Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 20, 2007

Festive Recipes – Poor Man’s Pudding

Festive Recipes – Poor Man’s Pudding


Steamed puddings are a Christmas tradition in many countries. This recipe comes from the German side of my family. We ate it only twice each year – once for Thanksgiving and once for Christmas dinner. It’s still a favorite, with each family’s version coming out a little different. Don’t worry if yours doesn’t look like a picture. It’s good whether it comes out light and fluffy or whether it “falls” and is very condensed. (Note: We never had it with a “side of holly” as seen in this picture, but feel free to be creative when you bring it to the table!)

Poor Man’s Pudding*

½ cup molasses
1 ½ cup milk
3/4 cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts (may be omitted in case of allergy)
1 tablespoon suet or butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 level teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup flour (make a medium batter)

Combine molasses, milk, raisins, nuts and suet (or butter) in a bowl. Mix dry ingredients separately and add to the molasses and milk mixture. Pour all into a well greased pudding mold or a can with a tight fitting lid. Steam about 2 hours.

Remove from mold immediately when cooked. Serve warm with sauce.

Cream ½ cup butter with 1 cup sugar and heat with 1 cup canned or “top” milk. (Top milk is milk with a least some cream in it.) Add 4 lightly beaten egg yolks and a pinch salt. Cook until it thickens. (A double boiler works well for this.) Add vanilla (½ to 1 teaspoon – to taste) and pour over stiffly beaten egg whites. Fold together and serve warm.

*As best anyone could ever figure out, the name comes from the fact that the ingredients are not expensive. They were things most families would have on hand, even on the frontier.

Spread the love


  1. Thanks for posting! This cake is heavenly and can be wrapped in foil and stored for quite a while in a cool place. (It actually gets better if left to rest for a few days). Very easy & delicious and one of my favorite food memories from your mom & dad’s house.

  2. Glad to hear from you. One of the amazing things about this pudding is that it never comes out exactly the same way twice! We make it using whole wheat flour now and it still works, though it’s important to keep heavier flours “sifted” rather than letting them settle into the measuring cup. I simply spoon the flour lightly into the cup and smooth the surface gently rather than shaking the cup to get the flour level.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.