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Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding a.k.a. Newfoundland Molasses Duff

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.

Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding

Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding

Originally published June 2016.

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.

Then, I remembered 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.

Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding a.k.a. Newfoundland Molasses Duff

Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding a.k.a. Newfoundland Molasses Duff

Duff or pudding?

In our 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.

Others, like my Grandmother’s Figgy Duff, might have been served on the plate as a side dish with a Sunday roast dinner.

I often make this old fashioned favourite at the holidays. But it 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.

The Best Butterscotch Sauce photo

The Best Butterscotch Sauce Recipe

If you’d like to see more traditionally inspired recipes from our province, please check out this collection on some of our Most Popular Newfoundland recipes.
Top Ten Newfoundland Recipes photo collage for Pinterest

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Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding

Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding

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Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding
Yield: 8 servings

Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

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.


  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, optional
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups raisins


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. When the last of the dry ingredients is almost incorporated fold in the raisins as well.


  1. 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.)
  2. Place the steamer on the trivet at the bottom of the boiling water and place the lid on the pot.
  3. Steam the pudding for 2 hours. Test it to see if a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Let the pudding rest in the steamer, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.


You can substitute blueberries or partridgeberries in this recipe for the raisins. Dried or small fresh cranberries also work well, as do currents or even mixed dried fruit if you prefer.

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Friday 6th of September 2019

I ate so many of these at my grandmother's house as a kid. I remember them being boiled in a pudding bag? I do not have a steamer but I am thinking this could be accomplished in an insta-pot. Any suggestions on how to do this?

Barry C. Parsons

Saturday 5th of October 2019

Don't own an insta pot. sorry

Lori Hawco

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

This was my first time making a steamed pudding. I used frozen blueberries instead of raisins and it was absolutely delicious! So moist. The butterscotch sauce poured over it and topped with whipped cream....10+ :)


Tuesday 19th of March 2019

As a kid I didn't want to try it, but bit by bit I tried and it wwas so good. Now I want to make my Nan's Molasses bread pudding. Her's was made with dinner and served with dinner, of course the same pot.


Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Hi there - My "Plum Pudding" is almost identical to yours except that the raisins are put into 1 cup of boiled water and then the butter is added to that to let cool/melt. My mother would make about a dozen of these and now I try to make them for the same family members. She would steam them 2 hours but over the years I've found that 1.5 is plenty. However, I wish that I had paid better attention to *when she made them. How far ahead would you make these before you would consider throwing them into the freezer? (I'd rather not freeze them at all). I've had them after 7 days and the flavor was lovely, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 20th of December 2018

I'd make them 3 days ahead at most.


Sunday 16th of December 2018

This recipe, in my mothers handwriting from the '50s, was our Christmas Pudding. She made it with suet instead of butter. She was a Steeves from Albert County New Brunswick.

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