Hot Fudge Pudding

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe
Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

I am so, so, so excited to share this recipe! This is by far the most used recipe in the Farm and City Cookbook, and the colour of the page (a mix of cocoa and brown sugar) proves it. I call this cake "birthday cake" because it's what I remember asking for my birthday every February. I've always been a chocolate lover. My oldest brother's birthday is the day after mine, and he is allergic to chocolate. So, growing up, the chocolate cake was mine and the vanilla cake was his.

Which brings me to my next point, I don't really like "cake". I find most cakes a bit dry and spongy and unflavourful too (there are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule!). I blame growing up with Hot Fudge Pudding, which is how I developed my baseline expectation for what I think cake is and should be. I feel very spoiled! To me, this recipe is exactly what cake should taste and look like. It is chocolatey and saucy and super easy to make. Eat it hot with whipped cream, ice cream, or just on its own. It also re-heats very nicely in the oven or microwave. Simple, tasty, and impressive!

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe
Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

I have decorated one or two cakes in my life - I am not that great with a pastry bag and decorating tip. Yet! My mum on the other hand, is great. She can make pretty little roses and squeeze out the smoothest most even line for letters. I don't know how she does it! She says practice (so there is hope for me!). Two years ago I tried my hand at making and decorating a cake for a co-worker's son's birthday. It was more or less the most stressful baking experience I've had. In the realm of cakes and decorating, I have a lot to learn. But for now, this cake will be my slam dunk!

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

Hot Fudge Pudding

1 cup flour

3/4 cup white sugar

6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

2 Tbsp oil

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cups hot water

Sift together flour, white sugar, 2 Tbsp of the cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat milk, oil, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients. Pour into greased 8 inch (2L) square pan.

Stir together brown sugar, remaining 4 Tbsp cocoa, and hot water; pour over batter.

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes.

Note: My mum usually makes this in a glass dish (I find the cake to be saucier in a glass dish, but that could be my imagination). You can leave this cake covered on the counter, and re-heat it in the microwave.

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

*Recipe from The Farm and City Cookbook

Poverty Cake with Quick Caramel Icing

Poverty Cake Recipe

This recipe is called poverty cake. I want to share the story that accompanies this recipe in the cookbook:

I was not much more than a child when I met an elderly woman whom I remember vividly. She was short, jolly and round - the way I think of Mrs. Claus. Her house was a weathered grey colour, without even a remnant of peeling paint, and apple trees blossomed in her yard. When I think now about her life, I realize how hard it was: electricity was fist connected to their barn, and only years later to their house. She served me a slice of Poverty Cake with a spoonful of applesauce and I liked it so much that I asked her for the recipe. She told me, "You can tell it's done when a fine field straw comes out of the centre clean."

I read this story and I decided to make the recipe by hand - without the luxury of my Kitchen Aid. I made sure to use softened butter to add ease when beating with the eggs and sugar. The recipe reminded me of "coffee cake", a cinnamon flavoured cake that my mum makes in a bundt cake pan. I decided to use a pan (see below) that is shaped like a bundt pan but there is no cut out in the centre. I slowly made the batter, taking my time (and giving my arm a break!).

Poverty Cake Recipe
Poverty Cake Recipe with Quick Caramel Sauce

I carefully followed the instructions, and used a toothpick to check when it was done. When it was part-way cooled, I flipped the cake over to separate it from the pan. It was stuck, very stuck. I went around the edge with a knife and tried again. Still stuck. I worked at it for an hour (it seemed!) and then decided I had to sacrifice part of the cake. Long struggle short, I got the cake out, but the top remained stuck in the pan. I looked at it, and thought, "I've given a whole new meaning to the name of this cake." My second thought was, "can I serve this to my girlfriends who are coming for dinner tonight?" I decided to cover it in "Quick Caramel Icing" in an attempt to make it pretty. Then I added some walnuts in the shape of a crown. Every last bit of it was eaten, so I guess it turned out okay!

Poverty Cake Recipe with Quick Caramel Sauce
Poverty Cake Recipe with Quick Caramel Sauce
Poverty Cake Recipe with Quick Caramel Sauce
Poverty Cake Recipe

Poverty Cake

1 egg

2 cups brown sugar

½ cup butter, softened

½ tsp vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

dash salt

1 cup sour milk

1 cup of raisins (which I omitted!)

Beat egg in bowl. Beat in brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.

If you don’t have sour milk, combine 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 cup.

Stir flour mixture into brown sugar mixture alternately with milk. Stir in raisins.

Turn into buttered 9 inch cake pan and bake at 350°C for 1 hour.

Let cool. Top with Quick Caramel Icing, sprinkled with chopped nuts (if desired).


Quick Caramel Icing

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup milk

2 Tbsp butter

pinch salt

1 Tbsp cream

1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, milk, butter, and salt in saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (234°F) on candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and cool to 110°F.

Beat until icing begins to thicken. Beat in cream and vanilla, beating until spreading consistency.

Note: I did not cool it all the way or beat it to a spreading consistency. I cooled it to a sauce consistency, to pour over the cake, almost like a glaze.

Poverty Cake Recipe with Quick Caramel Sauce
Poverty Cake Recipe
Poverty Cake Recipe with Quick Caramel Sauce

*Recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook