Make Ahead

Vanilla Date Pudding

October 30, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This recipe was inspired by a fabulous date pudding I had at the River Tavern in Chester, CT and a quintessentially South African dessert, malva pudding. I have been wanting to re-create the date pudding, but I wanted it to be a bit more like the malva pudding I had had in SA. Earthy dates are a perfect vehicle for smooth vanilla. This recipe is great because you can bake the pudding before dinner and then pour on the vanilla cream sauce after dinner at re-heat for 5-10 minutes. If you really wanted to gild the lily, serve with fresh whipped cream for a nice warm/cool contrast. —meganvt01

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: meganvt01 is an adventurous cook and eater who has been in the winner's circle a time or two.
WHAT: Her own, expert riff on a South African malva pudding.
HOW: Just blend, beat, and bake -- but it will taste like you've done so much more.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This perfumed pudding is perfect all on its own, but pour the vanilla-rum cream over the top and it'll be on a whole new level. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Date Pudding
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped from the inside
  • 8 ounces dates, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vanilla-Rum Cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • dash of kosher salt
  1. Date Pudding
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a 9-inch pie pan.
  3. Place the chopped dates in a blender. Pour over the boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes then puree.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar on medium high for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla seeds, vinegar, and butter and beat to combine.
  5. Add a little bit of the date mixture and beat -- this will bring the eggs up to temperature -- add the rest and beat to combine (medium speed). Add the flour, salt, baking powder and beat just to combine.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the center is set and a cake tester comes out clean. Take a wooden skewer and poke holes every inch or so all over the pudding.
  7. At this point you can let the cake cool until after dinner or pour over the vanilla-rum cream sauce and return to the oven for 5 minutes (10 if the pudding was cooled).
  1. Vanilla-Rum Cream
  2. Mix the ingredients.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JamieB
  • Katie Arruda
    Katie Arruda
  • Rivka
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • Midge

Recipe by: meganvt01


14 Reviews

JamieB June 9, 2016
Wow that looks awesome! Do you think it would work with a gluten-free flour blend?
Katie A. November 24, 2015
I am obsessed with the River Tavern and this dessert is the best thing I have ever eaten. They give out the recipe (but its for 60)- I will have to try this one. Thanks!
ekling211 November 24, 2013
I made this WITH regular vanilla instead of the bean (because I keep forgetting to buy one) AND IT WAS AMAZING anyway! Left out the rum too.
ekling211 October 30, 2013
got any idea's of what to swap the rum out for or should I just leave it out.
meganvt01 October 30, 2013
No problem to leave it out.
ekling211 October 30, 2013
Thanks, will make it and let you know. Sounds yummy! What does the vinegar do exactly?
meganvt01 October 30, 2013
It reacts with the baking powder to give the pudding some lift. Also an acid balance. I hope you like it!
Rivka November 28, 2012
Meganvt01 - this is on my menu for the weekend. Can't wait to make it. What a lovely recipe!
Kitchen B. November 26, 2012
Congratulations - what a great recipe, it reminds me a bit of the British sticky toffee pudding. Much success.
Midge November 26, 2012
Congrats meganvt01! Sounds super delicious.
Christina @. November 23, 2012
A version of sticky toffee pudding...sounds good.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 23, 2012
Oh I'm thrilled you're in the finalist circle!!! I was one of the lucky ones to test your recipe and just loved it!!! Many congratulations!!!
susan G. October 30, 2012
Sounds delicious! (You do mean 2 T butter, I believe?)
meganvt01 October 31, 2012
Thanks Susan! Good catch on the ingredients :)