Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

When you fancy a chocolate pudding that does not require going out to buy chocolate slabs, nuts or cream, then this is the perfect pudding to make from store cupboard ingredients that you can whip up within an hour for unexpected guests, or as a family dinnertime treat.

The great part is that the finished pudding floats on its own sauce, so there is no need to make a separate sauce, and is ideal served with a plain vanilla ice cream.

chocolate pudding in its own sauce with ice-cream
Chocolate pudding in its own sauce with ice-cream. Photo by Jeanie Beales

The trick is to make this just before you plan to serve it – if you leave it standing around for a couple of hours the pudding will absorb the sauce – so don’t plan on baking it and taking along with you to a function, or preparing well in advance, or you will be disappointed with the result.

The recipe I started using was written in Afrikaans, an offshoot of the Dutch language in South Africa, and appeared in one of those 1980’s church recipe books where members of the congregation share favorite recipes handed down through the generations.

This was originally titled Sonja se Gunsteling, Sonja’s Favorite, and has been translated, tweaked and written up with step-by-step instructions.

The problem with many of these shared recipes is that it was probably written down from memory and many of the steps needed for a first-timer to make it were omitted.

In those days people weren’t into gluten free flour, but you can substitute GF flour in this recipe.

Soon this may become one of your favorites dessert recipes too, simply because it is so quick, cost-effective and delicious, and on a cold night it’s one of those comforting puddings that is hard to beat.

Prepare the sauce first, so that when your pudding batter is placed in the baking dish it is ready to pour over before placing in the oven.

chocolate pudding in its own sauce with ice-cream

Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding Recipe

The Homesteading Hippy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Calories 320 kcal



  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup of sugar brown or white
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Pudding Mix

  • 1 ¼ cup flour – you can substitute gluten free flour if you wish
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar brown or white
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter – melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Place a saucepan on medium high heat and add a cup of water.
  • In a small jug mix the cocoa powder with the remaining half-cup of water to a smooth paste.
  • Add the sugar to the water in the saucepan then slowly stir in the cocoa/water mix until it is smoothly combined.
  • Bring to the boil, switch off the heat, and allow to stand on the still warm plate while you prepare your pudding batter.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees C (180 degrees F).
  • Grease a baking dish with butter or coconut oil.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and sugar.
    mix dry ingredients
  • In a jug mix the milk and melted butter, the egg and the vanilla essence.
    mixing wet ingredients
  • Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients to create a rather stiff batter.
  • Spread it into the baking dish – it may not touch the sides but this is fine – it will expand as it cooks.
  • Gently pour the sauce over the batter – it may look something like a volcanic landscape but it will all work out.
    Dough with sauce poured over
  • Place the baking dish in the oven for 30 minutes or so – the top should bounce back when touched. Do not let it overcook or there will be less sauce as the batter will absorb it.
  • When you remove it from the oven do so carefully without tipping the dish, as the pudding will be floating on its sauce underneath.
    Baked chocolate pudding floating on its own sauce
  • Make sure you serve the pudding within minutes of taking it from the oven so you have the contrast of the hot pudding and gooey chocolate sauce contrasted with the coldness of the ice cream.

It is best eaten on the day it is made, but if you have a big family there won’t be any chance of leftovers!

To add a dash or sophistication to the pudding you can add 3 tablespoons of Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Van Der Hum liqueur to the pudding, sprinkling it over once it comes out of the oven for that lovely citrus/chocolate combination.

chocolate pudding recipe pin
photos by Jeanie Beales

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