Chocolate pudding cake à la Zo – hot and saucy!


The following recipe story is another post in the series of “I didn’t know you could make THAT in a bread machine” blogs – a series of which I’m inordinately fond.

I’m a lazy baker.

There, I’ve said it. While I enjoy the process of baking – indeed, even love to bake, when time isn’t too much of the essence – I’m usually more attracted by the end result than how you get there.

Heresy? Not at all. I have no official training in the kitchen arts; no culinary degree like my fellow test kitchen bakers, Susan Reid and Sue Gray. When food science gets down to the molecular level, and the Maillard reaction is getting a thorough going-over, I’m happy to listen and learn.

Hey, what can I say? I’m an English major. Which means I love to write. I also love to eat, and enjoy food in all of its incarnations, from the secret pleasure of a bag of McDonald’s fries to the fanciest Beef Wellington.

Add to this a fervent desire to share with like-minded food-lovers, and to offer a helping hand to aspiring bakers, and I’ve found my perfect job:

Writing about food for King Arthur Flour.

With a specialty in “I love fresh-baked goodies and I don’t have a lot of time to fool around.” Ask anyone here: I’m the Queen of No-Fuss Cuisine.

Which brings us back to the Zojirushi bread machine, and the many, MANY ways it can help you, besides kneading bread dough.

Did you know you can make a wonderfully creamy risotto in your Zo? How about cranberry sauce?

From Sloppy Joes (and the buns to go with them), to tender scalloped potatoes, to peach cobbler, once you start thinking of your bread machine as a compact, self-contained oven with its own built-in pan, there’s no end to what tricks you can make it perform.

Like this easier-than-pie Chocolate Pudding Cake.

No Zo? Read on; you can make this the traditional way, as well.

To prepare your bread machine: Remove the paddles from the bread machine bucket. Spray the inside of the bucket lightly with non-stick vegetable oil spray.

Place the following in a bowl:

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but very good)

Whisk to combine.

Add 3/4 cup milk…

…1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil.

Mix until smooth.

Pour the batter  into the bread machine bucket.

To make the second layer: Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 teaspoon espresso powder.

Sprinkle this mixture over the batter in the bucket.

Gently shake the bucket to distribute the cocoa.

Drizzle 1 1/2 cups hot water or hot brewed coffee over the dry ingredients.

This is what it’ll look like.

There’s no need to mix it in. Really.

Program the machine for bake only, 40 minutes, no keep warm option.

Press Start. The red light (under Start) should light up. If it doesn’t, press Start again.

Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it stands, and when totally cooled will be the consistency of medium-thick fudge sauce.

To serve, scoop servings of the warm cake onto individual plates; top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Here’s what the pan looks like after you’re done scooping.

And here’s how it looks after a quick rinse with warm water.

Slick, eh? Another thing I love about baking in the Zo – easy cleanup!

If you can’t serve the pudding cake while it’s warm, keep it at room temperature (for 2 or 3 days), and reheat it VERY briefly in the microwave just before serving.

Yes, it’s messy. No, it’s not photogenic. And yes, it’s really… really… good.

Can you make this in a regular oven, rather than a bread machine?

Sure, just click to the recipe below; you’ll find standard baking directions there.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Easy Chocolate Pudding Cake.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...


  1. julietrees

    Here’s my random, yet serious question, of the day. Expresso powder – how much (if any) caffeine is in it? I tend to be very sensitive to caffeine and simply don’t want to make something with it in it if I plan to eat it at the end of the day (and now I’m realizing how many “it’s” there are in that sentence!)

    Well, there’s probably quite a bit – but in most recipes, you only use a teaspoon of espresso powder, and divide that among, say, 3 dozen cookies… so while the espresso powder itself is high in caffeine, you generally don’t get a lot of it in each serving. Hope this help – PJH

    Just dropping in with some info for the espresso powder: Per 1 teaspoon serving: 31mg CAFFEINE . Hope this helps y’all. ~ MaryJane

  2. "sandra Alicante"

    Mmmmm. I no longer have a Zo but I used to use one every day. The jam made in it was lovely too, really fresh tasting. I’ll file this recipe away for winter use I think, it’s easier to hide an expanding waistline under sweaters!

