Butterscotch and date pudding

Butterscotch and date pudding

15 mins
Cooking time
45 mins
Ian Hofstetter

Don’t feel you have to rush out and buy vanilla paste – although it’s a lovely ingredient to have on hand. For this recipe vanilla extract or even vanilla essence will do just as well.


Quantity Ingredient
spray oil
1 1/4 cups dates, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups water, boiling
90g light margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted

Light vanilla custard

Quantity Ingredient
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, scalded
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste


  1. Preheat the oven to moderate, 180ºC. Lightly spray a 20 cm square cake pan or casserole dish with oil.
  2. Combine the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a small saucepan. Add the water and bring to the boil, stirring well. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the margarine and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Fold half the flour into the creamed mixture with half the dates and liquid. Repeat and mix lightly until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40–45 minutes until cooked. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre; if it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
  5. To make the custard, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in the warm milk and vanilla paste. Transfer to a saucepan. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 3–4 minutes, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Serve the custard warm or chilled with the warm pudding.
  6. Wrap any leftovers well and keep frozen or in the fridge. The custard will keep for 2 days in the fridge and can be gently warmed through before serving, if desired.


  • For extra crunch, add 1/4 cup chopped pecans to the pudding mixture.

    To make an even lower-fat custard, make it with custard powder and low-fat milk, following the packet instructions.
fat. low-fat. low
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