Slowcooker Chocolate Pudding Cake


Spoonfull of Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake from Our Best Bites introI  love September.  Where I live it’s that strange transition month where Mother Nature is super confused so sometimes it’s miserably hot and sometimes it’s freezing, but those times in between- when she gets it just right and we get cool, mild, sunny days?  Perfection.  This dessert is perfect for this time of year.  Sometimes you just don’t want to turn on your oven and heat up the house.  Or sometimes your oven is already full of dinner and you can’t squeeze in another thing, nor do you want to leave it on all night cooking one thing after another.  Enter: slow cooker.  Everyone knows it’s a workhorse when it comes to roasts and stews, but dessert?  You betcha.

If you’ve never had a pudding cake before, you’re going to think it’s super weird.  You make a simple batter, much like any other cake or brownie, but that’s where the similarities stop.  After that layer is spread in a pan (or in this case- the slow cooker) you sprinkle dry ingredients on top and you don’t stir them in at all.  It feels even stranger when you then pour boiling water over the whole thing and once again, leave it just like that.  No stirring allowed.  What happens is the dry ingredients on top bubble as they cook and form a pudding-style chocolate sauce on the bottom, while a gorgeous soft chocolate cake rises to the top.  When you spoon into it, you get this brownie-like cake with oooey-gooey chocolate sauce all over it.  Pretty much the best thing ever.   Wanna see how it’s done?  I thought so.

Start by whisking some basic dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Pudding Cake Dry Stuff

Wet ingredients go in another bowl: melted butter, egg yolk, whole milk, and vanilla.

Pudding Cake Melted Butter

Those get stirred together until just combined,

Pudding Cake Dry Ingredients

forming a thick, brownie-like batter.

Pudding Cake Chocolate Batter

Throw in some chocolate chips just for good measure.  I’m using minis because that’s what I have, either works great.  I’m not too picky when it comes to chunks of melty chocolate in my desserts.

Pudding Cake Chocolate Chips

Spread that mixture onto the bottom of your foil-lined slow cooker.

Pudding Cake Batter in Slowcooker

Then you’ll whisk a little more sugar and cocoa powder together and sprinkle it on top of the chocolate batter.  Don’t stir it in- even though you’ll want to really, really, bad.

Puddin Cake Topping

If you did want to stir that, then resist the urge again, because next, you’ll pour boiling water over the whole thing and- you guessed it: don’t stir.  Leave it just like that and pop the lid on.  Cook it on high for about an hour and a half.

Pudding Cake Boiling Water

Now.  This isn’t the kind of cake you display on a cake stand.  I’m going to tell you right now, it’s the kind of cake that looks like a burnt brick of horrible-ness, but that’s part of the beauty.  Because when you dig a spoon into it, something truly magical happens.   You get a spongy, chocolatey spoon of soft cake with a luscious, dreamy, fudgy sauce dripping down it.  It’s like 2 desserts in one and it tastes so rich and decadent.

Pudding Cake Spoonful

Serve it up warm, over a scoop of creamy cool vanilla ice cream and you will have sweet perfection.

Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake in a Slow Cooker from Our Best Bites

Slow Cooker Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake


  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • vanilla ice cream


  • Line slow cooker with heavy duty foil and spray with vegetable oil spray.
  • Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chiops (batter will be stiff). Scrape batter into prepared slow cooker and spread to edges.
  • Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar with remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, then sprinkle over top. Slowly pour boiling water over top. Do not stir.
  • Cover and cook until top of cake looks cracked, sauce is bubbling and toothpick inserted into cakey area comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 1 1/2 hours on high.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Spoon over vanilla ice cream.
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. We made this tonight for our FHE treat. Our oven is out of commission for a few days, so this was as great solution! The dessert was delicious, and turned out just as described and pictured. The foil made clean-up easy. I actually forgot to spray the foil, but fortunately not very much stuck to it (more for us to eat, hooray!).

  2. I was wondering what would happen if you double the recipe? Or tripled it…Do you think it would still work?

    1. You’d have to try it out. I’m sure baking time would vary, but I wonder if the outside would burn before the middle got cooked. You’d have to experiment!

    2. I tried doubling it tonight and it totally worked. I didn’t have to adjust the time either. And it’s delicious!

  3. Of all the wonderful recipes you and Kate have shared, I can’t thank you enough for this one. A long time ago, Betty Crocker made a pudding cake box mix, and our family had pudding cake for dessert on Sunday almost every week. When they stopped making it, we were so upset my grandma tried calling the company. I’ve tried other scratch recipes in the past. They were all terrible. But this was perfection. It brought back all those warm memories of Sunday dinners at home, and yet was richer and gooey-ier than the box mixes of the past. I topped it with fresh whipped cream, the way my mom used to. YUM! And thank you!

