Passion Fruit Self Saucing Pudding Cake. This isn't like your traditional American pudding, it's different, and better. And one of the best desserts I have ever made.
The first time I heard about self saucing puddings was from watching The Great British Bake Off. I can still hear Mel and Sue saying "Self Saucing Puds" over and over. I miss them. I do think Noel and Matt are great, but Mel and Sue were absolutely hilarious.
The Great British Bake Off is one of the greatest cooking and baking shows ever, and it has introduced me to so many different things I want to try baking. A self saucing pudding was high on the list. I also want to make Swiss rolls, Princess cake, Jaffa Cakes, Battenburg cake and more.
There have been a few I have made, some successful (Victoria Sponge) some a huge mess (Babka) and a few others. I want to make it all, really. Another reason I made this cake is due to a friend sending me a New Zealand baking book and one of the recipes I saw in the book was for a self saucing pudding. This recipe is adapted from that book as well as from GBBO and Olive Magazine Online.
What is self saucing pudding?
It is a pudding like cake that has a sauce that develops at the bottom by the time it is done baking. No need to add the sauce since it sauces itself. It is a pretty genius baking technique.
Aussie/New Zealand/British puddings aren't the same as American puddings. This is more like a cake with a curd like sauce at the bottom. This is why I am calling it a pudding cake.
A self saucing pudding can be made either like a soufflé in a water bath to create that saucy bottom layer or the cake batter is poured into the pan, a layer of starch and sugar is spread over the top of that then a liquid is carefully poured on top and the layers switch places when baking. The liquid sinks to the bottom to create the sauce as the cake rises to the top.
I tried both recipes and I decided I liked the layer with sugar then sauce instead of making a soufflé. Not a fan of water bath baking, I haven't had the best luck with it over the years. And I think this way is a little more forgiving.
I originally tested this recipe with just lemon juice since I only had a few passion fruits left from Rincon Tropics. Once I got the recipe I liked I used the passion fruits for the final version. It came out perfect!
One thing with adding the sauce before baking is that it will curdle. Every recipe I read online said this happens and to not panic. Even though I did panic a little. Some recipes added just boiling water as the sauce, others added juice, milk, water, purees etc.
I played around with it and decided I liked a combination of mostly milk, a little water, and some passion fruit pulp as well as a little lemon juice. It curdled, but, like many other recipes stated it didn't matter since the sauce would sink in.
How to you make self saucing pudding?
With both the soufflé water bath method and the baking method I used for this self saucing passion fruit pudding, they will have a jiggle or wobble in the middle still when finished baking. Similar to a cheesecake or creme brûlée, where you want it to jiggle a little still, it will set more once out of the oven.
You don't want to have no jiggle that will mean it is over-baked and you will have less sauce at the bottom. There is no need to worry about the sauce not being cooked, the pudding bakes at 350 Deg F ( 180 C) for 40-45 minutes.
A few notes about this passion fruit self saucing pudding cake recipe first:
- To stay true to the recipes that inspired this recipe ( and that I adapted from) this pudding uses self raising flour. Self raising flour is all purpose flour that has baking powder and salt in it already. I used Bob's Redmill brand self raising flour. There are many brands widely available in stores in the US. You can make your own but I have found it is not quite the same as pre-made.
- To make your own self raising flour you would use 1 cup flour to ¼ teaspoon salt (preferably kosher) and 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder. I still suggest using pre-made/store bought.
- This recipe uses caster sugar also known as baker's sugar. It is a finer grain than traditional granulated sugar. Also more commonly used in Australian/New Zealand/British baking. It melts a lot quicker into baked goods. I used it for meringue based butter creams all the time. Another item found in any well stocked grocery store baking section.
- You can use any pan for this pudding except for a springform pan. You don't want a pan that has a removable bottom because leaks may happen. Any 1 ½ quart to 2 quart pan will work such as the ceramic baking dish I used, a 9-10 inch round or square cake pan.
- You can strain the passion fruit seeds out if you like or keep them in. For the pudding cake batter I used strained juice, for the sauce I used pulp (juice and seeds) scooped straight out of the passion fruits.
- The amount of passion fruits needed to get the juice amount will vary depending on the size you get. You can substitute with bottled or puree. Frozen puree works, just thaw to room temperature. Make sure any substitute to fresh passion fruit you use is 100% passion fruit.
- This pudding cake is best eat the same day it is made, but also excellent the next day served either cold or reheated slightly in the oven for just a few minutes to liquefy the sauce again.
For the cake:
- 1 ¾ cups self raising flour ( 225 g)
- ⅔ cup caster sugar (150 g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 6 tablespoon butter, melted (80g)
- ½ cup whole milk (125 ml)
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- ¼ cup passion fruit juice ( no seeds)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the sauce:
- ¾ c caster sugar (170 g)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup whole milk (250 ml)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup passion fruit pulp
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 Deg F ( 180c) and generously butter a 2 qt baking pan, 9-10 inch round cake pan or other glass or ceramic baking dish similar size.
Sift the self raising flour and sugar together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining cake ingredients. Make an indent in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Whisk well to combine.
Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.
Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch then evenly distribute over the top of the cake
Heat the milk and water until boiling, quickly mix with the passion fruit pulp and lemon juice. Using the back of a large spoon gently pour the milk mixture over the top of the cake being careful not to pour it all in one spot. You want it to all stay on the top of the sugar. This mixture may curdle land that is ok.
Carefully set the baking pan in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Test that the edges of the cake bounce back lightly when pressed and the center still wobbles. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with sweetened whipped cream and some fresh passion fruit.
I suggest following the recipe as stated, not making any substitutions for recipe success. Use the self-raising flour and caster sugar. If you choose to make substitutions to the recipe that I have not tested yet please do so at your own risk, if they are successful I would love to hear about it and will add to my recipe notes for other readers to try as well.
If it’s your first time making this recipe then make sure you read all of the information in the main post as it includes lots of additional tips, as well as the answers to some common questions.
If you have any further questions then do let me know in the comments and or email me [email protected] and I’ll do my best to help.