This Chocolate Strawberry Pudding Cake is magical! During the baking process, the dessert separates into a layer of tender chocolate cake on top and a rich chocolate pudding on bottom.

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Pudding cake is one of those classic, homey desserts that I’ve always heard about but never tried for myself. I don’t know why it took me so long, because as a lover of everything sticky-gooey-chocolatey, it’s basically all of my favorite things in one messy, ugly, so-wrong-it’s-right package.

Pudding cake is kind of a magical concept: during the baking process, the dessert separates into two layers: a tender cake on top, and a rich chocolate pudding on bottom. When served together, the pudding becomes a luscious chocolate sauce for the crackly-topped cake. You have to love a dessert that practically garnishes itself, right?


Next item of business: inventing a dessert that whips its own cream and macerates its own berries. To the Baking Laboratory!


If you’ve never made a pudding cake before, let me provide a visual word of warning: it is not a pretty process. This is truly what the cake looked like before going into the oven.


And this is the post-baking picture. I guess it’s “better,” in the sense that it looks like some kind of dessert, but it’s still not terribly appetizing, in the sense that it looks kind of like a scab. (I’m already sorry I said that…many apologies.)


But! It’s not all about looks around here, because I’m willing to overlook a whole lot of ugly if the taste is pretty, and this cake was a winner at our house. I added chopped strawberries to the cake batter, and a layer of strawberry puree as well, so it’s got a fresh berry taste that keeps it from being too intensely chocolatey. Even Jason, he of the “ohhhh, I only like pure chocolate, not chocolate cake” pretentions, enjoyed this a lot…and that’s saying something.


You could also make this cake with an equal amount of fresh raspberries instead of strawberries, or if you’re low on fruit, you can omit the berry portions entirely for a pure chocolate dessert.

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Rice Pudding Brûlée

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Top view of a Chocolate Strawberry Pudding Cake with a spoon inserted to show chocolate pudding sauce.

Chocolate Strawberry Pudding Cake

5 from 1 vote
This Chocolate Strawberry Pudding Cake is magical! During the baking process, the dessert separates into a layer of tender chocolate cake on top and a rich chocolate pudding on bottom.
Prep15 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Total45 minutes


For the Cake:

For the Topping:

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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use either a 2-quart ceramic casserole pan or a 9×13 baking pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or coat it with a thin layer of butter.
  • Coarsely chop the strawberries. Set half of the berries aside, and place the remaining half in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the lemon juice, and bring the berries to a boil. Once they are giving off juice and extremely soft, remove them from the heat and puree them in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Strain the puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer to remove as many seeds as possible; set aside for a moment.
  • In a large bowl whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract, and stir everything together. At this point the batter will be very stiff, much like a thick cookie dough. Add the remaining chopped strawberries and stir until they’re well-incorporated.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the strawberry puree over the top of the cake batter.
  • In a small bowl, whisk or sift together the brown sugar and cocoa powder. Scatter this dry mixture all over the top of the cake, then pour the boiling water and whole milk on top. Don’t worry if it looks absolutely terrible—it will all come together as it bakes!
  • Place the cake on a baking sheet, to catch any spills, and bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the top is dry and set. It will still be liquid and bubbling around the very edges.
  • Remove the cake from the heat and let it cool for at least 20-30 minutes, then serve it warm, with plenty of the chocolate pudding spooned over the cake layer. Garnish with whipped cream and additional berries, if desired.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 17.2mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1.2mg
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Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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  1. Mmmmmh! This recipe looks delish, thankyou for sharing! Can’t wait to make it! Question- would it make a difference if I used soy milk or low fat milk instead of whole milk and white flour instead of all-purpose? I’m planning on making this tonight and I don’t have any whole milk or all purpose on me. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lilyanne! I haven’t tried it with other milks but I think either of those substitutions would work fine–I might use low fat instead of soy just to be safe, but I think you won’t have any problems. And all-purpose is white too (as opposed to whole wheat) so no worries there. Enjoy!!

  2. I just made this an hour ago – unfortunately I think the cake part turned out to be a slightly overdone – it is a little chewy on top. I used raspberries instead of strawberries. It turned out pretty good, although not quite as good as other Sugar Hero recipes I have tried. Would the topping be a bit less watery tasting if I had used less water but more milk?

    1. I’m sorry it wasn’t a win for you, Saliane! You can definitely switch the ratios of water and milk in the topping for next time, or try swapping half and half for the milk to get a richer flavor. I also think the cocoa powder makes a big difference, so if you used Hershey’s or similar, try upgrading to a better quality one and see if you don’t like that better!

  3. Hi Pls could u tell me is it possible to make this pudding in advance ( say 3 hrs earlier) and then cook or maybe i can reheat? Thank u xx