Sometimes, old recipes really are the best. And this one ranks right up there. This old-fashioned recipe for hot fudge pudding cake is a classic. It’s kind a culinary miracle, how pouring hot water over a thick batter can create this warm, dreamy, fudgy, concoction that lies precisely at the intersection of cake and pudding.
[Why yes, that is a smudge of chocolate cake batter on my computer screen …]
This recipe for Hot Fudge Pudding is a little different than the other recipes in Clara Shenefelt’s collection (read more about The Clara Project here), in that it’s typed on a postcard (remember those?). It was sent to a Mrs. R. C. Williams in Joliet, IL; how it made its way to Clara’s kitchen is a mystery. And I wonder: Was this postcard sent as part of a recipe exchange, kind of like pen pal letters? Or were Mrs. Williams, Clara and the unknown sender acquainted?
Regardless, this hot fudge pudding cake makes a wonderful, comforting, deeply chocolatey dessert that’s perfect for a cold night. And it couldn’t be easier. I’ve a hunch I’ll be making this again (and again) and that you will be, too.
old-fashioned hot fudge pudding cake recipe
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (divided use)
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 cups very hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar and 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Add the milk and melted butter and stir to combine thoroughly (batter will be thick). Add the nuts if using. Transfer the batter to a 9-inch-by-9-inch baking pan and smooth the top. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and remaining 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder; sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter. Carefully pour the hot water over the topping. Bake the pudding cake for 40 to 45 minutes; the brownie-like cake will rise to the top, with the fudgy pudding on the bottom. Serve warm, scooping out the moist cake and spooning some of the pudding over each serving.
About The Clara Project
Once a week, I’ll make and share a recipe from a collection of vintage recipe cards that were written in the 1930s by Clara Shenefelt. See all the Clara Project recipes.