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Hot Chocolate Pudding

Hot Chocolate Pudding

Hot chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream pinit
Scoop of hot chocolate pudding on plate

Pudding? That doesn’t look like pudding! Well, not pudding as we recognize it here in America. However, back home in New Zealand pudding is a synonym for dessert. A common question after dinner is ‘what’s for pudding’? Enter mum’s hot chocolate pudding!

Real pudding in New Zealand typically has cake like texture and is either baked, steamed or boiled. There is a great article that describes the different meaning the word ‘pudding’ has in the UK and Commonwealth and North America on Wikipedia.

What is hot chocolate pudding?

Hot chocolate pudding is a chocolate sponge with a hot, chocolate sauce. It may also be known as self saucing pudding or chocolate fudge pudding. The sponge batter is covered with a thick layer of sugar and cocoa before being topped with piping hot water. This combo of sugar, cocoa and hot water forms the chocolate sauce as the sponge bakes.

pudding with ice cream on plate and pan of pudding in background

Making the pudding

This decadent pudding is very easy to put together. Start by whisking the self rising flour, sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. If you don’t have self rising flour on hand check out my notes on how to make your own in my lemon poppy seed muffin recipe.

whisked flour, sugar and cocoa in bowl

Next add in the butter and milk and stir until just combined.

completed sponge batter

This batter will be thick, almost dough like. Turn the batter into a well greased ceramic or glass oven safe pan and set aside.

sponge batter spread into greased pan

In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cocoa and coconut for the topping. The coconut is optional and can be omitted without compromising the outcome of the recipe.

sugar, cocoa and coconut mixed together

Evenly distribute the dry ingredients over the sponge mixture. This may seem like a lot of topping, but trust me you will need it all.

topping mixture spread over sponge

Finally pour the hot water over the top of the dry ingredients. You want the water to be piping hot. If the water is not hot enough it will not evaporate quick enough causing your bake time to be longer. This will result in an uneven bake on the sponge with the outside edges being over baked by the time the center sets up. I like to boil the water on my stove top when I start making the sponge to ensure it is hot enough.

Hot water poured over top of unbaked pudding

Bake the pudding at 350°F for approximately 25-35 minutes.

What is the best way to eat hot chocolate pudding?

Hot chocolate pudding is best eaten warm straight out of the oven. It is best paired with vanilla ice cream, however whipped cream or Cool Whip are also great accompaniments.

Left over pudding can be store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat the pudding in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute before enjoying.

hot chocolate pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

What is the best dish to bake the pudding?

For this recipe a 9×5″ ceramic or glass dish works best. You can use a slightly smaller or larger dish, however you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. A small dish will likely require a longer cooking time as the sponge layer will be thicker. A larger dish will require a shorter time as the sponge layer will be thinner.

This recipe can easily be doubled if you have a larger family and need more than four servings. In fact, my mum’s original recipe is double the measurements in my recipe below. If you do double the recipe a 9×9″ or 9″ round ceramic or glass dish is best. My mum used her 20cm round Pyrex dish when making this.

I have not tried baking this pudding in a metal pan. Traditionally ‘wet’ dishes such as this pudding are best cooked in ceramic or glass. Metal pans tend to give a golden crust on items making them perfect for breads and the like. This dish is not intended to have a crust, but rather a soft sponge consistency . If you do use a metal pan you will likely need to reduce the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.

Pan of baked hot chocolate pudding

Grease the pan well!

Regardless of which pan you decide to use for the pudding it will need to be greased well. The high sugar content in the topping will cause the pudding to stick to the pan if not well greased. For this recipe you can grease the pan with either butter or shortening. I like to place a knob of softened butter on a paper towel to help keep my hands clean while spreading. This method also allows you to easily get into all the curves and crevasses.

If you try this recipe I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Hot Chocolate Pudding

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 40 mins Servings: 4


This rich and decadent hot chocolate pudding is easy to put together and only requires basic pantry ingredients. A perfect dessert for a cold winter night, or anytime you are looking for a chocolate hit. This will no doubt be a family favorite! 


Sponge Base

Chocolate Topping


    1. Preheat oven to 350F
    2. Grease a 9 x 5" ceramic or glass oven safe dish well and set aside
    3. In a large bowl whisk together the self rising flour, sugar and cocoa powder
    4. Add melted butter and milk to dry ingredients and stir until just combined
    5. Spread batter into greased dish
    6. In a small bowl mix together remaining dry topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over sponge batter
    7. Pour the piping hot water over the topping and bake for 25-35 minutes
    8. Serve immediately


Self rising flour can be substituted for 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Water that is poured over the pudding must be hot. I recommend boiling the water on the stove top while making the sponge

Do not place hot ceramic or glass dishes onto cold or wet surfaces as there is a risk they may shatter. I recommend placing the dish on a wire rack when removed from the oven

Left over pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in the microwave for 45 second to a minute.

Keywords: Hot Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Dessert, Dessert, Hot Dessert

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