Amish Date Pudding???

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Dates have their origins in the Middle East, commonly growing on palm trees in the Persian Gulf region.  I often talk about how Amish cooks  “discover” a new food and make it their own.  Hispanic foods, pizza, and fast-food are all foods that are historically non-Amish but have been embraced by the Amish. I laughed when I saw a recipe in an Amish cookbook for “homemade Dairy Queen ice cream.”  Fast food has its influence!  Okay, I get how Latin American cuisine has influenced Amish culture and ditto for the others. But how the heck did “date pudding” become such a popular dessert in some Amish settlements?  Where does one even buy dates?  The late Elizabeth Coblentz included the recipe in her column and fixed it a time or two. And many Amish cookbooks contains a recipe for it.  I wish I had thought to ask Elizabeth how she first heard about the recipe.  But here it is.  Layer the “date stuff” and the sauce and cover with whipped topping.  Among the Amish it is viewed as a refreshing dessert to enjoy during summer.


1 cup dates, chopped

1 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

1 1 /2 cups flour

2 tablespoons butter

pinch of salt

1 egg

1 1 /2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Put dates in a bowl.  Pour boiling water over them. Let set for an hour.  Add the other ingredients.  Bake at 325 for 30 to 40 minutes.  Put layers of cake part ands auce in  bowl and top with your favorite whipped topping.


1 1 /4 cups butter

1 1 /4 cups brown sugar

1 /4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon water


2 teaspoons vanilla

3 pints boiling water

1 1 /2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

Brown butter.  Add brown sugar, soda, water, and salt and vanilla and boil until it looks like taffy. Add remaining ingredients.

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The Discussion

  1. Marilyn from NY says:

    I saw those dates and it reminded me of the date and nut bread my Mom use to make. She did it usually at Thanksgiving and Christmas. She would make banana nut bread and date and nut bread. My Mom is gone now but seeing the dates brought the memories back. Thanks Kevin, Marilyn

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  2. Marilyn from NY says:

    I re-read what you wrote asking where you bought dates. We have them at our local grocery store around Thanksgiving and Christmas Time. One of the grocery stores a couple of towns over has them all year round. Neither of the stores are Amish stories.

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  3. Dates…for special holidays usually, Christmas for sure…New Year’s, and Easter, are a very old German “thing”-in puddings, breads, specialty breads…so…for her to have this not so unusual….if she had ever been around any old Germans…amish or not. They are easily found at any grocery store..they freeze when they are on sale…I stock up…always use the chopped dates…for most baking….whole dates for puddings…We always keep dates for special….the flavor is so indicitive of a special time.

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