I was a few years removed from college when my grandma gifted me with a binder full of recipes that had been typed out on a typewriter and placed into sheet protectors. On the cover was a picture of my great-grandmother, whom I had never had the opportunity to meet, as she passed away four years before I was born. In the binder was a collection of some of the best recipes that she made; family favorites, dishes she was known for, and recipes she was proud to have published in some church cookbooks. It’s a mixture of dinners, desserts, candy and even some bread. This Hot Fudge Pudding Cake is one of the recipes in the binder, and one I have been wanting to make for quite some time. It’s a fabulous old-fashioned recipe and just tastes like home.
This cake is mixed together in one bowl and in less than 10 minutes. The base of the cake is almost brownie-like, but the combination of a brown sugar and cocoa combination and hot water sprinkled on top of the cake before baking it creates a pudding-like sauce on the bottom. When slices are scooped out, they are inverted onto a plate so the sauce pools on top of the cake. It’s fabulous topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
My grandma included a little introduction about my great-grandma at the front of the binder. These are my favorite paragraphs:
“Grandmother Norris was a wonderful grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law. To know her was to love her. Grandmother absolutely loved Christmas. She would spend her last penny on a gift for someone. December 26th was not too early to start on next Christmas’ gifts. She baked a lot of cookies and made Plum Pudding. Every room in the house was decorated for Christmas.
Birthdays were for celebrating, sometimes for a whole month… Greeting cards were to be enjoyed and displayed.”
I think we would have been bosom buddies. I’m glad that my grandma thought to put together some of her favorite recipes; I’m slowly working my way through them and can’t wait to share more with you!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add to the dry mixture the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and walnuts (if using). Stir with a rubber spatula until combined and spread into an even layer in the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cocoa powder, and sprinkle over the batter (do not stir!!). Pour the hot water evenly over the cake (do not stir!!).
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (40 minutes if using 9-inch pan, 45 minutes if using an 8-inch pan) and serve warm. When serving, invert the cake squares onto the plate; the pudding sauce will be on top.