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Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

20 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 37

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is a timeless dessert that should be in everyone’s repertoire! A single batter magically transforms into a moist chocolate cake with a luscious chocolate sauce. It’s quick enough for a midweek indulgence and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for dinner parties.

Chocolate Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

My week began with Cottage Pie, followed by a hearty Stovetop Mac and Cheese on Wednesday, and now we’re wrapping up the week with this delightful Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding.

It appears that Comfort Food Week was in full swing on RecipeTin Eats, and somehow, I missed my own memo.

Back in my younger days, I was utterly enchanted by self-saucing puddings. I always found them almost magical. A single batter goes into the oven, looking deceptively innocent, and then, when you dig in – voilà! Your eyes light up at the sight of that decadent chocolate sauce! Okay, let me clarify that statement a bit; it’s a bit more than just one batter, but not by much. All it involves is sprinkling a mixture of sugar and cocoa over the batter and pouring hot water over it. As it bakes, this concoction sinks to the bottom of the dish, passing through the cake, rendering it incredibly moist (I absolutely love this concept!), and ultimately reducing down to create a delightful sauce.

Take a look at the photo above, where I’m pouring the hot water over the back of a spoon. The idea behind this technique is to gently distribute the water onto the sugar topping, trying to maintain as even a surface as possible so that the pudding comes out of the oven with a uniform appearance.

I’m not an expert in this aspect. Also, my recipe uses a slightly higher water-to-sugar ratio compared to most classic recipes because I prefer a sauce that’s more, well, saucy, rather than a thick paste. Although, let me be clear, even a thick paste still tastes amazing! It’s all about personal preference.

So, because I use a bit more water, the top of my pudding isn’t perfectly smooth. Less water results in a smoother surface but less sauce.

See? Here’s my sauce. It’s pourable but has a rich thickness, not watery. You can even scrape some from the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle it over the pudding. I’ve never been bothered by the slightly textured top of my puddings, but if it were a concern, I’d just dust it with icing sugar.

This pudding has a cake-like texture, so you could indeed slice it and serve it like cake, then use a spoon to drizzle each slice with the chocolate sauce.

However, the tradition is to use a spoon for Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding. Scoop generous portions onto each plate, ensuring that you get a combination of cake and sauce in every spoonful. It may not look as neat as slicing, but that’s the way it’s meant to be. Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is crafted using cocoa powder, without any actual chocolate. I’m sure there are richer variations with the addition of chocolate chips, but the classic version is so darn delicious that there’s no need to stray!

I like to serve the pudding with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of cream, and perhaps some fresh strawberries or other fruits to add a burst of color and contrast.

It’s easy enough for a casual weeknight dessert and a surefire hit for guests. I am absolutely head over heels in love with Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding!

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is a timeless dessert that should be in everyone's repertoire! A single batter magically transforms into a moist chocolate cake with a luscious chocolate sauce. It's quick enough for a midweek indulgence and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for dinner parties.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins




  • 1 cup (175g) brown sugar , loosely packed (Note 1)

  • 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder , unsweetened (Note 2)

  • 1 1/4 cups (315ml) boiling water


  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour (all purpose flour)

  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/3 cup (70g) white sugar , preferably caster/super fine but ordinary ok

  • 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder , unsweetened (Note 2)

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk

  • 50 g / 4 1/2 tbsp butter , melted

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Begin by preheating your oven to 170°C (335°F) for standard ovens or 150°C (305°F) for fan-forced or convection ovens.
Grease a baking dish with a capacity of 5 to 6 cups using butter. (Note 3)
For the topping, whisk together brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl, and set this mixture aside.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl or jug, combine the melted butter and milk. Then, whisk in the egg and vanilla.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The resulting batter will be quite thick.
Spread this batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar and cocoa mixture over the batter, and gently shake the dish to distribute it thinly.
Now, carefully pour hot water over the back of a dessert spoon, allowing it to flow evenly all over the top of the pudding. You can refer to the photo in the post or the video below the recipe for guidance. (Note 4)
Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly poked. The top will have a slightly crusty texture, reminiscent of brownies.
Once out of the oven, let the pudding stand for just a few minutes (no longer!), and then serve it immediately. (Note 5)


You can use either light or dark brown sugar; both work well. If available, opt for Dutch-processed cocoa powder. It's a premium cocoa powder with a deeper and more intense flavor. However, I usually use regular cocoa powder. The recommended 5 to 6 cups of pudding serves approximately 1.25 to 1.5 liters or quarts. The dish shown in the picture measures 25 x 20 x 4.5 cm (10 x 8 x 2.75 inches). I often prepare this in a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inches) square pan or baking dish, which results in a slightly thicker cake. Pouring the water over the spoon while adding it to the top of the pudding aims to create a gentle flow, ensuring a smooth surface. As evident from my photos, I'm not particularly skilled at this, and I don't mind the textured surface of my pudding. In fact, I rather like it—more akin to crackly brownie-like bits! The pudding is best served warm because as it sits, the sauce is absorbed into the cake and thickens. Leftovers can be delightful when reheated in the microwave, as the chocolate becomes melty again, although you may not have as much sauce as when it's freshly made. I enjoy serving it with ice cream, cream, and strawberries, and sometimes I dust it with icing sugar for a prettier presentation. Nutritional values are calculated per serving, based on 6 servings.
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