If you’re craving a soft, warm chocolate dessert, then you need this brownie pudding cake. Magically makes its own gooey sauce as it bakes!

A dish of brownie pudding cake topped with vanilla ice cream.

Original publish date: October 10, 2016.

I made this brownie pudding cake recipe over the weekend, and I have to admit, it didn’t come out as I had expected.  I had something completely different in mind. 

But I have to say: this was insanely delicious and my family went gaga for it.

We ended up with this pillowy, moist chocolate cake, studded throughout with tender walnuts, topping a sticky chocolate sauce that drenches the cake and creates the most warm, comforting chocolate dessert you can dig your spoon into.  

Oh, I get it. Brownie pudding cake.

Yeah, the name of the recipe was brownie pudding cake.  Guess I should have paid closer attention to that minor detail.  But it was all good.  This recipe did not disappoint.

We devoured these cakes, warm from the oven with sweet vanilla ice cream melting on top and pooling all around the soft cake.

They were comforting and soft, with a little crunch from the walnuts, and a sweet sticky sauce that magically formed on the bottom of the dish as the brownie pudding cake baked.  And they whipped up quickly and easily, in just about a half hour.

If you love chocolate recipes, I highly recommend you give them a try! And check out my pot de creme, chocolate pound cake, and no-bake chocolate cheesecake while you’re at it!

Brownie pudding cakes baked in individual dishes with ice cream on top.

Table of Contents

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What is brownie pudding cake?

This is a deeply chocolate-y dessert that’s part cake and part sauce.

On the top, you get fluffy chocolate cake.

Dig down a little deeper, and get to that fudgy, melty goo, and it drenches the cake, making it uber-moist and so indulgent.

But it all happens magically!

You don’t have to make a separate sauce and cake. You just stir up a thick batter and pour hot water on top, and the oven does it for you.

Jazz hands!

What’s great about this recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: So rich and chocolate-y, like your favorite brownie!
  2. Few ingredients: You’ll oly need a few pantry staples to make it.
  3. Easy to make: You’ll be spooning brownie pudding into your mouth in around 30 minutes flat.
  4. Self-saucing: It magically makes its own sauce as it bakes!

What does brownie pudding cake taste like?

In a word: brownies. This is another kind of take on a brownie recipe.

The flavor is fudgy and chocolate-y, and it’s punctuated by toasty walnuts.

The difference between this and a brownie is the texture. Where brownies are more dense and cakey, this is soft and spoon-able.

Ingredients

Flour: All-purpose flour is my go-to, but you can swap it out for any kind of whole-grain option if you like. You may need slightly less if you go that route. A gluten-free flour blend that can sub 1:1 for regular flour should also work just fine, if you’d like to make gluten-free brownie pudding cake.

Sugar: You’ll need both white sugar and light or dark brown sugar for this recipe. They both sweeten the cake and make it moist.

Cocoa: Regular, unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutched) brings the deepest, darkest chocolate flavor.

Baking powder: This recipe utilizes baking powder to leaven (or “lift”) the cake. This ingredient is a double-acting leavener, so it starts the cake rising both when liquid is added to it, as well as when it hits the hot oven. Baking soda will not work in this recipe because there isn’t enough acid to activate it. Baking powder has a little bit of that acid built in.

Salt: Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful! I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine which can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.

Milk: Whatever kind you keep on hand. Even a plant-based product could work here!

Oil: Any neutral-tasting oil that’s liquid at room temperature will work. I typically reach for vegetable oil or canola oil.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a subtly sweet flavor without being at all sugary.

Walnuts: These are optional but I really like the way they taste with brownies. If you prefer, you can leave them out or sub with another type of nut.

Water: Boiling hot water gets poured over the brownie pudding cake just before baking.

Special equipment

How to make brownie pudding cake

This easy recipe comes together in just 4 simple steps.

Step 1: Mix up the batter

Put the flour, white sugar, 1/2 cup of the cocoa, baking powder, and salt into your mixing bowl and give all of these ingredients a quick stir just to get them combined.

Then just stir in the milk, oil, vanilla, and nuts (if using).

You should end up with a very thick batter!

Step 2: Transfer it to baking dishes

Divide this batter equally between all 6 individual dishes.

Step 3: Pour on the liquid

Then measure the hot water into a large liquid measuring cup, and stir in the remaining cocoa powder and brown sugar.

Pour this liquid over the thick batter.

Step 4: Bake

Slide your brownie pudding cakes into the oven to bake!

You’ll know they’re done when they’re set around the edges but still very gooey towards the center.

How to serve

I recommend serving this dessert warm from the oven, with a big scoop of ice cream on top. The hot/cold contrast is truly off the charts!

Expert tips

Measure accurately: Baking is a science, and it’s really important to measure accurately in order to get the proper result. Especially with a recipe like this one!

Don’t overmix: Be careful not to overmix the batter, or your pudding cake could come out tough.

Don’t overbake: If this hangs out for too long in the oven, it will come out dry and not saucy enough. You’ll know it’s done baking when it’s set around the edges but still quite gooey in the center. Remember it will continue to firm up as it cools!

Overhead image of brownie pudding cakes with vintage silver spoons revealing the rich chocolate sauce at the bottom.

Frequently asked questions

Can this be made in a different-sized pan?

If you prefer to have just one big brownie pudding cake to scoop out individual portions from, bake this recipe in an 8×8 glass baking dish.

Just keep in mind, any time you use a different-sized pan you may have to adjust the bake time.

Can this be made ahead?

I recommend making this about an hour before you plan to serve it. That way, it has time to cool down a bit but it should still be warm.

Don’t try making the batter ahead, or it won’t rise properly.

How to store leftovers?

Brownie pudding cake can sit out at room temperature for several hours, but any longer than that and it should probably go into the fridge.

Wrap it tightly and it should keep, chilled, for 5 to 7 days.

It should last in the freezer for a month or two, and it can be thawed at room temperature or in the fridge and reheated (covered) in a 170-degree F oven or in the microwave until warmed through.

What is the serving size?


This recipe makes 6 servings.

The nutritional information provided in the recipe card below reflects a serving size of 1/6th the whole batch, and it’s for the brownie pudding cake only. It does not include ice cream.

Brownie pudding cakes baked in shallow dishes with blue china cups in the background.

A few more of my favorite brownie recipes

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5 stars (3 ratings)

Brownie Pudding Cake

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
If you’re craving a soft, warm chocolate dessert, then you need this brownie pudding cake. Magically makes its own gooey sauce as it bakes!

Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly mist 6 creme brulee dishes* with non-stick spray.
  • Place the flour, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of the cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.  
  • Stir in the milk, oil, vanilla, and walnuts (batter will be quite thick). 
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared dishes.
  • Measure the hot water in a large liquid measuring cup, and stir in the brown sugar and cocoa powder.  
  • Pour the liquid into the dishes, over the thick batter. 
  • Bake until set on top and around the edges, but still gooey towards the center (approx 12 to 18 minutes). 
  • Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

*Can also be baked in an 8×8 square baking dish (increase bake time to 30 to 40 minutes).
©Baking a Moment
Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 462mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 35IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 124mg, Iron: 3mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
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