Pioneer Day – a state holiday in Utah – is a day that I like to make vintage recipes. And at the top if the list is pudding cake – for good reason. Have you ever made this? It is magical and one of the best incarnations of ooey gooey chocolatey goodness out there. How does pudding at the bottom result from spreading batter in a pan, covering it with a layer of sugar and cocoa power and then pouring water over it all? I have no idea. But it truly and magically works!
This classic “pudding at the bottom” cake is easily made vegan with almond milk in place of regular and coconut oil in place of butter. I was inspired by The Kitchn site and their vintage pudding cake, but tweaked it to make it vegan. And, bonus: this is gluten free as well!
The texture of this cake is magical when it is just out of the oven – warm and gooey at the bottom the top and edges are crispy and the whole cake is rich and warm and chocolatey.
Happy Pioneer Day, All!
Pioneer Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake
Serves 6 to 8
For the cake:
1 cup (5 ounces) gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free blend)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) white sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the pudding:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) white sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (8 ounces) cold water
Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray an 8″x10″ baking pan.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt through a fine-meshed strainer into a mixing bowl. Combine the milk, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a spatula just until no more dry flour is visible. Scrape this batter into the pan and smooth the top.
For the pudding layer, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Pour over the cake batter and shake the pan to evenly distribute the sugars.
Pour the cold water over the sugars. Do not stir. Put the pan immediately into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. As it bakes, the cake will rise to the top while the pudding forms beneath. The cake is finished baking when the edges of the cake turn dark brown and crispy, and when the top of the cake is shiny and dry to the touch.
Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Scoop slices of cake and the pudding beneath into individual bowls and top with ice cream. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week and can be reheated for 20 seconds in the microwave.
Other pudding cakes of note: