes only 5 minutes to prepare. It bakes into the most delicious, moist cake on top with a creamy pudding sauce on the bottom.
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This Chocolate Pudding Cake recipe is so quick and easy to prepare and makes a moist, decadent dessert with a deep chocolate flavor.

Made from scratch in under an hour, what could be better than a warm chocolate cake that bakes with a hidden layer of hot fudge sauce beneath? Serve with some ice cream or whipped cream on top for an extra indulgent treat.

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Hot Fudge Chocolate Pudding Cake

Our homemade hot fudge pudding cake takes only 5 minutes to prepare from scratch using simple ingredients (no pudding mix packets or cake mix needed).

Soft and tender cake on top with a puddle of creamy chocolate pudding sauce below, this old-fashioned chocolate pudding cake magically forms multiple layers as it bakes.

The process for this easy chocolate pudding cake may sound strange at first and feel very wrong pouring boiling water over the top, but trust me on this one!

As the cake bakes in the oven, the water seeps to the bottom of the baking pan where it forms a puddle of hot fudge sauce sitting below a moist, warm cake.

Pudding Cake

What Is A Pudding Cake?

Chocolate pudding cake, also called chocolate upside down cake, hot fudge pudding cake, brownie pudding cake, or self-saucing pudding cake, consists of three layers: a cake batter, a dry cocoa powder, and sugar mixture, and hot water.

Pudding cake recipes are very simple to make and should not be confused with a poke cake prepared with a pudding mix.

While baking, the water sinks to the bottom and creates a chocolate sauce while the cake rises to the top. The end result is a rich chocolate cake and a gooey pudding-like sauce. 

Why We Love Chocolate Pudding Cake

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Uses simple kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Creamy chocolate pudding sauce is silky, smooth, and makes the cake extra special.
  • Every forkful has moist chocolate cake with melty hot fudge.
  • Delicious dessert is perfect for date night or an indulgent treat after dinner.
Pudding Cake ingredients

Chocolate Pudding Cake Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Half and half
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Light brown sugar
  • Boiling water

Substitutions and Additions

  • Choose Chocolate: You can substitute plain unsweetened or dark chocolate for the unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder.
  • Make With Mix-Ins: You can add chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans to the chocolate cake. Or add a swirl of peanut butter or Nutella through the batter before baking!
  • Tasty Toppings: Serve this cake warm with a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, some sprinkles, fresh berries, or a maraschino cherry on top.
eating Pudding Cake using a spoon
  • 8×8 baking dish
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
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How to Make Pudding Cake

  1. Create The Cake Batter: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the half and half, oil, and vanilla just until combined.
  2. Prepare The Pan: Spread the cake batter into the baking dish and sprinkle the dry sugar and cocoa powder mixture on top. Pour the boiling water over the dry ingredients. Do not stir!
  3. Bake: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Serve: Allow the cake to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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Tip From Our Recipe Developer

  • 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.
  • Do not stir or mix the dry cocoa/sugar mixture once sprinkled over the cake batter. You want two distinct layers, and if you mix it up it won’t bake properly.

How to store Pudding Cake

  • To Store: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
  • To Reheat: Allow the cake to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating individual servings in the microwave for 25-30 seconds.
fudge pudding cake

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a gluten free pudding cake?

Yes, you can make a gluten free version of this pudding cake. Gluten free flour works just as well as all-purpose flour in this recipe.

Can I make a vegan version pudding cake?

Yes, you can make a vegan version of this pudding cake. Since this pudding cake recipe requires no eggs, it can be made vegan using non-dairy half and half and vegan-friendly sugars. If you want to make it both vegan AND gluten free, that too is possible!

Pudding Cake with ice cream on top

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5 from 1 vote
Pudding Cake featured image

Pudding Cake

Serves — 8
Chocolate Pudding Cake is a decadent dessert that takes only 5 minutes to prepare. It bakes into the most delicious, moist cake on top with a creamy pudding sauce on the bottom.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rest Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

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 + 2 tablespoons 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 + 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 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
  • To Reheat: Allow the cake to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating individual servings in the microwave for 25-30 seconds.
Tips:
  • 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.
  • Do not stir or mix the dry cocoa/sugar mixture once sprinkled over the cake batter. You want two distinct layers, and if you mix it up it won’t bake properly.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg

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