Chocolate Pudding Cake

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Chocolate Pudding Cake makes its own gooey chocolate sauce as it bakes and is equally delicious served either warm or cold. With its rich chocolate flavor, this chocolate cake is best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Whenever I need a quick dessert or have a chocolate craving, this pudding cake recipe immediately comes to the rescue. There’s no need to add fudge sauce or even chocolate frosting. Instead, a warm and thick chocolate pudding forms right in the bottom of the pan as the cake bakes.

To serve, scoop the cake out into bowls like you would a cobbler. I first found this easy chocolate dessert recipe in an old church cookbook. It’s an oldie, but goodie for sure and has been popular around here for years.

chocolate pudding cake in a glass dish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Pudding Cake

You’ve heard the old saying, “If i’d known you were coming, I’d have baked you a cake.” Growing up, any time neighbors or family came to visit, you could be sure my Mamaw B. would offer them a cup of coffee and something sweet.

Usually, there was a fresh baked cake or pie or we’d make an event of churning homemade ice cream. Whatever it was, the point was to make everyone feel welcomed and special. So you see, you’d bake a cake if you knew they were coming.

Well, with this tasty chocolate cake, you can whip it up, pop it in the oven, and be ready to serve in under 45 minutes. Chocolate Pudding Cake is so simple to make—it reminds me a lot of hot fudge cake—that it’s a good recipe to keep handy for surprise visitors.

ingredients for chocolate pudding cake


I’ll bet you already have all the ingredients for Chocolate Pudding Cake in your pantry. This cake doesn’t even require eggs!

  • Self-rising flour — if you only stock all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sugar — just plain old granulated sugar, no brown sugar needed in this recipe
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder — for the deep, dark chocolate flavor
  • Vanilla extract — to give a flavor boost
  • Canola oil — or vegetable oil
  • Milk — either 2% or whole milk
  • Pecans — totally optional, but I love crunchy nuts in this dessert. You can use walnuts, too.
  • Water — hot and boiling!
process for making chocolate pudding cake

How to make chocolate pudding cake in 3 easy steps

What I love about this Chocolate Pudding Cake is that it doesn’t require any special ingredients or extra trips to the grocery store, and as it bakes it creates a gooey chocolate topping (in the bottom of the pan). You don’t even need a mixer for this cake. It comes together in just three simple steps.

  1. Make the cake batter by stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and pecans. Add the oil, milk, and vanilla extract and spread the batter into the bottom of a lightly greased cake pan.
  2. Mix together more sugar and cocoa powder and sprinkle evenly on top of the batter.
  3. Pour boiling water on top of the sugar mixture—DO NOT stir! Pop the cake in the oven and bake. How simple is that?!
A chocolate pudding cake sitting on top of a wooden table

The cake is done when it looks like brownies on top. When it comes out of the oven, you should see the warm chocolate pudding oozing around the edges of the pan. This cake is similar to chocolate lava cake, but the pudding is thicker and is all on the bottom.

chocolate pudding cake in a glass bowl

More chocolate recipes!

  • German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. German Chocolate Pecan Pie dessert bars are baked with layers of deliciousness! Chocolate shortbread crust, creamy chocolate & coconut pecan pie filling.
  • Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake. Decadent and rich, but not too sweet, this fudgy Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake is loaded with dark, sweet cherries and topped with a delicious mocha glaze.
  • Classic Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake. This no-fuss milk chocolate cake is ultra rich, extremely moist, and even more delicious the day after it’s baked!
  • Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies. A delicious flourless, gluten-free peanut butter and chocolate cookie that everyone will love!
  • Chocolate Chess Pie. This easy old-fashioned recipe is a Southern classic dessert that’s delicious served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
  • Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. This super moist triple chocolate mousse cake recipe combines unsweetened cocoa, dark cocoa, and semi sweet chocolate for a rich luscious flavor. 
chocolate pudding cake in a glass dish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Let’s bake!

All you need for Chocolate Pudding Cake is flour, sugar, cocoa, milk, oil, vanilla, pecans (optional), and boiling water. I’m gonna bet you have all these staples in your pantry right now, so go on and bake this cake! You’ll be in chocolate heaven if you do!

chocolate pudding cake in a glass bowl

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake makes its own gooey chocolate sauce as it bakes and is equally delicious served either warm or cold.
4.73 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Chocolate Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 434 kcal


Step 1 ingredients:

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • ½ cup chopped nuts pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Step 2 ingredients:

  • cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa

Step 3 ingredient:

  • 1 cup boiling water


Step 1

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, 4 tablespoons cocoa, and pecans. Add the milk, canola oil, and vanilla, stirring until well blended. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Step 2

  • In a medium bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over the batter.

Step 3

  • Carefully pour boiling water evenly over the batter and sugar mixture in the pan. DO NOT stir.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top of the cake looks evenly cooked on top.
  • Serve Chocolate Pudding Cake warm or cold with ice cream, if desired.



Serving: 6ServingsCalories: 434kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 6gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 292mgFiber: 2gSugar: 46g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword cake, chocolate, chocolate pudding
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.

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  1. You say step 1. 4 Tbsp of cocoa divided. So, we only use a total of 4 TBSP total in the recipe? 2 in step 1 and 2 in step 2?

    1. PJ, sorry for the confusion! You should use a total of 6 tablespoons cocoa in the recipe. I’ve updated it now, so hopefully it’s more clear. Thanks for the inquiry!

  2. 5 stars
    Dear Sheila, this cake looks incredibly delicious. I love hot fudge cake. Looks perfect warm, with vanilla bean ice-cream! I know my boys will love this. Have a wonderful weekend!

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