Brownie Pudding Cake (Dairy free and Soaked)

This delicious brownie pudding is made up of two layers, a thin brownie like top layer and a gooey, chocolate sauce beneath. Decadent, delicious, fit for company, whole grain,  sweetened with honey, simple to make and….. even better, frugal! I have adapted this recipe from a Better Homes and Garden recipe that originally came out in 1945. It seems like a lot of recipes from that era are very frugal and this recipe is so exception.

We actually grew up eating the original recipe (which used brown sugar and white flour) quite often as it was a family favorite. My older sister and I seemed to have developed a great love for it, because it’s still one of our favorites!

This is one of the recipes I used in my cooking class this last Friday. I served it with a adapted version of Roasted Banana Ice Dream, which is a heavenly combination (to keep things a bit simpler I cut out the stevia from the recipe for the ice cream and used 1/3 cup of honey. I am fairly sensitive to the taste of stevia, so I like the all honey version even better).

Because this cake makes it’s own sauce, it’s fabulous with ice cream. But it’s still wonderful on it’s own. Enjoy!

Brownie Pudding Cake

You can also add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts in step two.

    1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 cup of honey
    1/2 cup of coconut tonic or other non-dairy milk (you could also use watered down buttermilk)
    2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1/2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (omit if using buttermilk)
    2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 1/2 cups of boiling water
    1/3 cup of cocoa powder
    dash of salt
    scant 1/2 cup of honey

1-The night before combine the first 6 ingredients and whisk to combine well (no lumps). If your honey is thick, melt with the coconut oil. Leave out on the counter top overnight, for 12-24 hours, at room temperature.

2-When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the water on to boil. Then mix the baking powder, soda, vanilla extract and salt in with what you put together the night before.

3-In another bowl, combine the boiling water, cocoa powder, dash of salt and honey. Mix until combined.

4-Run some hot water over your 8x8x2 square pan (to prepare it for the boiling water mixture), and pour the boiling water mixture into it. Gently pour the other mixture on top of this.

5-Baking for 40 minutes, then remove from oven. Let rest at least ten minutes and up to 45 minutes before serving. The longer it sits the thicker the sauce will become.  My husband actually likes this best cold. But most enjoy it warm with some ice cream on top.

Serve with ice cream, if desired.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Jessie says

    Is there a particular brand of whole wheat pastry flour that you recommend?

    Also, I’m a bit unclear on step 4. Are you running extra water over your pan in the first part? Does the water stay in the pan or is this just to warm it up? I’m sorry that I’m being dense. :)

  2. KimiHarris says


    I usually buy organic wheat berries to grind in my home grinder. I would just try to buy it from a place with a good turn around, to make sure that the flour isn’t rancid. :-)

    Step four, yes, I can see how that could be confusing. I added a bit to it. You are preparing the pan for the hot water mixture by warming up the pan, but no, the water doesn’t stay in it! Thanks for the good question. :-)

    • Lea says

      What kind of grain mill do you have? I have the nutrimill and haven’t used it a ton to make a pastry flour, but I’m wondering how on earth you get your flour that fine at home?

      • KimiHarris says


        I have been using a Jupiter grain mill, but haven’t been very happy with it. However, you can easily get pastry flour by grinding soft wheat berries (instead of hard wheat berries-which you use for bread). Hope that helps!

    • KimiHarris says


      I had a feeling I was overlooking something obvious, you pointed it out to me! Thanks! I’ve removed the vegan reference.

  3. says

    Mmm… I’m making this for dessert after church this weekend… we’ll eat it with our homemade goatmilk ice cream… Yay! :)

  4. says

    I just put up the recipe for Ragi (finger millet) pudding,which is traditionally made with coconut milk.So the ragi pudding is not just dairy free,but also gluten free :)
    You can give it a try-you’ll find ragi in most Indian stores.

  5. says

    Hey Kimi!

    I’m a bit of a lurker, but today, I realized I have a question for you. I’m a young single gal, with an extremely limited budget (seriously, $100/a month would more than double my monthly food budget–and my roommate and I share quite a bit of the food that I buy). What advice could you offer someone in my situation? I normally cook for one (and am hesitant to spring my…shall we say devloping??…cooking skills on anyone else in the guise of blessing them), and have the aforementioned limited budget, but I’d like to do better for myself than frozen dinners and canned soup.

    KH: Hey Jen, that’s hard. Let me think about it and get back to you! Maybe we can do a post asking for other peoples ideas too. I want to help all I can. :-)

    • says

      Hi, Jen and Kimi–jumping in here. There were several experiments in the last few years for eating on 30 bucks a month (a dollar a day). Sadly, many of them were pretty yucky and limited and based on foods that are not great choices.

