Devil’s Food Pudding – 1976

So, I’d always heard that you could do bread in a slow cooker, but I’d never really tried it before. And, to be honest, the idea of slow cooker bread still wasn’t calling to me. However, I have a sweet tooth, and the idea of a crockpot desert is something I could definitely get behind. So, for this week’s vintage recipe, I flipped through a couple of my dedicated slow cooker cookbooks and picked out something called Devil’s Food Pudding. And yeah, I figured it would be something along the lines of a Devil’s Food Cake, but you must admit, something called Devil’s Food Pudding still has to be pretty moist, right?


Ingredients, including ice cream, buttermilk, shortening, chocolate, flour, vanilla, splenda, and an egg.


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 T. shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Ice Cream or Satin Sauce

:note: a little odd, I thought, that there wasn’t any salt in this recipe. Everything calls for salt, including baked stuff. It’s part of the balance. Oh well, I thought, and moved on.

First step is to melt the chocolate. Which, I haven’t always been the best at. For some reason, despite by best efforts, I have a history of having to deal with chocolate that either seizes or burns. Well, I am being uber careful today. No additional time in the microwave past those two initial 30 second intervals.

A small bowl of melted chocolate and a spoon.

And, that thankfully did the trick, because it stayed nice and smooth. Hurray!

Okay, next up is creaming the sweetening and the shortening, another step which has… been difficult in the past. I love Splenda, but, in so many ways, it just doesn’t act like sugar. This is one of those ways. The almost flaky powderiness really does not want to mix with the fat. Eventually, however that came together.

Next we add the egg.

A thin batter in a clear mixing bowl.

And then our melted chocolate.

A chocolate batter in a clear mixing bowl.

Now, that (most of) our wet ingredients are combined, its time to get to the dry stuff. And… here’s where the cookbook decided to be a pain in the neck, and where I was so happy that I’d found that new thing of salt earlier, because it wasn’t in our ingredients list and suddenly I was tasked with getting an additional quarter teaspoon of salt. Thanks Better Homes and Gardens.

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten the flour, baking soda, and salt mixed, we add that to the batter alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla.

A thick chocolate batter with buttermilk poured overtop.

I’ve heard you’re supposed to start and end with the dry ingredients. I’m not certain if there’s any science to back that, but its what I did anyway.

The results are pretty thick. And, for whatever reason, a little salty. Which… doesn’t make a whole lot of sense considering the tiny amount that was added and the fact that I used all-purpose flour. We’ll see how that goes.

A light brown chocolate batter in a clear mixing bowl.

It gets put into two well-greased cans… the recipe calls for 16 oz cans, but… since vegetables are done by weight and not by volume, how do I actually know what size I need. Is that 16 oz of beans, or 16 oz of turnip greens, which would be a completely different size. After some comparisons, I confirmed that, yes, all of the ‘normal’ sized cans of vegetables were normal size, and some were indeed 16 ounces, so I just went with it.

Once we’ve got the batter in those cans, whatever size they end up being, we wrap those tightly with aluminum foil and stick them in the slowcooker. We pour 1/2 a cup of warm water around the cans and let them cook for an hour and a half.

An aluminum wrapped tin can sitting in a slow cooker. Another, unwrapped, can sits on the counter.

Of course, that would be much easier if I actually remembered to plug the dang thing in.

Well, sitting for forty minutes isn’t going to do that dough any favors. if these turn out flat, then I take the blame.

Once they come out we’re supposed to let them cool for 10 minutes and then unmold. They’re meant to be served with ice cream or satin sauce. I’m opting for the ice cream, because I don’t feel like dealing with a sauce that uses uncooked egg yolks, but I’ll stick the directions for it in the printable recipe.

Baked devil's food pudding in a metal can.


Well, it wasn’t great. But it wasn’t had either. I’d just call it kinda meh. There are quite a few problems with the recipe, and not a whole lot of things to raise the score in contrast. It’s not bad looking, once it’s served, but I can think of a lot of other desserts that are more aesthetically pleasing than this one. Like most cupcakes.

A sliced round of devils food pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

The biggest problem, I think, is that they’re so dry. I had expected something that was, essentially, baked in a water bath, to have a little bit of moisture to it, especially being called chocolate pudding. And yes, I know that this refers to the British idea of pudding… but still.

The fact that it was dry, and pretty bland, just led it be a pretty disappointing experience. I mean, when you wait 90 minutes you kind of build things up a bit. It’s just not really sweet enough, relying on the sauce or ice cream for both moisture and taste. And, I mean, it’s meant to be eaten with that addition, but I typically expect the cake part to be able to stand on its own as well, and it just doesn’t in this case.

Appearance – 3.5

Aroma – 4

Texture – 3.5

Taste – 3.5

Overall – 3.5
While it’s nice to know I can make chocolate cake if my oven goes out, I could probably find another recipe that would pull this off better.

Devil's Food Pudding

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Medium-Easy
  • Rating: ★★★1/2
  • Print
from the Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cooker Cook Book, 1976


1/3 cup sugar
2 T. shortening
1 egg
1 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Ice Cream or Satin Sauce


Prepare two 16 ounce (regular sized) vegetable tin cans, greasing them well.

Cream the sugar and shortening. Add the egg and mix well. Beat in chocolate.

Stir together flour, soda, and salt and add it to the creamed mixture, alternatively with the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat well.

Divide the batter into the two vegetable cans and cover tightly with foil. Place in a slow cooker and pour 1/2 cup of warm water around the cans.

Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the cans from the slow-cooker and let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Serve warm with ice cream or satin sauce.

Satin Sauce: Combine 2 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and a dash of salt. Beat that mixture until it’s fluffy. Whip 1/2 cup whipping cream and fold into the sweetened egg mixture. Chill thoroughly and stir before serving.

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