The recipe for an easy-to-make chocolate cake in a cast iron pan featured in a glossy magazine caught my eye. True comfort food, a good chocolate dessert is something everyone loves. After closer inspection, the cake seemed familiar, similar to one mother used to prepare when we had company for supper.
Back in those days, our family milked Jersey cows and lived on a farm in Winslow, Maine. My parents were married in 1954, and two wedding presents, “The NEW Fannie Farmer Cookbook” and “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook” were the culinary bibles.
Sure enough, both books feature a version of the preparation. Betty’s recipe is for Hot Fudge Pudding, and Fannie’s account is Denver Chocolate Pudding. As if by memory, the book’s pages, stained with coffee and chocolate, opened to the very spot.
The history of this dessert is diverse, but all preparations include pouring a liquid over the batter before baking the cake. As I recall, coffee was often the choice, because in our frugal household, nothing ever went to waste. A no egg cake is also economical to make, particularly in winter when the hens aren’t laying.
Chocolate Pudding Cake or Denver Chocolate Pudding is quick and easy to pull together. It takes a leap of faith to believe that the recipe works, but it does. The adventurous baker could add some nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit to the batter.
Just as I remembered, this gooey, fudgy, chocolate pudding cake is addictive, almost too hard to stop eating. For someone you love, this dessert is perfect when topped with ice cream or yogurt. In our farming family, the luxury was topping Hot Fudge Pudding Cake off with a rich whipped cream made from the milk of our Jersey cows.
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups cooled coffee or cold water
- Assemble ingredients and tools. Set the oven on 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan or a 10-inch round cast iron pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, ¾ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, and 4 tablespoons cocoa powder. Sprinkle the mixture over the batter in the pan.
- Pour the coffee or cold water over the cake batter.
- Bake the cake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the cake starts to puff and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Be careful not to OVERBAKE.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 25 minutes. Serve directly from the pan, or invert the pan onto a serving plate. May be topped with yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream.
- Makes 12 servings for normal folks, 9 serving for intense chocolate lovers.