      You might check out the less is enough blog at –the writer there works to make good economical food choices and does a lot of bulk shopping at Whole Foods. If you have a local health food store, they might offer good bulk choices, as well. You can always make your own frozen dinners (soups, rice, beans, all are economical and also freeze well). Homemade bread dough and pasta dough also freeze well, allowing you to make things, portion them out and freeze them, cooking later.

  6. says

    Hi! I looked all over your site for a “contact me” link and couldn’t find one, so I’m commenting with a question unrelated to the post, sorry :-).

    I’d love to link to your blog because it is SO informative (it has literally been a goldmine for me in discovering how to live a “nourishing traditions” life). What would be really cool though is a 125×125 “ad type” link. Do you have anything like that available for people who like your blog to put on their blogs?


    KH: Hi Kat. You are so sweet and right! I should have something like that. I will try to make one over the weekend. Great idea!

  7. says

    Oh wow look at that! My mouth is watering just looking at the photo! What a fabulous looking recipe (an unique)! I recently created a gluten-free vegan brownie using coconut flour and blanched almond flour. Totally decadent and made without cane sugar too! I didn’t post it because it will be in my next book.

    -Ali :)

    KH: Sounds good!

  8. says

    Oh, one more thing – I know a lot of vegans who eat honey, so for some a recipe made with honey is not vegan, but for others it may be. Our dietary preferences are really all so unique aren’t they!

    KH: Thanks for the clarification. I was pretty sure that some did, but not positive. :-)

  9. says

    It looks pretty tempting but I will have to try substituting the whole wheat flour with rice or millet flour. I have a feeling that almond flour would be a better choice though.

    What is your new book’s title? When will it be released?

  10. Leesie says

    This looks and sounds wonderful! Thanks so much Kimi – I am constantly amazed at the recipes you develop and share here.

  11. Loree says

    Jeez — Can’t wait until you come out with a cookbook!! I’ll be one of the first to buy it! — lg

    KH: I’ll take that as a promise *wink*

  12. Melissa says

    Wouldn’t the honey and coconut inhibit fermentation? Maybe that’s what you want though. It might taste kind of sour fermented. Whole wheat flour has all kinds of interesting organisms though, so does buttermilk. I think when I do this, I’ll just mix my flour with buttermilk and see what happens. It might be interesting!

    KH: Melissa, that is an EXCELLENT question. Sue Gregg does soak her baked goods like this recipe (her new versions of her cookbooks do the soaking method), where the honey and oil are added in during the soaking period, but I have had reservations about it for the very reasons you mentioned. I have done it the other way and it does work, you definitely just have to work harder at stirring in the rest of the ingredients the next day.

  13. says

    I have never really heard of soaking ingredients like in this recipe. Do you think soaking nut flours would make them easier to digest? Your brownie looks yummy. Anything chocolate is yummy in my opinion:)

    KH: Nuts are a little different than grains. I posted here about how to prepare nuts whole. I agree! Chocolate is always yummy!

  14. says

    We, also, grew up with this being a favorite recipe! And I have been making it for my family for years.
    Thank you for a healthier version! I will be trying this in the near future. :)

    KH: How fun!

  15. KimiHarris says

    Hey Everyone,

    I had so many comments to respond too, I decided to comment under each individual comment instead of doing a mass reply to all of them in one comment. So if you had a question, check out you comment and see my reply beneath. Thanks!

  16. Brenda says


    I was wondering if coconut milk works for the coconut tonic. Thanks! I was looking for a dessert for my mom’s birthday this weekend. I think I found it.

    KH: Brenda, coconut milk by itself will be a lot thicker so you may need to add more to get the same consistency. The coconut tonic I use is I can of coconut milk to 2 1/2 cups of water. This gets it to the consistency of milk and I keep it in my fridge for all baked goods.

  17. HPG says

    Will you be more specific – what type of organic wheat berries do you use in recipes that call for whole wheat pastry flour? From what I recall reading, I think the soft spring wheats are more suitable for this use??

    KH: Yes, definitely soft wheat berries to grind for pastry flour. :-)

  18. says

    Hey Kimi!

    Thanks for the response. :) Just so you can breathe, I’m not ACTUALLY living on frozen dinners (at least, not TOO often…). I sure do eat a lot of pasta with marinara, PB&J, grilled cheese, and simple beef or bean burritos, though! I’m mainly having creativity issues. I’m really tempted to try soaked oatmeal because I don’t normally like cooked cereals and am wondering if the soaking will make enough of a difference for me. I try to buy produce, but honestly, we just can’t go through it fast enough. A head of lettuce will still be sitting in the fridge 2 or 3 weeks after it’s been purchased. Oh! I realize that this is the most rambling response ever, but I saw your recipe for Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and can’t wait to try it. My mentor made it for a friend and me one day and I was astonished by how much I enjoyed it. I think she put some sour cream in hers too. So good with pita!

    KH: I look forward to replying to your question in a Q & A post and seeing what others have to add! Look for it sometime next week.

