Posted by: Erica Retrochef | February 15, 2016

Date Pudding

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and so I asked my spouse of many years if he’d like some dates. He got a smile on his face, but then a slightly suspicious look.

“Is this a date or some retro recipe idea?”

“Ummm… Can it be both?”



1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/6 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/2 lb. ARABIAN STEED Dates, cut
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon boiling water

Mix dry ingredients and add Dates. Then add milk, molasses and melted butter. Dissolve soda in boiling water and add to mixture.


After assembling all the ingredients, I was rather worried. “Pudding” generally has a lot more milk, and a lot less flour. Plus, cornstarch is a much more typical thickener.

And also pudding usually gets cooked, doesn’t it?


What exactly are we making here?


With the molasses and spices and milk and butter, the consistency looks much more like gingerbread than pudding.


And then the boiling water plus baking soda were mixed in. The consistency got very slightly looser. Very slightly.


Like many dates, this didn’t go as expected…

This is the oddest pudding I’ve ever had. The consistency is sort of pudding-like, if pudding was very thick, but it also tastes very much like flour — it’s like eating a very gluey gingerbread cookie dough with dates in it. After chilling in the refrigerator, it becomes even more dense (presumably because the butter hardens). Not terrible… but not something I think I’ll ever make again.

This and other Arabian Steed Date recipes can be found in the Shelf Life Taste Test Flickr photostream


  1. I am sure that this recipe is supposed to be a Steamed Pudding- everything uis put into a container with a cover and then cooked partially immersed in boiling water- the batter rises and becomes a very moist cake

    • That makes a lot of sense to me, but there was nothing in the instructions — AT ALL — so I wasn’t sure where to go with it 🙂

      • I think that prepared properly this could be good. Another way was to pour the batter into a closely woven greased bag and boil it. Another way was a crockery bowl with a cloth tied tightly over the top. The tin is the simplest if you have one, but I think you could convert this into a cake with some more liquid

  2. I agree with the above comment, it’s like a bit of the recipe ( the part where you cook it) is missing! I think if it had been cooked it would have been a delicious sticky date pudding. xx

  3. …definitely agree with all of the above; I would also have just baked it, expecting it to be a date bar or something, since it has no leavening.

  4. I will bet this is a pudding where pudding=dessert, English-style. And that this is only the front of the card, and it gets baked into a cake.

    • It’s a recipe in a pamphlet, and there was definitely no baking instructions included in any other pages (I looked pretty hard!)… But yeah, I can’t imagine this any way except being cooked!

  5. this is very odd. I adore dates. I’ve made Sticky Toffee Pudding with dates (an old English dessert referenced in Harry Potter) absolutely heavenly! – this stuff just sounds……..uncooked! Like raw cookie dough.

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