  4. Holy cow. This was life changing. Just one question: would it be considered acceptable to make this two days in a row? I can’t stop thinking about it! (With mint chocolate chip ice cream.. Pure divinity..)

    1. I tried doubling it tonight and it worked perfectly! I didn’t have to adjust the time at all.

  5. This was totally perfect (and perfectly fool-proof). I topped mine with peanut butter chips and vanilla ice cream. So yummy 🙂

  6. What size crockpot do you use for this. I have a couple different sizes and am not sure what one would be best to use.

  7. Could I use parchment paper instead of foil? I have a metal insert that I can put on the stove to brown things before putting the insert into the crock pot and was wondering if the foil would mess up the non stick surface of the insert. Also, do you have a recipe for a lemon version of this cake? My husband doesn’t care for chocolate but loves citrus flavors. I have enjoyed the various dishes I have made using your recipes.

  8. Oh my goodness!!! This totally hit the spot tonight! I served it with vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries. Thank you for this amazing recipe. Also, I used Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa and it was just fine.

    1. oooh, I bet it’s so yummy with raspberries. I’ll be trying that next time!

  9. So I made this with buttermilk instead of whole milk. Ooooooooooohhhhmyyyygossh. I hate you guys

  10. Similar to Lisa^, I’m just curious what Dutch-processed cocoa is. Is that a specific kind, different from what I normally have for making brownies & such? Is it necessary?
    And was the foil just for cleanup ease, or something else?

    Thanks for the info, and for this amazing-looking dessert!

    1. See my comment to Lisa regarding the cocoa powder. As for the foil, it’s not just for clean up. In this case, it provides insulation to prevent burning.

      1. Thank you for the info here and above where Lisa asked. I really appreciate when blog authors reply to questions. 🙂

  11. Where do people buy Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder??? I have searched the stores here in NH and always come up empty. Is there a substitute?

    Also, why is the cooker foil-lined?

    1. You can normally find Dutch-processed cocoa powder in grocery stores. It’s processed a little differently than natural cocoa powder so it has a neutral pH, as opposed to natural cocoa powder, which is acidic. This matters in certain recipes where it’s reacting with different leavening agents and one works better than the other. Or sometimes it’s simply a matter of flavor. That being said, often times it honestly doesn’t make a difference in the outcome of the recipe and I suspect this one would be just fine with either. If you can’t find Dutch Process in your store, try Hershey’s Dark, which is widely available and is a combination of BOTH types of cocoa powder. That’s actually what I used here and it worked great!

      The foil is important to insulate the cake a bit so it doesn’t burn around the edges. In fact, America’s Test Kitchen usually makes a second foil “collar” to insulate any more, but I skip that part. Plus, can’t beat easy clean up!

  12. Intrigued! I haven’t ever had this before, never heard of it, but I am a fan of chocolatey cake and fudgy sauce 🙂

    Do you pull the foil/cake out so it can sit for 10 mn before serving?

    1. No need to pull the foil out, just let it sit in the cooker, like you would any cake before serving.

  13. I live at 10,000 feet. Do you know if it will work at this altitude? I’d love to try it! Thanks!!

    1. No idea, but give it a shot! You’re not looking for a lot of lift, it’s kind of a flat gooey cake anyway so it won’t hurt to try!

  14. If I did this in the oven, any idea how long it would bake and what temp I should use?

    1. This is a slow cooker recipe. Just google Chocolate Pudding Cake and you’ll find lots designed for the oven.

  15. Perfect solution for those of us who don’t have double ovens!!! It can be tricky trying to prep/cook dinner AND dessert with only one oven. Bring on some slow cooker dessert recipes and solve all my problems 🙂

  16. I’ve been making this recipe for a while now, but I’ve always cooked it in the oven. Good to know I can make it in the crock-pot too. This is too die for!!!

  17. This looks like the perfect FHE treat tonight. My kids are going to be so excited! Thanks for the idea.

  18. The tin foil liner is genius. Wish I had known that trick before today because the crock is hard to clean. My boys will be super happy to have this on the menu again.

    1. Reynolds makes disposable Crock Pot Liners that I use ALL the time. Honestly the best invention ever. Just pop them in and cook anything you want. Easiest clean up ever! It’s These–>

      Although note that for THIS recipe, you’ll want to stick to foil to insulate the cake and prevent burning!

  19. I’m starting a 6-week health challenge today, but I will totally file this away for the end of October. It sounds awesome!

  20. omg this is perfect for the days when u really want dessert but dont feel like measuring out a million things and using a million bowls!

  21. Cannot wait to make this! Better yet, I think I can justify buying another slow cooker now! Woohoo