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7 Delicious Self-Saucing Puddings For Winter

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 19, 2024

Self-saucing puddings are the perfect mix of cake and sauce. Easy to make and extremely comforting, you can whip up self-saucing puddings in any flavour, such as Jaffa, chocolate, lemon, butterscotch, whiskey caramel, and sticky toffee, in under an hour.

Growing up, nothing spelt “treat” like self-saucing puddings at Christmas time. The sight of a seemingly regular tray of cake batter going into the oven, only to return as this mind-blowing (and tastebud-blowing) combination of cake and gooey sauce—heaven for the wide-eyed four-year-old I was when I had my first bite of self-saucing pudding!

While chocolate was the most common (and comforting) winter treat, my mother loved experimenting with different flavours. We were occasionally treated to sticky toffee, lemon, butterscotch, and the rarer (and therefore, highly awaited) jaffa self-saucing puddings.

Even today, when I’m craving the comfort of home and some seasonal cheer in unlikely August, a self-saucing pudding is the first thing I whip up (store-bought lava cakes just don’t cut it). It’s also so ridiculously easy to make that you won’t want to ever go back to store-bought fare after this!

If you ever have days like these or want to curl up with some comfort food on a cold winter evening, here’s a list of my top seven self-saucing pudding recipes.

The 7 Best Self-Saucing Puddings for Winter

1. Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that a chocolate self-saucing pudding is a British classic. All you need is some chocolate cake batter for the cake and cocoa powder, hot water, and sugar for your sauce.

chocolate self saucing pudding with strawberry on top

While the batter transforms into a moist, melt-in-the-mouth cake, the sauce goes all the way to the bottom of the cake and transforms into this beautiful, rich sauce.

You can make the cake as fudgy, dense, light, and aerated as you wish. The secret to a light cake is to fluff your egg whites until you get stiff peaks and gently fold this into your cake mix, bit by bit.

20 minutes in the oven in a hot-water bath is perfect; anything more and you won’t have enough sauce left.

My favourite way to eat this pudding? A warm slice out of the oven with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzling of more chocolate sauce (you can never have too much)—an explosion of flavours, temperatures, and textures.

The best thing about chocolate is that it’s versatile and goes with almost anything! There are several variations of this basic pudding that you can make by adding peanut butter, bananas, caramel, and other complementary flavours.
Click Here For Our Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding Recipe.

2. Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding

Lemon self-saucing puddings are simple enough to be comfort food but delicious enough to be a hit at your next soiree.

This simple recipe gives you a delicious pudding in as little as an hour and only requires one mixture. The mixture magically separates and cooks into a tangy lemon curd and a light sponge on top.

To make the cake, stick to the same components and method as you would for a chocolate self-saucing pudding—cake batter and lemon curd baked in the oven in a hot-water bath. After about 40 minutes, your pudding should be relished with a dusting of icing sugar and some rich cream.

You could also add complementary flavours to your pudding, such as coconut.
Click Here For Our Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding Recipe.

3. Butterscotch Self-Saucing Pudding

This is one of those rustic, deliciously messy, cosy recipes that I’d any day pick over even the most sophisticated, finely crafted Michelin-award-winning dessert.

Butterscotch self-saucing pudding

You need to whip up only one simple batter for this pudding and sprinkle a sugar and cornflour mixture. As with all self-saucing puddings, this must go into a hot water bath and then into the oven. The batter rises into a moist, fluffy cake while the sauce underneath thickens.

You can use normal brown sugar, golden, dark corn syrup, maple syrup, or honey for your butterscotch sauce. I love using dark brown sugar because of the deep flavour and subtle bitterness that cuts through all that sweetness.
Click Here For Our Butterscotch Self-Saucing Recipe.

4. Sticky Toffee Self-Saucing Pudding

While I was a chocolate fan through and through, my mum preferred the sticky, organic sweetness of dates to the heavy richness of the chocolate. This self-saucing pudding was a hit in every Christmas dinner it was featured in, and I’ve lost count of the number of friends and family who’ve taken this recipe from my mum!

I make this pudding with Medjool dates and black tea, boiling them and then cooking the dates for about three or four minutes till they soften. I then slowly stir in the baking soda. The toffee sauce is made with cream, sugar, and water over low heat and gently simmer till the sugar dissolves.

dates in a white bowl

To your cake batter, add your date mixture. I add a teaspoon of mixed spice as well—flavour explosion! Pour your mixture into an oven dish, pour the sauce on top, cook in a hot water bath, and 30-35 minutes later, your beautiful mess of a sticky toffee pudding will be devoured.
Click Here For Our Sticky Toffee Self-Saucing Pudding Recipe.

5. Jaffa Self-Saucing Pudding

As a child, I wasn’t always a fan of orange and citrusy flavours—I still am not, health benefits or not! The only time I made an exception was for this mouthwatering self-saucing pudding.

This Jaffa self-saucing pudding uses the same recipes as the others. For the orange flavour in the batter, I use the juice and zest of one orange and 100 grams of orange milk chocolate or plain milk chocolate. For the sauce, I use plain cocoa and muscovado sugar.

Give this 30 minutes in the oven in a hot water bath, and you’re good to go.
Click Here For Our Jaffa Self-Saucing Pudding Recipe.

6. Whiskey Caramel And Banana Self-Saucing Pudding

If you ask me, you could put whiskey in just about anything, and it’d make both the dish and the world better!

whiskey being poured into a small glass with ice.

Combine baking powder, sugar, flour, and a bit of salt in a bowl, whisk your eggs, vanilla, butter, milk, and mashed bananas in another, and gently mix both. I use golden syrup, sugar, and boiled water for the sauce, which I simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Once you’ve taken the sauce off the heat, pour in your whiskey—be as generous as you like! Pour the sauce over your batter, top with a few sliced bananas, and bake in a hot water bath for around 45 minutes.

The perfect accomplice to this killer dessert? Custard.
Click Here For Our Whiskey Caramel and Banana Self-Saucing Pudding.

7. Passionfruit Self-Saucing Pudding

This self-saucing pudding may not sound appealing, but I urge you to try it before you write it off. This is perhaps the one self-saucing pudding recipe in my repertoire that doesn’t come from the family cookbook.

Passionfruit has a beautiful tangy, sweet flavour and pairs perfectly with the lemon sponge in this recipe. I scoop out the seeds and pulp from the fruit to make the sauce and simmer it with water and sugar for about 10 minutes. I leave out the seeds for the batter, passing the pulp through a sieve.

passionfruit cut in half

To this, I add the egg yolks, milk, lemon juice, and flour, one by one, and mix till it’s smooth, and then add in my whisked egg-white peaks.

Then, it’s the same rigmarole of cooking in the oven for about 45-50 minutes in a hot water bath, taking your baked pudding out, dusting it with icing sugar, and then devouring it with the passion fruit syrup and a bit of cream in all of two minutes!
Click Here For Our Passionfruit Self-Saucing Pudding Recipe.

Self-Saucing Puddings For Winter: The Bottom Line

Self-saucing puddings are extremely easy to make—if you know how one is made, you know how most are made. The components are always the same—sauce, cake batter, hot water, and oven. Once you have the basics down, there’s no limit to the experimenting that you can do with flavours.

So get out your mixer and your favourite set of mixing bowls and get cracking!

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Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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