Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

Made with mostly pantry staples, this chocolate cobbler comes together quickly for a warm and comforting dessert. Serve with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

Chocolate cobbler is one of those old-school recipes that has endured for decades because of its genius simplicity and seemingly magical transformation in the oven. It is also one of the most deliciously warm and comforting desserts you'll ever find. It's easy enough to throw together on a weeknight, but you'll want to make it for company. It's good any time of year, but it's especially good to tuck into on a cold winter's night.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

This cobbler is made using lots of dry pantry staples, milk, and butter. Eggs are conspicuously missing, but that's what makes this dish cobbler instead of cake. 

If you have considerations for Veganuary (which is a popular thing, I hear!) this recipe can easily be altered. Butter could be swapped for Earth Balance 'buttery sticks' (margarine) and milk for oat or another plant-based milk. Also be sure your chocolate chips are a dairy-free brand such as Enjoy Life.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

The first step is easy enough and familiar to studied cobbler makers - melt the butter in the baking dish in a preheated oven. Next you'll stir together the base ingredients predictably enough: add wet to dry. It's the moment when you remove the dish from the oven and begin dolloping the batter over the butter that you may start to question things. 

Yes, it's a lot of butter.  No, you're not doing anything wrong. My advice is to be at peace with this step and know the end result will make you happy and feed your soul. 

Another layer, a dry mixture of sugar and cocoa is sprinkled over the batter and will help form the cobbler crust. 

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

The final step before the cobbler bakes is to pour boiling water over everything in the dish, which sounds totally bananas, but it works. No stirring allowed! All of those layers will transform in the oven to a crackled, chewy crust with chocolate pudding hidden underneath.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

There will be a bit of jiggle to the cobbler when it comes out of the oven, and you don't have to worry about the middle being underdone - remember, there are no eggs in this dish. It's supposed to be completely ooey-gooey underneath that crackled crust.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler

The cobbler will need to cool slightly before digging in. The pudding underneath will be molten and too hot to eat at first. This dish is best served warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream which cuts the richness and creates pools of cold cream over the warm chocolate pudding. If you don't have any ice cream, then freshly whipped cream is lovely, too. 

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler
Yields 8-10 servings

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 185g) salted butter
1 cup (120g) self-rising flour *see recipe notes
1/2 cup (3 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup (160g) packed light brown sugar, divided
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
7 tablespoons (67.5g) unsweet dark cocoa powder, divided
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) boiling water
Vanilla ice cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the butter in an 11x7-inch baking dish (or similar size such as 8x8 square, I used a 1 1/2-quart round dish). Place the dish in the oven until the butter melts completely, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, chocolate chips, 1/2 cup (105 g) of the brown sugar, 1/3 cup (65g) of the granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons (30g) of the cocoa. In a separate measuring pitcher with a pour spout, combine the milk and vanilla; mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until batter forms with no streaks of flour remaining.

Dollop the batter over the melted butter in the pan but do not stir. The batter will sink and the butter will pool to the top.

In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 5 tablespoons (37.5 g) of cocoa, 1/4 cup (55g) of brown sugar, and 2/3 cup (135g) of granulated sugar. Whisk to combine. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the baking dish. Do not stir.

Gently pour the boiling water over the layered mixture in the pan. Do not stir.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is formed and set on top. Cobbler may jiggle a little when removed from the oven, this is normal. Let cool slightly before portioning warm cobbler to dishes; top with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator. Re-warm bowls of cobbler in the microwave, or reheat ramekins of cobbler in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.

If you don't have salted butter, add a pinch of salt to the batter.

If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Use in place of self-rising flour in this recipe.
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  1. This is a delicious cold weather comfort food! We made a version of this many Sunday nights when I was a kid but called it Brownie Pudding.

    1. I think that's an appropriate name! It seems more correct that 'chocolate cobbler'.

  2. I especially love when you post recipes that use pantry ingredients- I loved the ones you posted during the first wave last spring and it’s nice to see one again - hopefully there will be more!

    1. Thank you! So glad to hear. I've been seeking out others, and if testing goes well there will certainly be more to come. xo-h

  3. Yes yes yes! Thank you for another vegan-adaptable recipe!!! <3

    Can't wait to make this one... yum!

  4. Is there a typo when you list that you made this in a 1 1/2 quart casserole? I tried that size and have a bunch of burnt batter on the bottom of the toaster oven. This may also be related to the fact I didn't have self-rising flour and used the baking soda substitution you gave, I don't know.

  5. Hi Christine, I did indeed make this in a deep 1 1/2 quart casserole (pictured). Is it possible that the pan was too close to the bottom element in your toaster oven? I baked this one on the middle rack in a regular oven.


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