Classic Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding Cake with a Wacky Surprise


I have no idea where this American classic came from, but chocolate pudding cake is a clever creation. The top sets up as a moist chocolate cake, but when you take a slice, a pudding-like chocolate sauce is revealed on the bottom. It’s a delicious surprise!

This dairy-free chocolate pudding cake tastes just like the original version, and it uses everyday pantry ingredients. In fact, you could call this the “wacky” or “depression era” version of pudding cake!

Classic Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe - that just happens to be egg-free, nut-free, soy-free and vegan too.

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Pudding Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

We haven’t tested this recipe gluten-free, but your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for baking might work well. Let us know if you try it!

Classic Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a simple dairy-free adaptation of a beloved family recipe.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 servings
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup + ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons + ¼ cup cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plain or unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage (your choice of type)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (your favorite type for baking)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups hot water
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease an 8-inch or 9-inch round or square baking pan.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until no cocoa clumps remain. Stir in the milk beverage, oil, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ¾ cup sugar and ¼ cup cocoa powder. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.
  5. Gently drizzle the hot water over the batter. Do not mix it.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is set.
  7. Serve the cake hot, with it's sauce spooned over the top. Yes, it makes it's own sauce!

More Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake Recipes

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake Recipe - vegan and allergy-friendly with gluten-free option

Chocolate Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake

Dairy-Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Recipe made with Olive Oil

Wacky Chocolate Cupcakes

Wacky Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes - The World's Easiest Pantry Recipe (also known as Crazy, Joe, or WW II Cupcakes)

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

1 Comment

  1. I am glad I’ve found your website, I’m a disabled veteran and have started about 2 months ago to become a vegan and I have seen the improvements in my health. But I have found it has been hard to find things that do not have soy in them. I have a severe allergic reaction to soy. then I discovered Quorn, and other products, then I discovered that carob is healthier for you then chocolate. I am a Seventh Day Adventist for 8 years now and have decided that I need to completely let go of all meat and dairy products. Now, I need to find a recipe for butter, for things like toast and pancakes, etc… I went to the Ten Fold Advantage Camp Meet last year in Wewoka Woods, Oklahoma, and tasted a vegan butter made from zucchini; this year I hope to get the recipe. I found a Mexican Restaurant in OKC, OK that has a nice vegan menu and they have a delicious vegan tamale that doesn’t have soy in them. I could of eaten my weight in them , they would so delicious.
    So, Thank you for your service,

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