Upside-Down Hot Chocolate Pudding

First, a disclaimer: this isn’t really pudding (at least not in the “North American” sense).

This is a British-style pudding — the rich, gooey, and cakey kind.

The way you make this pudding is a little unusual — it starts as a stiff, doughy batter, then gets covered in a thick layer of loose sugar and cocoa powder, then drizzled with fresh coffee, and, as it bakes, it turns “upside-down”!

The moist cake bakes and puffs up and oozes with chocolate, while the bottom remains a sticky chocolate sauce.

It’s been ages since I’ve made this treat at home, but I decide that this Upside-Down Hot Chocolate Pudding was going to be the last dessert I would make for lunch service at school.

How bitter-sweet it was!

Graduation is upon me, at last. Despite how brief my program was, I’m actually more excited about this grad than I was about getting my degree.

I’m a bit sad to leave school, but I’m sure bright things lie ahead.

Probably because I actually see myself doing something with this particular education, away from the possibility of a life in research or editing or proof-reading — a field where I can be creative and use sugar, butter, and flour to bring great joy to the world!

Upside-Down Hot Chocolate Pudding

*adapted from Marie Simmons


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 7 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or coffee extract
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup coffee or water
  • coffee ice cream, orange whip cream, toasted almonds, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Place 6 single-serving ramekins on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, blend a 1/2 cup white sugar, 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and all the brown sugar. Set aside.

Sift together the cake flour, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix evenly.

Whisk together the warm milk, melted butter, and extract. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to just incorporate — the result will be a very stiff, dough-like batter!

Divide the chocolate batter evenly between the 6 ramekins, taking care not to fill more than half-way full. Using damp fingers, smooth the tops of the batter.

Now, evenly divide the sifted cocoa and sugar mixture over the batter.

This part might look a little strange, and you might even think, “Noooooo — this is waaaay too much sugar!” but don’t skimp! Not adding all the sugar mixture to the ramekins will result in a dry and chewy pudding.

Finally, top each batter-and-sugar-loaded ramekin with 2 tablespoons of coffee.

Bake for 15 ~ 20 minutes, or until the tops of the puddings have become dry and cake-like.

Cool for 5 minutes and then serve with something cool and creamy, like coffee ice cream, orange-scented whip cream, and a sprinkle of chopped and toasted almonds!

I served mine with a sweet n’ salty pretzel ice cream (recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar), toasted almonds, and a orange-cinnamon sablé.


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16 thoughts on “Upside-Down Hot Chocolate Pudding

  1. EveryCraving says:

    Now this looks like my kind of pudding. I’ve actually never heard of this, but I find it helpful since I’m doing a project for English Literature on British pastries. I really can’t think of much besides crumpets and scones haha. Seriously, this looks really good so good though! I love your presentation in the first picture. You made it look so much more elegant than a bowl full of dark brown… stuff haha. Very exiting your graduating too! 🙂

  2. Josie says:

    I agree with the last person who posted… this looks elegant, and not just brown goop! It’s a pleasure to view your recipes. I know you will be successful in your chosen field. Cheers!

  3. billpeeler says:

    This looks so delicious – I just love everything you blog about! I have ramekins from a creme brulee set – do you think they would work, or should they be deeper? Also – I know this is probably simple, but how do you make orange whipped cream?

    • Christine says:

      The ramekins I used were ones that are also used for pot de creme, creme brulee, rice pudding, etc… they have about a 300ml capacity or so! I bet your ramekins will work just fine.

      Orange whipped cream — just whip 2 cups of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of icing sugar, and 2 tablespoons of orange liquor until it forms stiff peaks. Once it’s whipped, fold in as much finely chopped orange zest as you like (and a pinch of cinnamon, if you want)! Everybody has their own version of flavoured whip cream, but I like the mature flavour of orange liquor with the fresh flavour of orange zest. 🙂

  4. Going to make this right now 😀
    Will post on my blog
    THANK YOU ^^

  5. Coffee ice cream, orange whipped cream and toasted almonds — I like your style. Congratulations on your graduation — it seems just a few short months ago that you entered culinary school (to your reader, anyway).

    • Christine says:

      Haha, that’s because it WAS just a few short months ago — six, to be precise. Thanks for always being supportive with your great feedback. 🙂

  6. daisy says:

    First of all, congratulations on your graduation, Christine! I’m sure you’ll look back to these culinary school days with fondness. Now, on to sweeter and better things for you.

    This pudding looks marvelous with all my favorite things.


    • Christine says:

      Thanks, daisy! I’m really excited to first go to Europe, then to come back and see what work lies ahead. One of the things I’m considering is more school, but eventually I’ve gotta stop doing that. 😛

  7. Lizz says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!!!
    This recipe looks delicious, but I cannot have coffee 😦 Is there something else you would recommend as a substitute for the coffee? I would love to make this!!!!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Lizz!

      You can definitely make this coffee-free — just substitute vanilla extract for coffee extract in the batter, and hot water for hot coffee on top of the batter.

  8. Firstly – congratulations on your upcoming graduation!! You seem like such a pro already I just know all kinds of exciting things are going to happen for you. The world is your lobster! Secondly – this is just right up my street; gooey, stodgy and chocolatey; you’re ticking all of my boxes!

    You should check out bakewell tart/bakewell pudding, and bread and butter pudding for more lovely British baked treats 🙂

  9. Misa says:

    I’m misa.
    I met your aunt at the airport in Chicago and she told me about this website last December.
    I don’t remember her name but she is from Montreal.
    We had good conversation when we were waiting for the flight to Toronto.
    I’m currently going to college in the US but I’m Japanese and I really enjoyed your recipes!!(I saw some Japanese too!)
    If you have chance to see her, say hello to her please:)
    Your cooking blog is amazing!
    It makes me hungry!!

    • Misa says:

      Well.. I’m not sure if it was your aunt. Maybe your friend or something! But she told me you studied how to cook in Japan and made this cooking blog!

      • Christine says:

        Thanks for all compliments, Misa! I’m pretty sure it was my aunt who you ran into in Chicago — her and my mom love talking about my blog (it’s kind of embarrassing sometimes)! 🙂

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