Vanilla Bean Pudding Cakes

This tender vanilla cake bakes over an easy vanilla-flecked sauce. Add a bit of fresh fruit for a completely delightful and comforting dessert. Make a single cake or eight individual servings, your choice. 8/2/17 Editor's Note: In response to some of the comments to date, we went back to the test kitchen and did some experimenting with the amount of sugar in the recipe. If you're someone who likes a dessert that's a little less sweet, use the lower amounts of sugar given in the ranges below.
Prep
20 mins
Bake
25 to 30 mins
Total
50 mins
Yield
8 servings
Vanilla Bean Pudding Cakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8" square pan, or eight 8-ounce ramekins.
  2. To make the pudding: Placed the cornstarch in a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of the milk, stirring until no lumps remain. Add the remaining milk, sugar, split vanilla bean and its seeds (or vanilla bean paste), and salt. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until the mixture simmers, about 3 minutes. It will thicken slightly but no more than that.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, or divide it evenly among the ramekins (set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet first).
  4. To make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared pan over the sauce. If using ramekins, divide the batter evenly among each.
  5. Bake the cake(s) for 25 minutes (for either size), or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The top of the cake will be golden brown, with some bubbles from the pudding around the edges. Remove from the oven, cool for 15 minutes, and serve warm.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you're serving these pudding cakes warm, the "pudding" will be thinner, and more the consistency of a sauce. As with all cornstarch-thickened liquids, the pudding will thicken as it cools.