  19. says

    This looks soooo amazing! I cannot wait to try it! Maybe for Lucy’s birthday. :) Trying to find a healthyier option that will still satisfy the kiddo need for dessert on a birthday. (Lucy won’t notice, but Emily and Joe sure will . . .)

  20. says

    My dad always used to make brownie pudding cake when I was a kid, it’s one of my favourite desserts. I am so excited to have a soaked, whole grain, refined sugar free version to try!!

  21. aurelia says

    My BH&G cookbook falls open to that recipe. I’ve mourned its loss.

    Look forward to trying this!!

  22. Andrea N. says

    when you say that I can use watered down buttermilk, is it the same as with the cocconut milk? Just till gets milk consistency??

  23. tina says

    Hi Kimi,

    I didn’t know exactly where to ask this. I assume the questions about soaking cornmeal are closed. I soaked cornmeal about five weeks ago for the first time and had lots of lime water left. Do you know how long the lime water keeps and how I should store it? I have it in the cupboard now.

    I, too, would definitely buy your cookbook! I only have two cookbooks – Better Homes and Garden and Nourishing Traditions. Yours would be a welcomed addition. I use your recipes especially since I have two small children and find your recipes more kid friendly. Nourishing Traditions’ recipes are a little more “adult.”

  24. Melissa says

    I used not-watered down Swedish fermented milk overnight. Just the flour and the milk. Turned out well, but certainly was not easy to mix. Also, don’t skimp on the sugar in this recipe…looks like there is just enough. Honey is just a pain to pour that I left some out and I think it would have been better with more.

  25. says

    visited your site for the first time…

  26. michelle says

    YIKES!!!! I just printed fifteen pages, and only two were useful. I love the recipe and want to make it today, but the comments aren’t necessary. Please, please, please…. is it possible to separate the recipe from the comments????? And all the paper I just wasted.. please help.

  27. Bonnie says

    I love this. I used regular c&P flour, that’s what I had, and instead of the honey I used 1/2 cup of
    maple syrup in the first part and 2 tablespoons of brn sugar in the second part to cut the sweet down. It came out wonderful twice.
    A note to michelle– cut and paste the recipe and then print from that. It’s handy to learn this as alot
    of sites work this way.

  28. Brook says

    Kimi! We loved this cake. I substituted kefir for the coconut milk tonic and it was very delicious. And I loved how quick and easy it was to make. I’m going to make it again this week for my sister’s birthday. Thanks for a wonerful recipe.

  29. says

    Made the recipe this weekend for a get together with friends…they loved it! Afterward I shared with them how “healthy” it was! Thank you so so much it was truly delish and I absolutely love your blog.

  30. says

    I just tried this recipe and it is really good. I had to make some substitutions, though. I used almond milk and white spelt flour, and baking soda/cream of tartar for the baking powder. I also didn’t soak anything, just mixed it all right away. My question is that it has a bit of an “alcoholic” flavor to it. I am wondering what that could be? Do you have any idea?

  31. Michele says

    This recipe was wonderful! I doubled the recipe because I have a large family. I had my doubts at first because it just didn’t look right when I added the cake part to the liquid, but it turned out great!

    • KimiHarris says

      Definitely! I sometimes add about 1/4 cup more when substituting kefir for coconut milk tonic as it’s thicker.

  32. says

    I made a gluten free version of this cake. It was gooey inside and cakey on the outside and oh so good. Yours looks delicious – a chocolate lover’s delight.

  33. says

    This has become the most requested dessert. It is so versatile and every time I try a new pudding, it gets better… chocolate, blackberry, apricot, and peaches (best so far). I’ll try blueberry next:) Always gluten free and with kefir. Thanks for the great recipe!

  34. Kika says

    Yummy! We made this for my daughter’s At first kids didn’t think it looked interesting but when they saw it ‘flipped over’ with sauce they sure all came running :)

  35. Valerie says

    This looks sooo good! I dont have a mill and have been unable to find ww pasty flour down here (Panama). Would ww flour work, do you know?

    • KimiHarris says

      The advantage to pastry flour is that it contains less gluten and so creates a lighter dough, but I do think that regular whole wheat flour would work in this recipe. :-)

  36. Sarah M. says

    This looks absolutely fabulous, and I can’t wait to try it! I have one question though. I have some raw milk that I’d like to use up today, as today is the “use by” date. Can I use plain raw milk in this recipe?

  37. says

    I’ve been making this for years out of an old Betty Crocker cookbook as well. I’m so glad to see it converted to a healthy and dairy free version!


  1. […] This dessert has a chocolate cake layer and a rich chocolate sauce underneath. It was a favorite recipe of ours growing up and is still a favorite. I knew I had to make a gluten/dairy free version for my family. It turned out sooo good. Here is my honey sweetened, dairy free version. […]

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