Sylvia Lovegren dates the popularity of the pudding cake to the Forties, though that popularity declined in the Sixties when all things old-fashioned were scorned for space age chic. My mother used to make a chocolate pudding cake very similar to this one, differing only slightly in how the ingredients were put together, but my sister has her recipe box, so I used the recipe Lovegren adapted from 1946’s The California Cookbook. Their spongy, cakelike tops floating over thick, gooey sauces make pudding cakes perfect for a cold, wet fall or winter when served right out of the oven. The Oregonian’s FoodDay printed some “upscale” versions last spring, which I cut out to try sometime.Men and children are especially fond of this hot fudge pudding cake.
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbl butter, melted
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional–I never use them)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1-3/4 cups hot water
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9-inch square pan.
- Lightly combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and 2 tablespoons cocoa in a large bowl. Stir in milk and melted butter, then spread in prepared pan.
- Mix remaining cocoa with brown sugar, and stir in hot water. Pour over batter.
- Bake about 45 minutes, until a knife inserted in top cake layer comes out clean. Spoon cake and sauce into bowls over vanilla ice cream.
From Fashionable Food by Sylvia Lovegren, p147.