Do you need a chocolatey treat for the holidays that’s a) easy to make, b) guaranteed to be loved by everyone and c) Barefoot Contessa-approved? We’ve got you. Once again, the GOAT—Ina Garten—comes to the dessert rescue with her Brownie Pudding recipe.
I whipped up this dreamy dessert one evening and it has since made its way into my repertoire of go-to chocolate desserts.
Related: 16 Best Ina Garten Recipes
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As you all know, there are many variations when it comes to brownies, but this pudding version will be my #1 favorite from here on out! Let me be clear: This is not your typical bake-sale, bar-shaped brownie recipe and if that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other brownie recipes out there!
This, on the other hand, is a decadent dessert—one you eat with a spoon and one you will still be thinking about hours after the last bite has been savored.
Related: Ina Garten’s Italian Panettone Bread Pudding
What makes Ina’s recipe so unique?
Although the ingredients are rather simple and the batter is mixed together similar to other brownies, there is definitely a difference when it comes to texture; and this is due to the baking method.
Garten bakes her brownie pudding in a water bath. For those not familiar, this is a baking technique where the cake pan is placed inside of a larger pan which is filled halfway with hot water.
This method is what produces the pudding-like consistency on the inside while keeping the outside layer crispy. This dual texture of crisp edges and gooey center is what sets brownie pudding apart from your typical pan brownies.
What happens if you put pudding in brownie mix?
Although I’ve heard of people pouring pudding over boxed brownies—sort of like poke cake—I’ve never tried it. One thing is for sure: If you are doing it for the texture, using a water bath is much easier and more cost-effective.
Related: 25 Warm Pudding Recipes to Make this Winter
Ingredients Needed To Make Brownie Pudding
What’s particularly nice about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are already in your pantry and it’s painless to adjust, for those items that aren’t. A few swaps I’ve tried below:
- Use almond or hazelnut flour in place of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free and more nut-forward dessert.
- Vanilla extract is a more affordable ingredient than vanilla beans and tastes equally delicious.
- Framboise (raspberry liqueur) can easily be omitted from the recipe or replaced with Kahlua, Amaretto or rum.
My other suggestion is to use premium ingredients. As with most recipes, quality matters. In this recipe, I recommend using Rodelle cocoa powder, Kerrygold butter and Bob’s Red Mill flour. All of which, although premium, are very affordable.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
- 4 extra-large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving, also optional
Related: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Ina Garten
How To Make Ina Garten’s Brownie Pudding
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow.
3. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla, (framboise if using), cocoa powder and flour mixture.
4. Mix only until combined. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
5. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour.
6. A cake tester will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked and that is ok. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Related: 23 Decadent Pudding Desserts
Tips for making brownie pudding
Make extra!!! This really is a foolproof recipe. The biggest tip is to not doubt yourself and remove the pan from the oven even though it appears to not be cooked. Trust me: This is exactly how you want it.
Note: If you don’t have as much of a hankering for chocolate as I do, this recipe can be easily cut in half. I recommend not telling anyone if you still want them to be your friend though.