Brownie Pudding Cake
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!
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.
Table of Contents
- What is brownie pudding cake?
- What’s great about this recipe
- What does brownie pudding cake taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make brownie pudding cake
- How to serve
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- A few more of my favorite brownie recipes
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.
What’s great about this recipe
- Tastes amazing: So rich and chocolate-y, like your favorite brownie!
- Few ingredients: You’ll oly need a few pantry staples to make it.
- Easy to make: You’ll be spooning brownie pudding into your mouth in around 30 minutes flat.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Follow my guide on how to accurately measure ingredients.
- Large mixing bowl: In which to stir up the batter.
- Silicone spatula: For mixing up the batter and to help make sure you get every last bit out of the bowl!
- Baking dish: I used individual creme brulee dishes, but you could also use ramekins or bake a big brownie pudding cake in an 8×8 glass baking dish.
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!
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!
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few more of my favorite brownie recipes
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Brownie Pudding Cake
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (133.33 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
- 1/2 cup (122 g) milk
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) oil , (such as vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (58.5 g) chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups (354.88 g) boiling water
- 1/4 cup (55 g) brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 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.