gooey chocolate pudding cake

This past weekend Gerrit and I had dinner at my parents’ house, and when we were making the plans my mom asked me if I could whip something up for dessert.  My first instant thought is that unless you are putting refrigerated cookies in the oven or making something having to do boxed pudding or cake mix (not that those are not legitimate desserts), dessert is not something that you can just whip up.  No, dessert takes plotting and careful measuring and baking and good chocolate.

But then I remembered this cake, which quite literally is something you can just whip up.  It takes about 20 minutes to stir together, and 30 minutes to bake.  And it is completely homemade, if that is something you are going for.  And completely impressive.  It comes out of the oven the perfect gooey consistency that people think must require some kind of technique or magical intuitive knowledge of the exact temperature of your particular oven (you know, that kind of stuff that makes my molten lava cakes not always turn out right).  But no.  This is simple, and honestly probably one of the most foolproof recipes I have ever made.  And I’m guessing you have everything for it in your pantry right now.

So whip this up for dessert (tonight even!), and I promise it will become one of your fall-back desserts.

Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake
adapted from Anne Thornton*

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Wait Time: 15 minutes

Serves 8-10**

For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups hot water

Ice cream, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until it is a uniform mixture.  Add milk, butter, and vanilla, and stir together until it forms a thick batter.  Pour (or, really, scoop) the batter into an ungreased 9 inch square baking pan, and use a spatula to spread the batter out evenly.
3. In a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder for the topping.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake (it will seem like a lot, but don’t worry).  Then pour the hot water evenly over the batter (and don’t stir it together!).
4. Carefully put the cake in the oven, and bake for about 30 minutes.  The cake should be very gooey inside, but the top should look baked and set.
5. Remove cake from oven and let it stand and cool for about 15 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with ice cream.

*She is genius. Does anyone know if her show is going to have a new season anytime soon?
**And if you want to make this for less people, it also keeps well for leftovers…it just needs a reheat!

3 Responses

  1. Alice February 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm |

    erin this looks fabulous!! if i wasn’t out of butter this would be in my oven right.this.minute

    so great meeting you this weekend at the conference! i love your blog and can’t wait to try some of your delicious treats!

    Reply
  2. Gretchen February 2, 2012 at 10:41 am |

    I don’t do a lot of baking, but even I have all the ingredients for this cake! I will definitely tuck this recipe away for those times I need a simple but delicious dessert.

    Reply
  3. Becki's Whole Life February 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

    This sounds great. I am always looking for simple, but flavorful desserts to bake on Sunday and this would be perfect…..everyone in my house goes nuts over chocolate and the pudding consistency is great, too.

    Reply

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