Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding – a long time Newfoundland favourite that’s easy to make and is delicious served with our recipe for simple butterscotch sauce.
This molasses raisin pudding recipe came about because someone asked me for a simple butterscotch sauce recipe. I set out to post the butterscotch sauce recipe and realized that I needed something to pour the sauce over for a photo. Remembering that I had always meant to post a recipe for one of my favourite traditional steamed puddings, I set to work to whip up this molasses raisin pudding in just a few minutes.
The toughest part about this recipe is waiting for it to cook completely in the steamer. This one was cooked in Spouses Grandmothers steamer that we still use today. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a proper covered steamer, the recipe includes alternative suggestions like a plain Pyrex bowl.
In my family as in many other Newfoundland families we would have called this a “duff” although pudding is commonly used as well. This recipe, cooked in a steamer would have been more dessert oriented and often served with a sweet sauce like this one whereas others, like my Grandmother’s Figgy Duff, might have been served on the plate as a side dish with a Sunday roast dinner. This old fashioned favourite is often made at the holidays but can be made year round as an old fashioned comfort food dessert.
You can find my recipe for The Best Butterscotch Sauce here. It goes amazingly well with this pudding.
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon optional
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ cups raisins
Prepare your steamer by greasing it well and lightly dusting with flour. You will need a 7 cup or larger steamer for this pudding. I sometimes use a heat-proof Pyrex bowl covered tightly in plastic wrap with an outside layer of aluminum foil. I’ve also used a bundt pan many times as a steamer. The only caution there is to make sure the hole in the center is completely plugged or the pudding will get wet. A wine cork of the right size, or some balled-up plastic wrap stuffed in the hole will work well for this purpose. Again, the top should be covered tightly with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil before placing it into the boiling water. The pot that you place your steamer in should be about 1½ times the size of the steamer and should have a metal trivet on the bottom. Do not let your pudding steamer touch the bottom of the pot. An old stoneware tea plate can make an adequate trivet if necessary. Bring about 2 inches of water to a slow simmer in the pot to get it ready.
Cream the molasses and butter well then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon (if you are using it).
Fold the dry ingredients alternately with the milk into the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. As a general rule, I add the dry ingredients in 3 equal portions and the milk in 2 equal portions.
When the last of the dry ingredients is almost incorporated fold in the raisins as well.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared steamer. Add the cover to the steamer (or a layer each of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil to stop water seeping in.)
Place the steamer on the trivet at the bottom of the boiling water and place the lid on the pot.
Steam the pudding for 2 hours. Test it to see if a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the pudding rest in the steamer, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.