Pudding cakes are rich and decadent, yet so easy to make that anyone can make a great one regardless of skill level. The technique may seem odd, but you need to trust it: The haphazard sprinkling of additional ingredients on top of the batter will sink during baking, resulting in a fudgy pudding-like sauce beneath the finished cake.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder, and ⅓ cup malted milk. Make a well in the center, and add milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk liquid until combined, then whisk in dry ingredients until a batter forms. Pour into baking pan and level with a spatula.
- In a small bowl, mix ¾ cup sugar, ⅓ cup malted milk powder, and ¼ cup cocoa. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the cake batter. Put the cake on the center rack of the oven and pour the boiling water across the top. Yes, that sounds weird, but you have to trust it. As it bakes, these ingredients will sink to the bottom and create a dense, thick “pudding” under the cake.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Serve hot.
Allison Robicelli is a D-list celebrity-chef chef, author, humorist, entrepreneur, general polymath, and all-around good time. You may remember her from such places as Food52, Eater, Food Network, VH1, and many other quirky corners of the food Internet. She is the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook/memoir Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes, which has been called one of the funniest food-related books of all time. You should buy it.