It’s Pudding, Puddin’!


Oy, the day I've had.

Let’s say you’re a semi-retired old woman who actually works 2 days a week in other people’s homes, and who has yard work that’s not getting done, laundry piling up, dust balls in all corners and 7 (seven!) hospice patients to visit each week as well as a hospitalized friend that you visit each day. Let’s say you come home some chilly fall night and you’re too tired to cook actual food, but something sweet would just hit the spot. You know those nights.

What says quick energy more than pudding? Nothin’.

So here are two quick recipes guaranteed to warm up a chilly night and soothe those jangled “How the hell did she use 17 towels in one week” nerves. One’s easy, one takes a little more time, but they’re both really really good. And worth the bother. Just like you!


3 Tablespoons white flour
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
3 Level Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (optional but a luxurious touch)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all the dry ingredients into a large microwave-safe mug and mix well with a fork. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate chips if you plan to use them. Put the cup in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at high power. The cake may rise over the top of the mug (depending on the cup you chose) but won’t spill over. You can use a knife to tip it out onto a plate, but I figure why mess up one more plate? Grab a spoon and enjoy!

(When I was taking Home Economics in junior high school, back when they still called it junior high school, our scary teacher Mrs Olsen instructed us to use a capital T for tablespoon in all recipes, and a small t for teaspoon. I don’t know if anyone still does this, but it sticks in my brain, so I do it most of the time. I digress.)

If you want to spend more time in the kitchen and get all Betty Crockerish, here’s one that’s really delicious and will serve more people than just you so you can feel a little more righteous. I think this may be one of my aunt Kay’s recipes. My sisters and I have made versions of this for years.


1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (plus 1/2 cup for later in the recipe)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups hot hot hot water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. You won’t even need a bowl for this. In an ungreased 9″ square baking pan, stir together the flour, white sugar, 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder and salt. Mix in the milk, oil and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. The batter will be very thick at this point. Spread it over the bottom of the pan as best you can. Sprinkle the batter with the brown sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa powder, and the pour the very hot water over the whole shebang. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving. You can serve this with whipping cream or ice cream if you’d like, but it’s great all by itself.

Don’t forget to eat real nutritious food at least once a day, but don’t neglect that part of you that yearns for sugar, either. And maybe clear some stuff off your calendar so you can take an occasional walk.

Happy fall! (The seasonal kind, not the kind I did at an auction recently that involved a boat motor and what my sister Kim jokingly called my “falling shirt” when I wore it a second time.)

3 Responses to “It’s Pudding, Puddin’!”

  1. Rick says:

    I’m going to try these!

  2. PJ says:

    You won’t be disappointed. It’s great cold-weather stuff.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Love, love, love the chocolate pudding cake!!! Good even in warm climates like Florida for this semi-retired woman.

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