Forget steaming a pudding for hours on the stove, this Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding is ready in just 10 minutes and I promise you won’t be able to tell the difference!
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I’ve been making a variety of sponge puddings in the microwave for years and I’ve been planning to share a selection of my favourite flavours for a long time. I’ve already shared my Microwave Jam Sponge Pudding and Syrup Sponge Pudding and this chocolate version is even easier than those. And just as, if not more, delicious.
There can be a lot of snobbery around microwave cookery and I have zero intent of ever entertaining it. Just like any appliance, its not suitable for cooking everything, but it is brilliant for cooking some things.
With the lowest energy consumption in the kitchen and the sheer speed of cooking, it really shouldn’t be underestimated. Especially when talking about “steamed” sponge puddings. If you haven’t tried it yet, don’t delay, go get a bowl!
How to Serve Chocolate Microwave Sponge Pudding
Hot, fresh and (very nearly) straight out the microwave! This is a dessert that is at its best served fresh and hot. With it only taking 5 minutes to cook, there really is no need to cook it in advance of serving.
I am a custard girl when it comes to sponge puddings. School dinners style pink custard is my go to with chocolate when I have blancmange powder to make it. But regular Custard Powder Custard will always be a top tier choice. I make that in the microwave too, it only takes a matter of minutes.
Cream or ice cream are great choices too and you can even add some chocolate sauce or chocolate fudge sauce as well.
Ingredients for Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding
Please make sure you are choosing proper cocoa powder designed for baking and not drinking chocolate which is pre mixed with sugar and sometimes milk powder. You are looking to add proper chocolate flavour to the pudding and instant drink powers won’t do that.
It is important to follow the instructions to mix the cocoa with boiling water before adding it to the other ingredients. This ensures that it really combines with the batter and you end up with a proper chocolatey sponge. Not just a light brown sponge with a hint of chocolate.
If you want an even bigger chocolate hit, add another tablespoon of cocoa.
I’ve stated white caster (superfine) sugar in the recipe but regular granulated sugar will work just fine too.
I mostly use large eggs but if you only have medium, this recipe will work just fine.
I have specified margarine in this recipe rather than butter because I prefer the lighter texture that you get from a margarine or spread. The other benefit is that it is useable straight from the fridge.
By margarine I’m really talking about some kind of light spread. I’m not into “baking” margarines like Stork – they have an odd taste and I don’t really understand why they’re so popular. Just a regular, cheap spread will do nicely.
If you prefer to use butter, please do. You do need to make sure that the butter is soft before you start or the batter won’t mix properly. You might also find that the batter is a bit thick so you can always add a drop of milk or water.
If you prefer to use plain flour, you will need to add baking powder – you can use this guide from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen to work out how much you need to use.
I’ve also made this recipe many times with white spelt flour and you’d never know the difference.
There are several ways you can change up this recipe – it really is a great base.
Chocolate Orange Sponge – Add orange extract to the batter. Or really ramp it up by adding marmalade to the bottom of the bowl before adding the batter.
Black Forest Sponge Pudding – Add cherry compote or jam to the bottom of the bowl. Serve with lots of fresh whipped cream.
Double Chocolate Chip Sponge Pudding – Add a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips to the batter. Add a mix of dark and white chocolate chips for a Triple Chocolate Sponge Pudding.
Let your imagination add flavourings and jams. Be careful not to add a lot of liquid to the actual cake batter or you could start affecting the texture.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
This microwave chocolate sponge pudding recipe is vegetarian friendly as written.
To make a vegan chocolate sponge pudding you will need to take on board my suggestions below to make the recipe both dairy and egg free. Not that tricky at all.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding: It is really easy to replace the flour in the recipe with a standard gluten free flour blend. If you’re using a blend without a raising agent, you will need to add baking powder.
Dairy Free Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding: It is also extremely easy to replace the dairy as dairy free butter substitutes are hard not to come by nowadays. Use any spread or butter replacer and it will be fine.
Egg Free Chocolate Sponge Pudding: If you can use a liquid egg replacer (whole eggs not just egg white), that should be simple swap.
