Self-saucing chocolate pudding

This self-saucing chocolate sponge recipe by James Hillery is perfect for making with the kids at Easter... or switch up with any chocolates for a delicious year-round pud!

Self-saucing chocolate pudding Image credit: James Hillery
Brought to you by James Hillery

“A delicious rich chocolate sponge with a lovely layer of chocolate sauce on the bottom. This can be decorated with any Easter chocolates you have to hand, but there is something very indulgent in the slightly melted Creme Eggs adorning the warm sponge.

I find self-saucing sponges quite magical. It may sound a little mad pouring a liquid on the sponge batter before you bake. But the liquid makes its way to the bottom to form a delicious fudgy sauce and the top bakes to a perfect light sponge. The addition of the coffee intensifies the chocolate flavuor without making the sponge taste of coffee.” – James Hillery.

Kids – remember to always ask a grown-up to help you! 

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  • 20x25cm (8x10in) ovenproof dish

For the sponge

  • 175g (6oz) salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the dish
  • 225g (8oz) soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 40g (1½ oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40ml (1½ fl oz) espresso, cooled (or strong black coffee)
  • 45ml (2fl oz) milk
  • icing sugar, for dusting

For the sauce

  • 20g (¾ oz) cocoa powder
  • 75g (2¾ oz) soft dark brown sugar
  • 90ml (3fl oz) boiling water


  • 1 bag of Mini Eggs, 3 Creme Eggs or other chocolates of choice
  • icing sugar, to dust

To serve

  • double cream or ice cream


Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3.
Grease the inside of a 20x25cm (8x10in) ovenproof dish with a little butter.
Cream the butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Gently beat the eggs and slowly add to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing well between each addition.
Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda to the mixture and mix again until just combined.
Add the vanilla, cooled coffee and milk, and mix again until smooth.
Scrape the mixture into the dish and level with a spatula.
In a small jug, mix together the sauce ingredients.
Gently pour the liquid over the back of a spoon onto the cake batter.
Place the dish in a large roasting tin and pour boiling water into the roasting tin, halfway up the side of the dish.
Carefully place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. The pudding should be well risen and the top should have a few cracks in it. A skewer should come out clean from the moist sponge.
To decorate, dust with a little icing sugar.
Cut the Creme Eggs in half along the seam and place on top of the hot sponge along with some Mini Eggs.
Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

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