Posted by: Erica Retrochef | March 24, 2014

Grape-Nuts Puff Pudding

This is apparently “one of the six most popular recipes in Grape-Nuts’ 60-year history,” which simply makes me curious about what the other five are. (Or what the less-popular recipes were like, come to think of it!)



1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, well beaten
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup Grape-Nuts
1 cup milk
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Cream lemon rind and butter together until well blended; add sugar gradually and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add lemon juice, flour, cereal, and milk, mixing well. (Mixture will look curdled, but this will not affect finished product.) Fold in egg whites. Turn into greased baking dish and place in pan of hot water. Bake in slow oven (325°F) 1 hour and 15 minutes. When done, pudding has a cake-like layer on top with custard below. Serve warm or cold with plain or whipped cream. Serves 6.


I personally would never have thought of combining Grape Nuts and lemon flavors.


Creaming butter and sugar is pretty standard. Adding lemon zest isn’t particularly terrifying.


Once you add the milk and stuff, things get weird.

It’s not exactly like barf — a “ringing endorsement,” as Buzz pointed out.


It’s important to fold the egg whites in thoroughly, not just so the consistency is right, but also so it looks less like barf.


Once it’s baked, it looks much more like a cake than I had expected, considering the very loose batter. I was actually rather worried that it had dried out too much, since you can’t see whether there’s a pudding-custard layer underneath.


But there was! The end result is a lemony custard with a light cakey crust on top… with odd slightly crunchy bits evenly mixed throughout. It’s an interesting multi-layer pudding thing, and is actually a very similar methodology to the Super Puddin’ we tried last week over at Mid-Century Menu.

I personally love citrus desserts, but this was less popular with the kids, unfortunately. I think the crunchy bits threw them for a loop. And the Grape Nuts, even when softened and baked, still have a distinct crunch. It takes a few bites to get used to it.

I found this on Recipe Curio, which is a terrific repository of vintage recipes.


  1. I was always curious myself over this oldie. Thanks for your efforts, it doesn’t sound too bad!

  2. It doesn’t sound terrible, but dessert recipes like this that remind me why Americans use to be thinner. I would have a much easier time turning this down than a carton of Ben and Jerry’s.

  3. This was one of my Mom’s favorite desserts. Apparently, they used to serve this in her elementary or high school cafeteria. I made it a couple of times and was not impressed, but as I say, Mom liked it, so that made it worthwhile.

    • Actually, I do remember something like this being served as a school lunch dessert in the 1980s. I rarely ate school lunches in elementary school (and never once in middle and high school), so I never tried it. However, there was definitely a pudding dish with those kinds of kernels in it that I saw other kids eating. I don’t remember if it was popular or not.

  4. This was a favorite of my family’s for as long as I can remember. My father especially liked it and either my mother or I used to make it for a special treat for his birthday, Father’s Day, etc. I recently looked up other recipes for this dessert, but this was the one that was on the Grape Nuts cereal box — and the one I’ve always used.

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