Steam Pudding and make-believe snow

Today it was snowing the kind of snow you see in store displays. They were large, fluffy clumps of flakes that slowly floated down. Occassionally the sun would peak through the clouds and everything glistened. I was shoveling snow as the kids played. And so when the sun came out I ran inside to get the camera. I really tried to run fast but each time when I came outside the light had shifted just a bit.

little hunter2make believe snow

Even the trees had a frosting of powdered sugar.

powdered sugar trees

Since the day was a stay-at-home sort of day and with Christmas just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out a family recipe received from my Grampa Jim. Ever since I was small we would gather at my grandparents’ on Christmas day and after dinner we would make music and then we would have dessert which included Gramma’s Steam Pudding. To me it seems as if the Steamed Pudding might be of English tradition. Fitting it would be since in my Gramma’s family tree there is English heritage that traces back to the Revolutionary War and even earlier.

Gramma and GrampaSteam Pudding

2.4 dl/1 c molasses

2.4 dl/1 c hot water
85 g/ 6 tbsp melted butter
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp soda

2 cups flour

2 egg whites beaten to firm peak

Pour the hot water into the molasses, add salt and soda, butter and egg yolks and then mix.
Add flour and fold into the molasses mixture.
Fold beaten egg whites into the batter.
steam pudding batterPour batter into greased molds in a steamer and cover. Cook over hot water at medium heat for 90 minutes. Do NOT lift cover before time is up.

After the 90 minutes are up, stick a test skewer and if if comes clean your pudding is done.
I used my double boiler for the cake since I did not have molds for the steamer. My cook time was somewhat longer since the cake did not have the hole in the middle that many molds have.

Serve in slices with generous servings of sauce.

steam pudding1Sauce

2 pasteurized eggs

140 g/10 tbsp melted butter
8 dl/3 and 1/2 c powdered sugar
0,5 l/1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Whip the cream with the vanilla and a generous 2 dl/1 cup of the powdered sugar and set aside. Beat the eggs and half of the remaining powdered sugar, add the melted butter and mix. Fold the egg mixture into the whipped cream, add the remainder of the powdered sugar and refrigerate.

steam pudding2As the children trickled in from the outdoors and school the cake continued to grow smaller and smaller.

little hunter


  1. So beautiful! Big, grand snowflakes are work of art! Unfortunately ours were gone immediately and the rain is back again…What lovely cake.

  2. Your Grandpa Jim’s (and my) Aunt Mabel Wuollet used to make steam pudding at Christmas time. She served it with ‘hard’ sauce. I’ll have to find out if this is the same recipie she used or if it is from your Grandma Darlene’s side of the family. Either way, it looks great!

    1. It would be quite interesting to know where exactly the recipe originated…maybe we’ll have to do a little research! I also remember the sauce being called “hard” sauce.

  3. Beautiful my dear, the tradition continues. Looking at the partially devoured cake, I can visualize you playing the violin, Erica at the piano and a whole house singing Silent night Holy night and sleep in heavenly peace.
    Love, Grampa

      1. At one time in my life I didn’t have an oven for a while, so I couldn’t make cakes. Instead I made steamed puddings. No one complained 🙂 And the other favourite for the children at that time of no oven were pikelets (drop scones/Scotch pancakes ) (sometimes with fruit and nuts added) and girdle scones made with buttermilk or yogurt instead of the usual milk. Ah, your steamed pudding recipe is bringing back so many memories 🙂

  4. I, too, was out in the snow yesterday, trying to capture the winter wonderland. The first snow is always so special! But, gimme another month and I might be singing a different tune. I’m forever a fickle head! One minute snow, another sun…oh, well, can’t have them all at once! The pudding looks so yummy and purdy! XOXO, Angie.

    1. One year, my husband and I headed to the Canary Islands for a week. It was the perfect break from the snow and slush, and it seemed like spring came so much faster that year. I keep dreaming that some year we’ll do that again. 🙂

  5. I love your photos. What a magical day you captured. My children are just waiting for our first snow here (some years we get enough to sled in and others are faint dustings). Each year I say I’m going to try a steamed pudding and it never quite makes it onto my list. Your recipe sounds wonderful and I think we’d enjoy it after a leisurely Sunday supper and not just on Christmas.

