Chocolate Pudding Cake tastes like a giant molten chocolate lava cake! An easy one-bowl chocolate batter is whisked together, then baked with brown sugar, cocoa, and hot water poured on top. The result is a perfectly tender layer of moist chocolate cake with a rich pool of chocolate sauce underneath. The whole dessert is ready to eat in under 1 hour!
This recipe is sponsored by our friends at DeLallo. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Blue Bowl possible! All opinions are my own.
I can’t decide if the best part of this recipe is how easy it is, how little time it takes, or that moment when your spoon cracks the surface of the cake and hits the river of molten chocolate running beneath the tender chocolate cake. Ok, let’s call it a three-way tie, and get baking!
Why you’ll love this Chocolate Pudding Cake:
- Easy Dessert – You need just one bowl, simple ingredients, and no mixer to whip up this decadent chocolate cake! Any skill level of baker will their new favorite recipe here – yes, even if you think you can’t bake. 🙂
- Giant Lava Cake – This gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake tastes like a giant skillet lava cake! Delicious layers of chocolate cake and a molten chocolate pudding in the bottom of the pan make this dessert irresistible. You can almost call it a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake – that’s what the pudding part tastes like!
- Quick to Make – It takes just minutes to mix up the batter for this easy cake, and it bakes in under 40 minutes. Quick math says you can be eating this dessert in under one hour!
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- All-purpose flour – Spoon your flour into the measuring cup, then level it with a flat utensil for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly into your flour will lead to too much flour, and a potentially dry bake.
- Sugar – We’re using both white sugar and brown sugar in this recipe to keep things rich and moist.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer.
- Cocoa Powder – Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, not dutch process cocoa. They react with the leavening agents differently and are not interchangeable.
- DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder – DeLallo’s Instant Espresso Powder intensifies the chocolate flavor of this cake without making it taste like coffee. It’s one of my best baking tricks!
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite trusted dairy-free butter and chocolate to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Vegan – This recipe uses no eggs, so if you make it dairy-free, it also becomes vegan!
- Gluten-free – I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour, but please let me know if you do.
How to Make this Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Mix Wet Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla, and sugars.
Step 2: Mix in Dry Ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones – the flour, baking powder, DeLallo Espresso Powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Use a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips last.
Step 3: Spread Batter. Evenly spread the chocolate cake batter in a 10-inch oven safe skillet (or similar baking dish) sprayed with cooking spray.
Step 4: Top the Batter. Sprinkle cocoa powder and brown sugar over the top of the cake batter, then pour hot water over the top. Do not mix these things in! Trust the process.
Step 5: Bake. Bake this dessert as directed in the recipe card below.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Let the pudding cake (or chocolate cobbler, as it is also known) rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream! This is best enjoyed fresh from the oven, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat gently in the microwave.
Expert Success Tips:
- Espresso Powder – Don’t skip the DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder! It greatly enhances the chocolate flavor and is a little baker’s trick worth knowing.
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
Yes! Halve it and bake in an 8×8 square or 8 inch round pan.
Yes, you can use a 9×9 square pan or 9 or 10-inch round pan.
No, I didn’t boil my water. I just microwaved it in a glass measuring cup until it was steaming hot – too hot to touch.
- Variations to Chocolate Chips – You could do half peanut butter and half chocolate chips, or half white chocolate and half chocolate if you want to add a little flavor variation here.
- Oven-Safe Skillet – I love my Staub 10-inch skillet for desserts like this, but you can certainly use a more budget friendly option.
More Chocolate Desserts to Love:
- Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake
- Black Forest Cookies
- Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
- Chocolate Truffle Cake
- Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment & star rating !
Chocolate Pudding Cake
For the Batter:
- 6 tbsp salted butter 85 g
- 1/2 cup milk 120 mL
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 53 grams
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 110 grams
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 130 grams
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder 25 grams
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 146 grams
For the Topping
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed 217 grams
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder 20 grams
- 1 and 1/2 cups very hot water 360 grams
- ice cream or whipped cream
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350℉. Spray a 10-inch oven-safe skillet or baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Make the Batter: Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk and vanilla, then the sugars. Add the salt, espresso powder, flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Fold everything together with a silicone spatula until just combined. Don't over mix. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Add the Topping: Sprinkle the brown sugar and then the cocoa powder over the batter. Don't mix them in. Pour the hot water over the top. Don't stir it in! This is what will create the lava cake like layer on bottom.
- Bake: Bake for 33 to 39 minutes. The cobbler will be bubbly and a little crinkly around the edges. It will have a slight jiggle when you move the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center will pull out some moist crumbs. Let the cake rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve & Store: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. This is best fresh from the oven. But, leftovers can be cooled to room temperature and stored, covered with foil or plastic wrap, in the fridge for 2-3 days.