Self-saucing Chocolate Pudding is a quick, easy classic dessert that consists of a moist chocolate cake with a delicious chocolate sauce.
Chocolate self-saucing pudding is one of those magical desserts that come together in a few minutes with simple pantry ingredients.
There is something magical about a self-saucing pudding. Into the oven goes a cake batter topped with some sugar, cocoa powder and water and out comes a delicious comforting cakey pudding that now sits on top of the chocolate sauce.
As a kid, my very literal brain could never understand why it was called self-saucing when you clearly place all the sauce ingredients on top of the batter. But it clearly gets this name from the sauce cooking itself during the baking process.
What I do know is that this pudding is a crowd pleaser! Give it try during the cooler weather. Trust me, you won't regret it.
What you need for this recipe
This recipe only needs a baking dish that can hold 6 - 8 cups of liquid or 1.5 to 2 litres of liquid. As well as a baking sheet lined with foil or baking paper to catch any sauce overflows. I used a pyrex pie dish in the pudding photographed.
The sponge pudding portion requires:
- Butter - can be substitued with margarine or a vegan alternative.
- Milk adds moisture and flavour, can be whole milk, trim milk or fat-free milk.
- Brown sugar - which can be substituted with white or caster sugar in the pudding batter
- Eggs bind the sponge/cake batter of the pudding together
- Vanilla extract
- Salt - brings out the flavour of the cocoa powder and flour.
- Baking Powder gives the pudding some lift.
- Plain or All-Purpose Flour or Standard Grade Flour - plain, all-purpose or standard-grade flour to make the the pastry shell.
- Cocoa powder the pudding it's chocolate flavour - use a nice Dutch-processed cocoa powder
The sauce portion of this pudding requires:
- Boiling water makes the majority of the sauce, the water must be hot. This gives the sauce a head-start during the very-short baking time.
- Instant coffee within the sauce brings out the flavour of the cocoa powder. This is an optional extra.
- Cocoa powder gives the sauce a chocolate flavour - use a nice Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- Brown sugar adds a nice caramel flavour to the sauce, however this can be substituted out with caster or white granulated sugar in a pinch.
- Cornstarch / Cornflour will thicken the sauce bit. There is a lot of water to make extra sauce, which needs a bit of cornstarch to make sure the sauce it not too runny.
See quantities in the recipe card.
Making the Self Saucing Pudding
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius, fan assisted. Grease a 1.5 - 2L baking dish and set it aside.
Step 2 - Place the butter and milk in a large mixing bowl and melt the butter in the microwave in 20 seconds bursts. Alternatively, melt the butter on the stovetop and add the milk. Allow the mixture to cool before adding in the eggs and beating until well combined.
Step 3 - Sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Step 4 - Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and fold in until just mix through. Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
Step 5 - Whisk together the sauce's dry ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the sponge. Carefully pour the boiling water over the top of the dry ingredients, this can be done by allowing the boiling water to pour off the back of a spoon into the pudding. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the middle of the pudding is just set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve either as is or with a scoop of ice cream or some whipping cream.
Pro Tips for this Recipe
The temperatures stated are for conventional ovens. For convection, fan-forced, fan-assisted, or air-fryers, the temperature must be reduced by 20°C/25°F.
For baking, make sure the oven is fully preheated, and that the rack is in the middle of the oven. Open the oven as little as possible. For best baking results use an oven thermometer.
Remember that all ovens work slightly differently and bake times may need to be adjusted for your specific oven.
Place the pudding dish on a lined baking sheet to catch any sauce overflow.
This pudding contains about half to a full cup of extra water, when compared to other similar recipes, resulting in a little more sauce than normal.
Substitutions / Variations
Butter can be replaced with a baking margarine or vegan alternative.
Brown sugar can be replaced with white sugar.
Plain, Standard Grade or All-Purpose flour can be replaced with self-raising or self-rising flour. However, if this substitution is made, leave out the additional baking powder.
Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap or placed in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge for a week.
Self-Saucing Pudding FAQ
Yes - this recipe easily divides in half to make a pudding to serve 3 instead of 6.
This pudding is best served the day it is made, however, leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for a week. Be sure to heat up the pudding a bit before serving leftovers.
Because this pudding is best served fresh, I would not recommend making it more than thirty minutes before serving.
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Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding
- 80 grams butter
- 185 grams milk
- 100 grams light brown sugar
- 2 eggs large (size 6)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ table salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 225 grams plain flour (all-purpose/standard grade)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processed)
- 500 mL boiling water
- 1 tablespoons instant coffee (espresso powder)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processed)
- 150 grams light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 200°C /180°C fan assisted. Grease a 1.5 - 2L baking dish and set it aside.
- Place the butter and milk in a large mixing bowl and melt the butter in the microwave in 20 seconds bursts. Alternatively, melt the butter on the stovetop and add the milk. Allow the mixture to cool before adding in the eggs and vanilla and beating until well combined.
- Sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and fold in until just mix through. Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
- Whisk together the sauce's dry ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the sponge. Carefully pour the boiling water over the top of the dry ingredients, this can be done by allowing the boiling water to pour off the back of a spoon into the pudding. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the middle of the pudding is just set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve either as is or with a scoop of ice cream or some whipping cream.
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly. All temperatures stated are conventional, unless otherwise stated. Recipes tested in grams and at sea level.