Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake-a rich and moist chocolate cake with a silky chocolate pudding sauce. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you will be in chocolate dessert heaven! 

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe
Tomorrow is my birthday, but we are starting the celebration a day early because it’s my birthday and I said so! I am inviting you all to the party. Get out your party hats, balloons, and streamers! It is going to be a wild party! Yay!

Of course, the most important part of the party is the dessert. This year we are celebrating with Chocolate Pudding Cake. I usually choose cookies for my birthday dessert, but this year I am mixing things up. I am going the traditional route and having cake! Don’t worry, I am going to eat cookies too. Calories don’t count on birthdays so bring on the sweets! I am ready to party!

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

When I was in college, my friends and I used to make Chocolate Pudding Cake all of the time. You know, when it was midnight and we were tired of studying and needed a chocolate fix. Probably not the wisest midnight snack, but it got us through several finals.

It is the weirdest cake ever, but SO SO good! You make the cake in a 9×13 pan and before it goes into the oven you sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar and cocoa over the cake batter. And that’s not all, you also pour boiling water over the cake. It feels SO wrong when you are doing it, but it is so right. Trust me on this one. The cake will look like a disaster, but don’t worry. When you pull it out of the oven you will feel like a magician because you will end up with a chocolate cake that is out of this world delicious!

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe on

The cake won’t win any beauty awards, but after you spoon into it and find the chocolate pudding at the bottom, you will swoon! The chocolate pudding sauce is silky, smooth, and makes the cake extra special.

I like to serve the cake warm with vanilla ice cream, but it’s good plain too. If you want to eat it right out of the pan with a spoon, go for it! And it actually isn’t THAT rich. The chocolate flavor is nice, but not too intense. I can polish off a big piece with no problem:)

Let’s get this birthday party started and have some Chocolate Pudding Cake! Who wants a piece? Thanks for celebrating with me! Enjoy!

If you like this chocolate cake recipe, you might also like:

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

Chocolate Pudding Cake

This rich and moist chocolate cake with a silky chocolate pudding sauce is easy to make and always a hit! We like to serve the cake with vanilla ice cream.
5 from 2 votes


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa we use Dutch processed cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well combined. If there are lumps of brown sugar, use your hands to break them up. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together over medium-low heat.
  • In a separate small saucepan, heat buttermilk over low heat until barely warmed. You don't want it to bubble or boil. Remove from heat.
  • Remove chocolate and butter mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and stir until combined. Spread into the prepared pan.
  • Combine the remaining 1 ¼ cups brown sugar with the cocoa in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, using your hands to break up any brown sugar clumps. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the chocolate cake batter.
  • Pour the boiling water evenly over the cake. Yes, it will look like a mess, but I promise it will turn out!
  • Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch.
  • Remove cake from oven and cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. To serve, invert each serving on a plate so that the fudge sauce on the bottom becomes a topping. Spoon any extra sauce in the pan over the top. You can serve the cake at room temperature or warm. Top with ice cream, if desired.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Happy Birthday! Nothing like ooey gooey chocolate pudding cake to celebrate. This is restaurant quality dessert! And no, calories do NOT count on your birthday or your kids b-days! I always figure, eh, I gave birthday to them, it was painful so a piece of chocolate pudding cake it is! Yum!!

  2. I’m sitting here trying to come up with any excuse to make this fabulous cake!! A virtual party for you? I think that’ll work. Happy birthday, friend!!

    1. My Birthday is July 27 in just a couple of days and I’m a birthday but, I go all out for my Birthday and i expect everyone else too as week. LOL So I want something guey and gooey gooey and chocolatey, great hear it is I found it, I can almost taste it yummy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me.
      German chocolate cake is my favorite i just might make both.

  3. My mom used to make this cake when I was little and I loved it! I’d completely forgotten about it until now. I can’t wait to try and make it myself!

  4. Happy Birthday!! There is no better way to celebrate than with lots of delicious food! I have never had a pudding cake but it looks incredible!

  5. Happy Birthday! I haven’t had chocolate cake in soooo long. I love this crazy, kookie idea os a pudding cake YUM. It almost reminds me of a molten chocolate cake. To. Die. For.

  6. Happy almost birthday! This looks like the perfect way to celebrate. I’ve seen a recipe like this before where you pour the water over the cake, but I haven’t tried it. It does seems scary! But now I really gotta do it, because my mouth is watering looking at your photos.

  7. Happy (early!) birthday!!! Have a wonderful day, and eat lots of extra chocolate pudding cake! 🙂

  8. Hooray for February birthdays!! I’m thinking this chocolate pudding cake needs to be actioned immediately!

  9. Happy birthday! Enjoy your day, especially since we’re going to be at least 60 tomorrow for February! This is crazy Utah weather, but my 9 year old is so not complaining! I will be making this cake for a luncheon I will be attending, and I don’t think there will be any left! Thanks for all the great recipes and sharing you family with us.

  10. Happy Birthday! I’ve made this cake & a lemon version & you’re right – it ain’t pretty going in, but after it bakes it’s pure Heaven.

  11. Love it! This looks similar to Nigella’s 7-minute chocolate pudding. It’s cakey too :). I agree with you about birthday calories. Have a good one! 🙂

  12. HAPPY Birthday!!! Hope you will celebrate for days! This cake looks like the perfect treat 🙂

  13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Maria!! I haven’t made one of these cakes in a long time! I am so craving it after seeing these pictures. Will have to make this real soon!

