RECIPE | Self-saucing baked chocolate pudding

This easy dessert will beat the chill and warm the heart

02 June 2021 - 13:30 By hilary biller
Self-saucing baked chocolate pudding.
Self-saucing baked chocolate pudding.
Image: 123RF/Phillip Thornton

This self-saucing baked chocolate pudding has all the hallmarks of a well-used recipe. The page on which it appears in my recipe book is dog-eared, and there are smears of grease and even a little flour on the seam. It’s the kind of a feel-good dessert I make whenever the winter chill sets in.

It’s so easy and features the kind of ingredients that are always on standby, won’t break the bank and uses only one egg.

The sauce is poured over the batter before baking and miraculously divides it in two: a gorgeous light chocolatey sponge layer on top, and digging a little deeper is like striking gold as you discover a thick, dark pool of chocolate sauce underneath.  

Add a blob of custard, cream or ice cream and it’s pure bliss.  Happy family, sorted.

Try the simple recipe:

Serves: 4-6


50g (50ml) butter or margarine

200ml (170g) caster sugar (Don’t have caster sugar? See cook’s tips below)

1 large egg

120g (250ml) cake flour

30ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder

15ml (1 tbsp) baking powder

Pinch of salt

200ml milk

Chocolate sauce:

250ml (1 cup) water

30ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder

5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish (18cm x 26cm).
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and caster sugar until well blended.
  3. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the sifted ingredients alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture.
  6. Spoon the batter into the baking dish.
  7. For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
  8. Carefully pour the sauce over the back of a spoon and over the batter in the baking dish.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve warm with cream, custard or ice cream.

Cook’s tips:

  • Run out of caster sugar? Make some by placing the same amount of white or brown granulated sugar in a food processor and blending until smooth like caster sugar.
  • You can use this recipe to make an easier version of a chocolate fondant by baking the pudding in 4-6 individual ovenproof dishes or teacups for 15-20 minutes.

  • For an extra treat add a handful of chocolate chips to the raw batter before baking.