Chocolate Pudding Cake

This rich and decadent Chocolate Pudding Cake is my scratch-made version of the cake my mom has always made me for my birthday. A moist chocolate cake with pockets of homemade creamy chocolate pudding that also doubles as the frosting on top!

1 hour 15 minutes +chill time
For the Chocolate Cake
  • 1 ½ cups (160g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 ⅓ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (56g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (110g) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (204g) water

For the Chocolate Pudding
  • ⅔ cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (40g) cocoa powder
  • 5 teaspoons (17g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 ½ cups (605g) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9” x 9” square cake pan generously with cooking spray.

  2. Chocolate Cake: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk until combined. Add the eggs, vanilla, oil, and water and whisk until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.

  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back to the touch (or a toothpick comes out mostly clean). Immediately poke several holes in the cake with the end of a wooden spoon or a wooden dowel. Set aside.
  4. Chocolate Pudding: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and espresso powder. Slowly stream in the milk while whisking.

  5. Cook the pudding mixture on the stove over low heat and stir continuously with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens and starts to boil, about 15-20 minutes.

  6. Immediately pour the hot pudding over the warm cake, allowing the pudding to fill each of the holes you poked in the cake. Spread the remaining pudding all over the top of the cake. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

  7. Once the cake is chilled, add sprinkles (if desired), cut it into slices, serve, and enjoy!

  • Storing: Keep the cake in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • Serving: This cake is easiest to cut and serve right out of the cake pan. If you prefer to remove the whole cake from the pan once the pudding is set, you can line your cake pan with parchment paper. Before baking the cake, lightly grease the pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper to create a sling, with an overhang on all four sides. Follow the recipe instructions as-is then use the parchment paper to carefully lift out the cake right before slicing and serving.