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129We had a terrific weekend.  Our son and daughter-in-law and her family shared their time with us.  They are great people and incredibly fun to spend time with. I made this dessert, as Jessica loves cake and she seems to have a soft spot for homemade vanilla ice cream (and for our son, The Middle Child).  This is the perfect dessert for this time of year.  It’s served warm, plus you have the warm glow from the bourbon (or rum, Cointreau, brandy, etc…whatever floats your lusty, boozy, dessert-boat!) to keep the chilly wind at bay.  This is my updated version of an old-fashioned dessert that my mother used to make.  This is comfort food at its very best.  It’s incredibly easy and tasty…and what’s not to love…it contains bourbon, or whatever booze you’re feeling the urge for and it’s richly imbued with CHOCOLATE!

Boozy-Chocolate Pudding Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy Peasy
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For the pudding

  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the topping

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3-1/2 cup bourbon, rum, Irish whiskey, brandy etc.
  • 3/4 cup boiling water or hot coffee

For serving–Whipped cream, heavy cream, Crème Anglaise or ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish; set aside.

Sift the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Stir the brown sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl to combine, then sprinkle it evenly over the pudding batter.

Combine the boiling water and bourbon.  Pour the mixture carefully over the pudding; bake for 35 minutes or until there is a clear layer on top.

Serve with a wallop of thick cream or good vanilla ice cream.

MAKE AHEAD:  The batter part can be made up to 2 hours ahead of time,  then just before you’re sitting down to dinner, sprinkle the brown sugar/cocoa mixture over and pour the bourbon/water mixture over, pop it into the oven and bake as directed.  It will be just about the right temperature for serving when it’s dessert time.  This is best eaten within 24 hours; if kept longer, some of the pudding absorbs into the cake.  It’s still good, but not as gooey.

Boozy-Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2014.  All rights reserves.

099This is what the cake part looks like…pretty normal, huh?




102Sprinkle on that brown sugar/cocoa mixture evenly now….







When I pour the liquid on, I start around the edges and work in, but the entire dry part doesn’t need to be completely submerged.  It will still work.




There are times when I feel like I want a bit more of an alcohol hit, so I use the larger portion of bourbon, rum, brandy, etc.  These can be made into individual or shared servings.  To do so, pour the “cake” part into four 1-cup greased pudding molds or oven-proof cups; then divide the topping evenly among the bowls and pour equal portions of the liquid over.  Bake time is about 20-25 minutes.

Sometimes I add some pure guajillo or ancho chile powder, for a bit of a spicy kick.  The chile heat plays well off the alcohol.

Start a fire in the fireplace and go make this now.  You probably have everything you need in the house and it’s just so warming on a cold night.