Wednesdays Unplugged – Steamed Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce



"Christmas is a time for families." ~ Dorothy Koomson


NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!

We have been celebrating our family Christmas on December 23rd for many years…that means we celebrated yesterday! It was a relaxed, fun day of eating, playing and just enjoying hanging out together at our son's house.


Apple Rum Dum with caramel sauce was my mother's signature dessert, and what I usually associate with Christmas. This year I decided to try another long-time tradition in many families… steamed cranberry pudding. There are many recipes out there, but I tried the one from "a Couple Cooks"… Grandma Kuhnau's traditional recipe. I loved the combination of the sugarless molasses cake (so soft it is almost like pudding) and the rich butter sauce. We were too stuffed to fully enjoy it last night, but everyone who tasted it called it amazing!


You will need a steamer… or a large stock pot and 9-inch round pan or bundt pan, plus a something to elevate the cake pan from the bottom of the pot for steaming the cake.

  • 12 ounces (3 cups) raw cranberries Cranberry pudding
  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt (1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup dark molasses (I used mild)
  • 1 cup warm water


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cut the cranberries in half. Place them in a colander and rinse out the seeds.

In a large bowl, combine 2 2/3 cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt. Gradually mix in 1 cup molasses and 1 cup warm water. Fold in the cranberries.

Grease the pan and pour the cranberry mixture into a 9-inch cake or bundt pan.

Follow steamer directions… or if using a stock pot place something in the bottom of the pot to elevate the pan (i.e. trivet, cookie cutter, empty tuna can, vegetable steamer rack). Fill with water to a level where the water stays below the cake pan.

Bring water to a boil and simmer, steaming for about 2 1/2 hours. Check water level periodically and refill if needed. The pudding is done when you can insert a tootpick into the center and it comes out clean. Allow the pudding to cool.

Make the butter sauce when ready to serve. In a saucepan over low hear, melt 1/2 cup butter, stirring often. Stir in 1/2 cup half and half and 1 cup sugar, then add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks



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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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