Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

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
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9-inch square pan.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix remaining cocoa with brown sugar, and stir in hot water. Pour over batter.
  4. 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.


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