Chocolate Pudding Pie Cakes

16 Jan
Childhood, in cakes form

Childhood, in cakes form

I went the pudding route last week, yes, but not like this. Last week was about conquering fears (arrr…the sog!), whereas this week was about reaching back into little personhood, namely my own. You see, this week’s pudding inspired no fear, only glee, and a might bit of nostalgia.

Chocolate pudding may very well be the definitive food of my childhood. We had one of the old school Hungry Hobo restaurants near my house growing up, and my dad dragged us there at least weekly. I didn’t much care for lunch meat, but I bravely choked down my Baby Ham & Swiss on each trip in the name of the reward that awaited me on the other side. That reward was the cup of chocolate pudding I could have if I finished. They kept the pudding in a little chest of ice in the ordering line. The very sight of it was all the motivation I needed to power through the sandwich.

At home, chocolate pudding seemed always near, meted out as single servings in individual, Saran-wrapped coffee mugs in the refrigerator. A little whipped cream, a little Alf, a plea for one mug more–many a weeknight was anchored with those staples. And desserts? There were many, to be certain (Mom’s a hell of a cook), but none more popular for me than the pudding pie. The graham cracker crust, the ice cold pudding, the dollop of whipped cream–elysium.

So with pudding on the mind, I set out this week to recapture that childhood bliss. There was nothing–nothing–challenging about this recipe. Sure, I danced with the dries and the milk to get the balance just right, but that’s nothing. That the end result was so damn good makes the ease with which these were prepared my siren song moving forward. (“Well, I could just whip up some chocolate pudding cakes,” says the man in the suddenly too-small Levi’s.)

Anyway, the only nuggets I feel compelled to pass along involve the order with which you prepare things, and the timeline you use to approach it all, should you choose to try these. I made the pudding the day before and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight. This probably isn’t necessary–even the liquid form it’s in when just finished would be fine for the batter, I’m sure. I just chilled mine in the name of authenticity, so I could say I used actual pudding and not just the promise of it. Regarding the whipped cream, I also made that the night before. That I may make fresh the next time, as it had lost some of its firmness by the next day. It was still excellent, if a little runny. I could have whipped anew, but was too damn hungry by the time the cakes had finished.

The results were great all around. The boy can’t muster real words yet, and gives most of his commands through sign language. The hand to the chest means “please,” and he thumped his pectoral like that chimp in the movie Congo (though he didn’t want to kill scientists, just the cakes).

Oh, and one other thing–as you’ll notice below, I used almond milk for everything. I didn’t do so for any particular reason other than to just throw a curveball at the norm. The hint of nuttiness was excellent. I’m sure dairy milk would be just as fine. Just stay away from the skim.


Pants: Negative.

Planning: Just finding a pudding that met with my extraordinarily high standards. (In other words, not instant.)

Gathering: Just the pudding.

Execution: Easy, though expect a dance with dries and additional milk to achieve your desired consistency.

Results: Awesome. Pure awesome.

Crossover Potential: Hmmm….not so much crossover, I guess, but a selection of berries and berry sauces would not suck to have around with these bad boys.

The cakes recipe:

  • 1 cup prepared chocolate pudding (I went with half a package of Dr. Oetker Organics, prepared with almond milk and chilled overnight)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (organic)
  • 2tsp. baking powder
  • Healthy pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ~1 cup almond milk
  • 3-5 graham crackers, crumbled
  • 6 oz. whipping cream (Kalona Super Natural, 1 Tbsp. of sugar, or more to taste, added and whipped with whisk attachment of electric mixer until, well, whipped)
  1. Mix the dries with wooden spoon
  2. Add lightly beaten egg and chilled pudding to the dries, mixing all together until completely combined
  3. Begin adding more milk in splashes until the desired consistency is achieved (roughly 1 cup total extra milk)
  4. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees
  5. Preheat oven to 160 degrees, or engage warmer drawer
  6. Butter griddle, and ladle batter onto it using 1/3 measuring cup
  7. Sprinkle graham crackers to taste onto each cake
  8. Wait for bubbles to begin appearing and then flip–these will take a little longer to cook given the density of the pudding
  9. Keep finished cakes warm in oven while preparing the rest
  10. Top with whipped cream and extra graham cracker crumbles

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