Once upon a time, long ago (depressingly so), before my kids were born, my ex and I would go to his parents’ house for supper and his mom would make this cake mix from a box that you mixed in the baking pan. She mixed the cake then sprinkled a topping over it and then added boiling water (don’t mix it). Bake it a while and blam! Chocolate cake (or lemon or apple cinnamon) with a pudding layer under it. Magic, I tell ya.
I liked all three flavours but chocolate was far and away my favourite (no surprise there). I don’t know who makes the mixes – I think it was one company to begin with then another took it over. I keep thinking Dr Oetker but I’m absolutely not sure about that. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter who makes the box mix because it isn’t needed. The chocolate version is a 10 minute mix and measure and 35 minutes of baking time. You don’t even need a mixer – just a whisk. There’s nothing weird but it’s still magic!
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
**if you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the mix. If you don’t have unsalted butter, don’t add any additional salt
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and the baking powder. Add the milk, butter and vanilla. Whisk until it’s all mixed together and there are very few lumps. Just make sure there’s no patches of dry ingredients. Scrape into a lightly greased baking 9×9 dish.
Ingredients for pudding layer:
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar (light is preferable but if all you have is dark your pudding will have a molasses hint)
- 3 TB cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 cups boiling water (my hot water tank runs so hot, I used tap water like the rebel I am)
Mix the sugars and the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake in the baking pan. (Don’t mix it – control the urge – move all utensils away and do not mix it.)
Pour the boiling water over the top, and put into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. It is screaming hot and the pudding isn’t very pudding-like when it’s right out of the oven. It thickens as it cools.
Serve as it, or with ice cream (woohooo) or whipped cream.
Marvel at the magic.