Chocolate pudding cake in cast iron?

A friend would like to make a chocolate pudding cake, using a recipe from King Arthur Flour.

She'd like to bake it in the ceramic-lined cast-iron pot she uses to bake no-knead bread. (Yes: I suggested she simply buy a 9inch cake pan, but she has a small kitchen, really doesn't cook much, doesn't enjoy cooking, doesn't want to buy another pan that she figures she'll never really use.)

I wonder whether the cast-iron will work for this recipe? Should it be preheated before the batter goes in, or just put it cold into the preheated oven (I've thought that cast-iron takes longer to heat up than "regular" baking tins.)

Recipe is here:

Thank you.

  • Posted by: Ted
  • September 21, 2016


Ted September 22, 2016
Thank you, folks, for your comments. I appreciate your help!
Nancy September 21, 2016
Pudding cakes remind me of the molten chocolate cakes (aka chocolate volcano or chocolate lava cake) etc that had more than a moment of restaurant fame. They were made in ramekins or cocottes for individual serving, which is still a useful and fun way to serve.
If your friend has those (or similar ovenproof small pots), she might enjoy making and serving them that way.
ChefJune September 21, 2016
It will work only if your friend wants to spoon the pudding cake out of the pan. It will not work to serve any other way. Pudding cakes are very gooey, and they very much benefit from being baked in a low=sided pan for unmolding. Perhaps she could borrow a 9-inch cake pan from you or another friend? I would recommend it.
Susan W. September 21, 2016
I've never thought to do anything but spoon a pudding cake. I think the ones I make (riff on Cooks Illustrated) are far too gooey to slice or unmold.
ChefJune September 21, 2016
I generally cut them in squares and take out of the pan with a metal spatula, spooning up any sauce that remains up and over.
Susan W. September 21, 2016
I think it should work. She may want to melt a little butter to grease the pot. I make a New England Spider cake in my cast iron pot and you melt butter in it, pour the batter in and then pop it in the oven. I would treat a ceramic lined pot the same way. She should be careful not to overbake it because of the preheating and the pot will also hold the heat so it will continue to cook. Maybe take it out 5-10 minutes early? It's hard to test a pudding cake for doneness so it may take a little experimenting before it's perfected. Hopefully she's not making it for the Queen of England. :)
Ted September 21, 2016
Susan, you're suggesting to preheat the pot before adding the batter?
Susan W. September 22, 2016
Ted here is the recipe for the spider cake. It has you melt the butter in the cast iron pan before pouring in the batter and placing it in the oven. I'm not sure if it's necessary with a pudding cake or not, but you make a good point that CI takes longer than aluminum to heat up. You (or she) may want to Google to see if you can find a recipe cooked in a CI pan to see whether they heat it or not. Chocolate cake is a lot more delicate than a cornbread cake, so it may harm it to preheat the pan.
Susan W. September 22, 2016
Here is one cooked in CI.
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