A pudding cake is a type of cake that separates into layers when it is baked, resulting in a fluffy cake layer on top of a thick, pudding-like layer. Chocolate pudding cake is a classic example, but pudding cake can come in a whole variety of flavors and can even be made with fresh fruit. In fact, a fruity pudding cake can be even better than a similar fruit cobbler would be because the pudding cake will develop a thicker, richer sauce around all that juicy fruit than most cobblers will provide.
This Blueberry Pudding Cake is a good example because it is lot like a blueberry cobbler – only better. Fresh blueberries line the bottom of the baking dish and they’re covered with a thick buttermilk cake batter that is not unlike the batter you might use to top off a fruit cobbler. The whole thing is covered with a sweet sauce (you could easily flavor this with orange juice or lemon juice, but I only wanted to highlight the blueberries here) and baked. It will be tempting to stir the sauce into the cake batter when you’re making the cake, but trust the recipe and simply pour it on top. The result is that the blueberries develop a thick, rich sauce around them underneath the lighter cake layer. The sauce makes the dessert moist, rich and very satisfying to eat. The sauce also makes the pudding cake an exceptionally good accompaniment for ice cream.
The cake has a good buttermilk flavor and hints of both vanilla and almond in it. The dessert is just sweet enough to highlight the richness of the blueberries without covering up any of their fresh flavor. Fresh blueberries are my preferred fruit for this cake when I have them, and I definitely recommend using them for the best results. Frozen berries will still produce a good finished product, but they may need a few minutes longer in the oven for the sauce to thicken enough.
Blueberry Pudding Cake
16-oz blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place blueberries into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Pour into flour mixture and stir until well combined. Dollop batter over blueberries and gently spread into an even layer (batter will be quite thick).
To make the sauce, whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour hot water over the mixture and stir until sugar is dissolved. Carefully pour the sauce over the blueberry/cake mixture. Do not mix.
Bake for 45 minutes, until sauce is thick and bubbly and the cake is lightly browned.
Cool slightly before serving.