  14. Made this at 6:00 this morning for my boss’ birthday! It looks like it is a going to be a hit, can’t wait to try it!!

  15. All of these February chocolate recipes are making me drool. Pudding Cake sounds like just what I need after this busy week. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  16. Happy Birthday!!!! Feb 5 is also my birthday!!! I had ice cream cake. Yummy! this is cake looks absolutely delicious! i will definitely have to make it since i celebrate the whole month. lol!

  17. I made this last night. I have tried several recipes like this one, this is by and far the BEST one I have tried. So gooey and delicious!!!! This recipe is definitely a keeper. (and a little bit for breakfast this morning proved it was not only good right out of the oven, but the next day too.) 😉 Thank you for your post!

  18. Hi! Love this recipe…would like your permission to repost on my Facebook page…definitely giving you the credit 🙂

  19. Great recipe! Hint….add some instant coffee or espresso powder to the boiling water. You can’t really taste the coffee, but it enhances the chocolate flavor.

  20. This is an oldie but a goodie. I saw the originsl recipe in my 1968 BH&G cookbook. I make it at lesdt once a week!

  21. So if the cake needs to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving, how do you serve it warm? Do you microwave it before hand or is it still warm enough even after cooling for 30 minutes?


  22. Made this for Valentines Day. It was too dark chocolate for me and my family. It was moist and most likely will be enjoyed by dark dark chocolate lovers.

  23. Is there a reason why the recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened cocoa? Can you use regular chocolate and cut out some of the sugar?

  24. I tried to make this cake, and I followed all the directions, but even after 2 hours, the cake was raw. I’m not sure what went wrong because other people didn’t seem to have the issue that I did.

  25. Amaziiing just finished making this incredible pudding cake can’t wait for it to cool down thx and happy early birthday

  26. I made it – halfing everything and baking in a smaller pan.
    It was great! And pouring water over it did seem wrong.
    It was odd not to have any eggs. I will make this again!
    thanks… It is not a recipe I would have expected from Molly K.

  27. Is there any way to shortcut the base with a cake mix or brownie mix?
    Also, can it be made up until the point of putting the sugar and water on top and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake? I would love to have this ready to go in the oven before getting ready for a dinner party.

  28. I just made this today for my son’s 10th birthday. OMG! He and several family members passed up a piece of Carvel ice cream cake (unheard of here in NY) for this instead- and it was soooo worth it!!!

  29. No! Calories DO NOT COUNT on your bday or your kids bday or your grandkids bday or your husband’s bday orNew Years Day or Valentine’s Day or St Patrick’s Day or April Fool’s Day or tax day (desert is much NEEDED that day) or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day (you HAVE TO HELP him celebrate) or Fourth of July or back to school day (celebration definitely in order) or Labor Day or Halloween or Thanksgiving or CHRISTmas…. trust me, hehehe!

  30. I’ve been making this since I was a teenager. Got the recipe from my mothers recipe book. It’s quick, easy, and oh so very delicious ! Yummy ! I like it warm and without ice cream or whipped cream – just plain chocolaty deliciousnous !

  31. We make this sort of dessert all the time in Australia – it’s called “self saucing pudding” there 🙂

  32. This looks so delicious! Can I make it a day ahead of time or does it need to be served the same day? If I can make it a day in advance, how should I store it…in the fridge or on the counter? Thanks!!!

  33. This looks amazing!  My boys would love this but they are gluten free….  would this work with gluten free flour?  Thank you!!

  34. I made a similar cake at a post Christmas family celebration for a change from the usual goodies we had all enjoyed in the previous week.  I hadnt made one for years, and found a very old recipe..from the 70s, havent made one since then…everyone loved it and wondered why I had never made it before!  Since then I have seen a lot of recipes…I think it a wonderful old fashioned dessert being rediscovered!

  35. This was called a self saucing chocolate pudding when I was a kid. Its a very English dessert. Very very yummy mmm may have to make this Sunday for the other half for Valentines day 🙂

  36. Happy birthday 

    i want to make this Recipe it looks AMAZING, but i wanted to ask what can i substitute buttercream with 
    they don’t sell it in my country 

  37. This looks delicious. I have been thinking about a healthy chocolate pudding lately and had no idea where to start. I can’t wait to make this recipe – and I actually have all the ingredients for it on hand. So excited!

  38. This looks amazing! I usually don’t buy buttermilk, but instead make sour milk by adding white vinegar to regular milk and letting it sit. Do you think this would work instead of buttermilk for this recipe? 

  39. After making this I have abandoned my trusty self saucing chocolate pudding recipe .. This one is so much better and it is easy to make . Love the chocolate + chocolate + cocoa.  Thank you !

  40. I used to make a cake similar to this and it is always my birthday request though my sister hasn’t got up the courage to make it for me even though I tell her it’s simple 🙂 My recipe uses brewed coffee instead of water which makes it even more dangerous. Some of my family is not to keen on mocha flavor though so I may try this recipe. 

  41. 5 stars
    I usually have no luck with cakes from scratch, but this turned out great! And we ALL liked, which is no small miracle (picky hubby and sons).
    Looks more like a brownie, until you dig in. Yum! Thank you, I found this when looking for a scoop cake, this is close enough, I’m looking no further! And

  42. This looks amazing!  Has you/anyone had any luck using a substitute milk other than buttermilk? Would it make a difference if I just used my 1 or 2% milk?

  43. A friend let me taste this cake! She gave the recipe, and then I found it here. OMG! This is so sinfully sweet! I will make my own cake…..but I might not share it!