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Amish Door's Date Pudding

Serves: 6


  • 2 c. chopped dates
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbs. margarine, cut in pieces
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2.25 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 5/8 c. chopped walnuts
  • Caramel sauce:
    • 1.5 c. brown sugar
    • 2 tbs. cornstarch
    • 1 c. water
    • dash salt
    • 2 tbs. butter
    • 2 tbs. cream
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp. maple extract
  • whipped cream


  1. Combine dates, baking soda, and margarine in a large bowl. Stir. Add boiling water and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Add eggs and beat until whites are broken up and well distributed. Add sugar and beat 2 minutes longer. Beat in vanilla. Add flour all at once and beat on low speed until incorporated, then medium speed until smooth.
  3. Add walnuts and mix.
  4. Spray a 9x11-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom with parchment. Do not grease the paper. Pour batter into pan, smoothing to edge. Bake at 275F for about 50 minutes. Cool in pans or remove from pans by sliding onto a counter. When cool, invert and remove paper. Cut into 1-inch squares.
  5. To make caramel sauce: mix sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan; blend well. Add water and salt. Dissolve and bring to a boil; stir while cooking for 6 to 8 minutes. If too thick add a little more water. Remove from heat; stir in butter, cream, vanilla and maple extract.
  6. Scoop date pudding into dessert bowls. Spoon caramel sauce over pudding. Top with whipped cream.


  • Originally published in Wichita Eagle, Dec. 5, 2001. All quantities have been reduced by 50%. When I made this, I actually cut the recipe down to 25%. I used a round pan, probably too small, since the pudding came up about 2-inches, whereas I suspect the recipe expects about 1-inch depth. The result was that the center of the pudding was, well, pudding, while the outside crust had started to brown. Nonetheless, when you mix it up you get, well, pudding.
  • When I originally copied the recipe, I left out the vanilla from the ingredients list. I'm guessing 1 tsp., but I'm also very fond of vanilla. I think the results are fine.
  • The original caramel sauce recipe called for using ClearJel to thicken; this is an altered cornstarch which isn't sold in grocery stores. The recipe also called for cooking the sauce in a double boiler. The first time I tried making this, I substituted a pectin thickener, which had no real effect in the double boiler. I wound up dumping the sauce into a saucepan and boiling it for 5 minutes, which still wasn't very satisfactory. This recipe was improvised after looking at several other caramel sauce recipes.
  • I put the leftover pudding into a container, spooned the leftover caramel sauce on top of it, spooned the leftover whipped cream on top of that, and put the entire assemblage into the refrigerator. It was good the first night, but the leftovers were better still.

Keywords: American, Dessert, Pudding.