Chocolate pudding cake is an intensely satisfying, yet simple, dessert. As it bakes, it separates into two layers - a tender chocolate sponge-type cake and a very rich chocolate sauce/ pudding base - so the cake needs no accompaniment unless you want to throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the bowl, too.
The second best thing about this cake (the flavor is the first, of course) is that it is incredibly easy to make because it is mixed in the pan that you bake it in. This means that cleanup is minimal and that you can have a delicious, from-scratch dessert on even a very busy weeknight. Not that you shouldn't have it at other times, as well. Any excuse is a good one for chocolate pudding cake.This cake uses no eggs or butter, which makes how good it is even more surprising. It can be made vegan by substituting soy milk for the regular milk.
Chocolate Pudding Cake
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided in half
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water, boiling
2 tsp instant coffee/espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine flour, sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt in an 8 inch square baking pan, stirring with a fork to combine. Pour in the milk and oil, and stir again with the fork until batter is uniform.
Sprinkle brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa evenly over batter. Stir vanilla extract and instant coffee powder into the hot water, then pour the mixture over everything. Do not mix. Place pan in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until surface of the cake looks dry. The pudding will be bubbling around the edges of the pan. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
*Note: You can use regular coffee in place of the water+instant coffee combination.