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This is a smug chocolate dessert that has it all. It’s quick and easy to make with only 6 ingredients, so it’s perfect for easy entertaining, or for a bit of comfort food on a busy weeknight. It’s super chocolaty, super gooey, pretty low in sugar, and contains no eggs!
If like me you can get embarrassingly excited about easy chocolate dessert recipes, you’ve come to the right place!
But for a long time there was an easy dessert recipe missing on Scrummy Lane, and that’s a self saucing chocolate pudding. My lemon self saucing pudding (or ‘magic’ lemon pudding!) has rocked it around here for years, so I thought it was time for it to have some competition!
So, erm… what’s a self saucing pudding?
Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what it is. I don’t think it’s that obvious, and I haven’t always known how to make a self saucing pudding.
In its most simple terms, a self saucing pudding is a pudding that… makes its own sauce. It’s a magic pudding, basically!
You make a simple cake batter. Then you sprinkle sugar and cocoa over the top. Finally, you pour boiling water over.
The chocolate batter bakes into cake. At the same time, the water you poured over combines with the sugar, the cocoa, and, I suspect, some of the flour from the cake batter, to make a gooey sauce. The cake rises to the top, leaving the delicious custardy sauce bubbling underneath.
It isn’t necessarily the prettiest dessert you’ve ever seen. But it’s probably one of the easiest and most delicious you’ve ever tasted.
Are you sold yet? 😉
The best chocolate self saucing pudding
This delicious gooey chocolate pudding was a while in the making because I wanted to get it just right. I wanted it to:
- be an egg free pudding like my popular lemon pudding.
- taste very rich and chocolaty!
- be low in sugar to make it a healthier chocolate pudding. I’m a big fan of healthy desserts that still taste amazing!
- have a lot of sauce. Mmmmm!
- stick to just 6 basic ingredients – 5 if you don’t count the boiling water. I wanted to keep this in the category of super quick and easy desserts that you can throw together in an emergency!
What are the 5 ingredients you need?
- self-raising flour: for the cake-y pudding part – or you can use plain flour and baking powder
- cocoa: quite a lot, since you’ll use it both for the cake and the sauce!
- sugar: white for the cake part, and white or brown for the sauce – and not as much as you would think!
- warm milk: for the cake-y pudding part
- butter, melted into the milk
- boiling water (is that even an ingredient?): to pour over the top and form the basis of the delicious gooey sauce
How to make it in 5 easy steps
Make the batter:
Step 1: Mix together the flour, cocoa and sugar.
Step 2: Warm the milk and butter together. Stir into the dry ingredients.
Assemble the pudding:
Step 3: Pour batter into baking dish.
Step 4: Mix together more cocoa and sugar (I prefer brown but white’s OK too). Sprinkle over batter.
Step 5: Pour boiling water over the top and bake for 30 minutes.
What does it taste like?
If you like chocolate cakes of the gooey variety, you’re in luck. This easy pudding is a splodgy, half custard-y, half cake-y addictive chocolate heaven.
The cake part is both super chocolaty and light. The sauce is like a rich chocolate custard, but it’s not too sweet. If you have a really sweet tooth just add a little more sugar to the topping, or sprinkle some icing sugar over at the end.
For me it’s just right as it is!
And just in case you’re unsure how to eat it (well, you never know). Don’t slice it like a cake. Serve a portion out into everyone’s dish in big messy spoonfuls. Make sure everyone has a good amount of the gorgeous custardy sauce.
This isn’t supposed to be a ‘pretty’ dessert. It’s supposed to be gooey and comforting and delicious.
Don’t forget to add a big scoop of ice cream on the top! Or cream if you must.
Can you make it in advance?
Erm… kind of. You can make the batter and pour it into the dish.
Then mix together the cocoa and sugar and put it aside. Put the milk and butter in a small jug or bowl ready to heat and put that aside too.
When you’re ready for your dessert, just sprinkle over the cocoa/sugar mixture, pour over some boiling water and bake!
Are the leftovers good?
They don’t really taste like a self saucing pudding any more because a lot of the sauce gets soaked up, especially if it’s been in the fridge.
But what it does taste like is delicious gooey, fudgy brownies. Or chocolate mud cake. It’s worth trying to save some leftovers (hard, I know) just so that you can experience what I’m describing.
Have you guessed how much I like this dessert yet?
Like the sound of this pudding? Try the lemon version too!
Try my similar 5-ingredient magic lemon pudding as well. Some hate it, most love it!
This is what some of the ‘lovers’ have said about it. We won’t mention the haters!
“The kids thought this was the best thing they ever had in their lives!” (Leah)
“For years, I’ve been looking for a lemon equivalent to my family’s “hot fudge pudding cake.” I occasionally make the version with eggs but don’t like the consistency of the cake. Beating egg whites is too much work when you don’t even like the result! So, I was excited to see your recipe. And, it’s perfect! Exactly what I was looking for.” (Jennifer)
“Loved this! So easy and so yummy. We made it two days in a row!” (Juanita)
More crowd pleasing easy desserts
You can never have too many easy desserts up your sleeve. Here are a few of my favourites:
- This 6-ingredient gooey Swedish chocolate cake is eternally popular and for good reason! Make it once and it’ll become one of your go-to easy desserts.
- I love making this easy Italian apple cake. Another crowd pleaser.
- Find out how easy it is to make your own Wagamama style ginger and white chocolate cheesecake.
- A wild card option is this 30-minute healthy chocolate cake. Yes, healthy. See if your guests can believe it’s a healthy cake!
- Finally, here’s a post with 11 easy desserts (6 ingredients or less) all in one place!
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6-ingredient chocolate self saucing pudding (low sugar, no eggs)
Equipment (affiliate links)
for the cake batter
- ¾ cup self-raising flour (OR plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder / DON'T USE self rising flour that's commonly found in the US!)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup milk warmed
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted and mixed in with the warm milk – I usually do this in the microwave)
for the sauce
- ⅓ cup sugar (white or brown sugar works)
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ cups boiling water
to serve (optional)
- vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 340F / 170C and grease a 1.5 litre baking dish with butter.
- Mix together the flour, sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl.
- Pour the milk / butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Empty the batter into the baking dish and smooth the top.
- Mix the sugar and cocoa for the sauce together, then sprinkle it evenly over the top of the cake batter.
- Carefully pour the boiling water over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake has risen to the top and the sauce is oozing and bubbling underneath and around the cake.
- Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (if you like).