    1. Yes, the kids usually wait the most…even though I must admit that I do too since it really brightens up the otherwise almost black landscape of the afternoons and evenings. The steamed pudding had been on my list of for quite a while…it was actually so easy that I wondered why I hadn’t made it earlier! Hope you get some snow this year!

  6. Your children are gorgeous. I miss the snow sorta but I don’t miss shovelling it off my roof! I love this pudding. What kind of molasses did you use? Wishing you a super holiday!!

    1. Thank you Bam! LOL…I guess I wouldn’t miss shoveling snow off the roof either! But I do love shoveling the snow off of my driveway. We have a big driveway and so it is a free workout in the fresh air. (secret: I actually get a little miffed if someone else does it… 😉 )

    1. Thanks Francesca! Pasteurized eggs are available in the United States. Here in Finland we do not have pasteurized eggs available but luckily we have not had outbreaks of salmonella and so I dared to use regular eggs…but it may be wise to just leave the egg out of the sauce if you are concerned.

  7. I love those big chunky snowfalls, and I love steamed pudding. Haven’t made it for years, but think I’ll keep your recipe in mind for next winter if I can remember that far ahead. 🙂

  8. Hi Laila,
    My aunt Mabel Wuollet had a part time job doing house work for a couple of spinster school teachers by the name of McCann. I assume that the recipe came from them. And a Celtic or UK origin.

  9. Grampa again, I recommend Gramma’s molasses, a brand available in the US. It’s sweet and mild.
    About the hard sauce. At holiday time we formerly made plum pudding at the bakery:eighteen ingredients, no plums as such, raisins, beer and brandy and spices, also suet. We would wrap the mixture in muslin tie with string and dip in melted paraffin to preserve it. Then open the wax ball place the pudding in a double boiler and steam. To serve the pudding hot with a dollop of Hard Sauce generously seasoned with brandy. In some quarters the plum pudding is called “Spotted Dog”!
    Thus endith the epistle.
    Love, Grampa

    1. Thanks for the history of the recipes. I remember tasting a little bit of the plum pudding at the bakery once, it was quite flavorful. And it is likely that it was from there that I remembered the “hard sauce”. Love, Laila

  10. Yummy, yummy! And I’m so jealous that you guys get snow around christmas time! It’s hot over here. And those are some awesome photos! :3

    1. Thanks! We often have snow from November-December to about April. And by April we all are ready for the warm weather to come. The snow does make many things possible for those that like winter outdoor activities.

  11. I am not at all familiar with steam pudding but it sure does look good. The photos of your children are beautiful, as is the one of your proud Grandparents. How nice that your children know them.

    1. We try to make it over the sea to the US as often as possible and it would be nice if the trip was shorter so it would be an easier one to make. It always requires an abundance of arrangements. But thankfully we have the internet and so it is possible to keep in touch quite easily!

    1. The cake has a very soft and moist texture and it works perfectly with the sauce. I really love those rosy cheeks as well. Sometimes he will play outside for ours and in the evening he falls asleep so quickly after all of the fresh air.

  12. We have snow on the ground and more to come. Your steamed pudding would indeed be wonderful after a day of clearing snow or making a snowman.

    1. Have you been having the really cold weather that some areas in the US have been having? Our winter so far has been quite mild…but I’m sure we will get our share of the cold come January and February.

      1. It has been very cold considering it is not even officially winter yet. We have snow on the ground, it is snowing right now and it should give us another foot. It will be a very white Christmas here in New England. I know what you mean about February.

  13. I like the way you improvised with the double boiler. I’ve often wanted to try making a steamed pudding, but never tried it because I didn’t have a mold.

    1. Thanks Sheryl! Since steam pudding is not traditional here in Finland, I don’t think molds are quite readily available here…but the Finns make a lot of rice pudding/porridge around Christmas time in their double boilers and so of course we had one of those! And it worked perfect!

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