If you cannot get hold of such a product, use 1 tbsp vegetable oil in place of each egg. The texture won’t be quite the same but you’ll end up with a perfectly serviceable egg free pudding.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Microwave Steamed Chocolate Pudding
You will of course need a microwave to make this pudding. It is important to take note of what wattage your particular microwave is as this can affect the cooking time.
I use the microwave on full power and the times given are for a 700/800w microwave. If you have a more or less powerful microwave, you may need to adjust the cooking times by 30 seconds one way or the other.
Although this is technically a microwave recipe, providing that you use an oven safe pyrex dish, you could easily cook this in the oven. But it would take about 45 minutes to cook.
Nowadays I almost always use some kind of electrical mixer to make a quick sponge. It is much easier to get an all-in-one cake mixture to mix properly this way.
If needed, you can mix this by hand using just a spatula or wooden spoon. If doing this, I would usually mix the butter and sugar together first then add the eggs and vanilla and mix then the flour. Its going to take a couple more minutes but this will ensure that everything is properly mixed together and it will cook evenly.
Despite the images in the recipe showing me using a glass pyrex bowl to make this chocolate sponge, I often use a basic thin plastic mixing bowl. I own several of them in various sizes and use them for nearly everything. But they’re not very clear and are not helpful to show you what I’m doing!
You can really use any microwave safe dish you like. Plastic will not absorb as much heat as pyrex glass or ceramic so the cooking time I’ve given is less as the food itself will cook faster. The pryrex bowl that I have used in the recipe process images is 1 litre in size.
What you should avoid using is melamine or bamboo dishes. They absorb all the heat, get far to hot and leave your food uncooked.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
This is a microwave sponge that is best cooked immediately before serving. You could cook it in advance and reheat it but that isn’t actually going to save any time. So I wouldn’t recommend trying to get ahead with the cooking.
You can however make up the batter and get it into the cooking dish all ready to cook. You still don’t want to do this too far in advance as the baking powder will start to activate. It will be fine made up to 4 or 5 hours before you intend to cook it.
Leftover Chocolate Sponge Pudding
I’ve banged on several times that this sponge is best cooked and served fresh. And that remains true but it can easily be reheated. It just is never quite the same as the first fresh serving.
It will reheat in just a minute or two – be careful not to overdo it as microwave scorched cake is not great.
Overall the cake will keep for 2 to 3 days – It doesn’t need to be refrigerated but make sure to cover or wrap it well.
More Microwave Pudding Recipes
Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding Tips
Don’t try to use a bowl smaller than the one specified. Obviously you can if you have halved or reduced the recipe but you should still make sure that the batter doesn’t come more than halfway up the bowl. During cooking the batter will at least double in size before deflating within 30 second of finishing cooking.
This recipe is said to serve 6. This is the kind of portion that you’d serve after a decent roast chicken dinner. If you want a heartier portion, this recipe will serve 4 as written.
You can always pop a microwave on for another 30 seconds but you can’t rewind time. So if you are not sure about the power of your microwave, err on the side of caution.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding
- 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder (Dutch Processed)
- 2 tbsp Boiling Water
- 120 g Margarine - plus extra for greasing
- 120 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 120 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)
- 2 Eggs
- Put the kettle on to boil.
- Grease a microwaveable bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile measure 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder into a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp Boiling Water from the kettle.
- Stir the cocoa and water until it makes a thick paste. Don't try this with cold water!
- Measure 120g Margarine, 120g Caster Sugar and 120g Self-Raising Flour into a medium sized mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl).
- Crack in 2 Eggs and add the cocoa paste.
- Use an electric hand whisk or stand mixer to beat the ingredients together until fully combined.Note – Do not continue mixing past this stage as you could make the sponge tough.Note – Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed in.
- Transfer the sponge batter into the microwaveable bowl. Roughly smooth out the top.
- Microwave on full power for 5 minutes if using a glass/pyrex bowl and 4 minutes if using a plastic bowl.
- Once cooked the sponge may look a tiny bit wet on the top but don’t be fooled, the sponge will be fully cooked.
- Use a plastic knife or spatula to loosen the edges of the sponge from the side of the bowl.
- Carefully turn the sponge out onto a serving plate or you can simply use a large spoon to serve straight from the bowl.
- Serve hot with lashings of custard.