Traditional American Indian Pudding: a Cold-Weather Classic

Happy National Indian Pudding Day! Today (November 13) is the perfect excuse to indulge in a delicious bowl of Indian Pudding. This traditional New England dessert has been satisfying sweet cravings for centuries.

American Pudding history

Indian Pudding had a root from the Hasty Pudding which was a popular dish in the 16th century in British cuisine. The original Hasty Pudding recipe was made from wheat flour simmered in boiling milk or water until it achieved a thick, hearty consistency. The name “Hasty Pudding” suggests its quick and easy preparation.

Baked Indian pudding ice cream
In an American song from the 18th century – “Yankee Doodle,” you’ll find this American Indian dessert in the lyrics.

In the 17th century, English colonists set sail for the New World. Faced with the absence of wheat, they pivoted creatively and replaced it with cornmeal, a grain introduced by indigenous peoples. This adaptation led to the emergence of a new dish, which they named Indian Pudding, derived from the term “Indian meal” for cornmeal. It became a beloved traditional native American dessert, often enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations.

Traditional Indian pudding reicpe

The idea of indulging in a warm, comforting dessert on a chilly day sounded too good to pass up. So, armed with enthusiasm and a recipe, I gathered the ingredients and made it. Here is how to make Indian Pudding:

Authentic Indian Pudding

A beloved native American pudding with nostalgia for the early days of American culinary exploration.
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Servings 6
Calories 200 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Raisins or chopped nuts for added texture Optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • In a saucepan, combine cornmeal, molasses, maple syrup, milk, butter, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (about 10-15 minutes). Remove the saucepan from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Gradually add the beaten eggs to the mixture, stirring continuously to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish. If desired, sprinkle raisins or chopped nuts on top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until the pudding is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the Indian Pudding to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

Indian Pudding is often served with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, maple syrup, a warm whiskey sauce, fresh fruits (Sliced bananas or berries), a drizzle of caramel sauce, chopped nuts (such as pecans or walnuts), or granola. You can experiment with different toppings you like.
Keyword baking, gluten free, homemade

If you want something more refreshing than the original recipe, you can try some variations by adding flavors to the mix, such as pumpkin puree or diced apples.

easy indian pudding recipe without oven

If you don’t have the oven, you can still boiling pudding using either an Instant Pot or a slow cooker. Here’s how:

With the instant pot:

Combine all the ingredients (except eggs and optional toppings) in the Instant Pot. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
Allow natural pressure release for about 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.

Best Indian pudding recipe
It is one of the oldest desserts in the world

Open the lid and stir in the beaten eggs gradually, making sure to mix well. You can add raisins or chopped nuts. Set the instant pot to the sauté function and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly until the pudding thickens. Then you get a warm Indian pudding.

With the slow cooker or crockpot

Combine all ingredients (except eggs and optional toppings) in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the pudding is set.
About 30 minutes before serving, gradually stir in the beaten eggs, mixing well. You can add raisins or chopped nuts and continue cooking for the remaining time.

Johanna Cleveland
About the author
Kate

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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