Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake: A Decadent Memory Brought Back to Life

What was your favorite dessert when you were a kid? We moved every few years so I have a few, but if I had to pick, my favorite would be this hot chocolate pudding cake at a London Notting Hill neighborhood burger joint called Tootsies. They served it in a wooden salad bowl, filled with steaming, crumbly and moist hot chocolate cake. It oozed with chocolate sauce and was, of course, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was so hot that it would burn my tongue if I wasn’t patient. I’d hold the bowl, breathing in the chocolate steam, and the anticipation was almost better than the taste. Almost, but not quite. Nothing could beat that chocolate pudding cake perfection.

hot chocolate pudding cakeI’ve been trying to duplicate the chocolate pudding cake for years, digging through Amish cookbooks and church cookbooks and even the King Arthur flour cookbook. But reality often pales compared to memory. Most recipes were just too bland, not chocolatey enough. Then last night, it all came together, with the addition of a layer of chocolate chips. Cocoa nirvana.

Now that I’ve got it, I’m not ever losing this recipe again! The fact that it comes together in minutes is a plus. My Tootsies chocolate pudding cake is back, and soon to be a childhood memory for my kids. It whips up in seconds, the perfect comfort food antidote to bad days or cold days, the full-proof way to bring a smile back to any face.

Chocolate Pudding Cake: A Decadent Oldie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is pure chocolate decadence, but actually fairly low in fat. Enjoy with ice cream or just as a rich, chocolatey treat. This is the perfect antidote to a rough day and has the added plus of being super easy to throw together.
Serves: 10-12 pieces
  • Bottom Cake Layer:
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • ¾ cups of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ cup of milk (preferably 2% or greater fat)
  • 2 Tablespoons of melted salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • For the middle
  • ⅓ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the pudding (laid on top of the cake batter which will magically rise to the top)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of cold water
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a square 8 inch Pyrex pan.
  2. Mix the dry cake ingredients together: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a separate mixing bowl, melt the butter and add the milk and vanilla extract. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined. You don't want to see any flour but you don't want to overmix.
  3. Scoop into the pan and smooth out the batter.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top evenly.
  5. Now combine the pudding ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Mix well.
  6. Sprinkle the pudding ingredients on top of the chocolate chips. Pour the cold water over the top.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cake should look crisp on the edges, with cracks oozing hot pudding in the middle.
  8. Let it cool for about 10 minutes to prevent any tongue burning. That ooey, gooey pudding will be very hot.



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