Holiday date puddings



20 min


18 mini-puddings

* PLUS Cooking time: 3 minutes, Standing Time: 20 minutes, Baking Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 250-mL red glacé cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dark rum


  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Coarsely chop dates and apricots. Cut cherries in half. Place dates, apricots, cherries and water in a medium-size saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in baking soda. Mixture will bubble and fizz. Let stand 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, if you have 2 muffin pans, butter only 18 of the cups. Or lightly butter a 12-cup muffin pan and a 9×5-inch (2-L) loaf pan. In a medium-size bowl, using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg until evenly mixed. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture just until blended, then stir in rum and fruit mixture until evenly distributed. Batter will be quite thick. Spoon into prepared muffin pans, filling almost to top. If using a loaf pan, scrape in remaining mixture. Smooth surface as best you can. It will not be high in pan.
  • Bake on same rack in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F (160C). Bake until a cake tester inserted in centre of puddings and loaf comes out almost clean, 15 to 18 more minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes, then run a knife around inside of each muffin cup and sides of loaf pan. Turn puddings and loaf onto a cutting board. Thickly slice loaf. Place warm puddings on dessert plates. Drizzle with Sticky Caramel Sauce (also in the Recipe File). If making ahead, cool, then wrap in plastic. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month. Reheat in several batches on medium in the microwave.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 232,
  • Protein
  • 3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 46 g,
  • Fat
  • 4.5 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2 g,

Gooey and soul-satisfying, this is the ultimate festive dessert. Scaled down to individual servings, it’s elegant enough for a buffet or dinner. Top with Sticky Caramel Sauce (also in the Recipe File).