  3. "Paul from Ohio"

    OH YEAH! While we don’t have a Zo Bread machine (ours is a 20 year old model from yesteryear), look at this! A terrific recipe to be made with either of your three special dutch-process cocoa’s – Cocoa Rouge, Bensdorp, or Double Dutch Dark. Or perhaps even a mix of them and Black Cocoa!!!!!!! And I do have the Espresso Powder and do know how that adds to the rich chocolate taste! Hey, if I had a ZO (someday), I’d surely whip this up in it as I too love a great taste without tons of fuss to create it and clean up!!! Way to score yet again PJ!

    Thanks, Paul – I need to try this with the Cocoa Rouge sometime – people are raving about it! PJH

  4. aplacetoreside

    Oh dear, I think I must be a lazy baker too. It’s really the end result that motivates me. I simply must have a dessert in the house at all times otherwise my equilibrium is thrown off. And this end result looks so good.

    I just enjoyed a white chocolate chip espresso cookie and was wanting to try my hand at another caffeinated sweet treat. I think this one fits the bill. Thanks.

  5. hikerlola

    Someone recently gave me their zo because they were moving into an rv and it just wouldn’t fit. (yay for me!) I tried to find more recipes here that used the zo that weren’t just bread- have they all been tagged? Is there a recipe book that y’all would recommend? Everything I did find here will be experimented with promptly. Thanks KA folks!
    Hi there,
    Congratulations on your new arrival! If you look on the recipe section of the website, you’ll see Yeast Breads and Rolls as a catagory. Once you get there, you’ll see recipes for baking in the machine and recipes for baking outside of the machine. LOTS to choose from. I think that will get you started. Fellow ZO bakers, can you recommend your favorite books for Lola? Join in!
    ~ MaryJane

  6. argentyne

    I wonder if my non-zo bread machine has a bake only cycle… I think it does… And I wonder if I could bake this in my crock pot… I bake other pudding cakes in there often, and regular cake, and cheesecake…. thoughts, they are a-tumblin’…
    Through the magic of the internet, you can probably Google your machine and see if the manual is available , or at least double check to see if there is a bake only cycle.
    Crock pots are great for pudding cakes, so this one would probably work well. Let us know if you do give it a try.
    ~ MaryJane

  7. "Paul from Ohio"

    WINNING RECIPE!!!!!!!!! Way to go PJ! Not having a Zo, I made it in a 9inch pie pan, in the oven. Cocoa Rouge for the cake part and for the sauce – Bensdorp. Full amounts shown in the recipe for Expresso Powder. DEL I C I O U sssss! And for a tiny little 42 gram taste (a tablespoon), it was only 3 Weight Watcher’s points! Oh yeah, a little taste of chocolate fudge cake in a fudge sauce – and boy oh boy does that ever meet my taste buds in the most happy way imaginable. Ok, so don’t try to imagine it, just take my word for it!!!! LOL! Happy Day! PERFECT

    Paul, I LOVE your enthusiasm – as always! Thanks for chiming in here- PJH

  8. chinchillalover

    There is another weird thing going on with your link.I tried clicking on fudge pudding cake,but it led me to easy chocolate pudding cake.

    Same recipe – I just modified the name a bit, to differentiate it from something similar… PJH

  9. Kristy

    I’m really excited to try this recipe, but I only have a mini-zo. Can I just cut the recipe in half and get similar results?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Absolutely. The cake doesn’t rise like bread does, so you can easily fit it in your bread pan. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, you can divide this in half. The recipe doesn’t rise as like bread does, so the amounts will be perfect. Laurie@KAF

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