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Fudge Pudding Cake

Tips: An easy, one-bowl cake spread in a pan with a thin, boiling mixture of sugar, cocoa, coffee, and water poured on top. During baking, the thin mixture sinks to the bottom and thickens beautifully, while the cake rises to the top. This is a version of a dessert I grew up on as a kid. It can be served warm or at room temperature, but is best eaten within a day of making. Store it at room temperature, or freeze (in the pan, tightly covered); to thaw, leave in wrappings, and let sit at room temperature until no longer cold. Homey and unsophisticated and delicious, this is great for a beginning baker to help with. Wonderful served warm with vanilla ice cream


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup water
For Cake: Adjust rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan at least 1-3/4 inches deep.

Into medium bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add vanilla to water, then add both to dry ingredients along with melted butter. With hand-held electric mixer at low speed (or with a large whisk), beat until ingredients are well-mixed and most lumps are gone. Turn into prepared pan. Spread level, then push batter slightly higher in corners. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare Topping.

Topping: In small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine all ingredients except water. Mixwell, pressing out as many lumps as possible with back of spoon. Add water. Place over medium heat; stir almost constantly until mixture comes to a boil, scraping sides of pan occasionally and presing out any lumps with back of spoon. Remove from heat. Immediately but carefully pour boiling hot mixture all over cake batter (don't pour too much in any one area). Using pot holders, very carefully transfer the now-hot pan to the preheated oven.

Bake 24 to 31 minutes, or just until cake tester inserted into center of cake emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake. Cool on rack at least 1 hour before serving.

6 to 9 servings

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