Steamed Sticky Date Pudding Prepared On Expresso

The Expresso team asked me to come up with a camping pudding.  So I was sitting on my bed thinking….Malva? Ginger? Or Chocolate?

Eventually, I remembered I once worked on a steamed date pudding but I never blogged about it.  So it seamed like a perfect recipe.  Initially, I tried baking the pudding on a rack over coals but it got burnt from the bottom up.  So decided, once can still steam their pudding.  It’s a very easy recipe to make and it can be prepared in an oven, on the stove top as well.  It’s quite versatile.

One has an option of using an egg, it yields a softer, fluffier texture.  One would expect the pudding to be rubbery because it is steamed but it’s the opposite.  So this festive season when you going camping with your friend don’t forget to prepare this recipe!

Steamed Sticky Date Pudding in a Mug Recipe

Serves: 3

250ml (1 cup) pitted dates, chopped

250ml (1 cup) boiling water

5ml (1tsp) bicarbonate of soda (bicarb)

125ml (½ cup) milk

3 tablespoons butter

80ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar

Pinch of salt

250ml (1 cup) self raising flour

5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence

1 egg (optional)


  1. Place dates, water and bicarb in a small bowl and allow to stand for ±5 minutes.
  2. In a pan, heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt till the butter has melted.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.  Add flour and vanilla essence and mix with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth.
  4. Add an egg and continue mixing ensuring that the mixture is blended.
  5. Add date mixture into the batter and mix well.
  6. Lightly grease three enamel mugs with butter.  Fill the mugs half full with the batter.
  7. Pour boiling water into a cast iron pot just to cover outer surface of the mugs half way.  Dot with a little bit of butter and few dates pieces. Place the mugs in the water and cover.
  8. Cook for ±20 minutes.
  9. Serve with custard or whipped cream.

Cook’s Tips:

  • Use kitchen scissors to cut dates if there’s no chopping board at camp.
  • The egg doesn’t have to be used in the recipe but it results in a fluffier pudding.
  • The pudding is not done until the colour turns dark brown.
  • One can always add a about 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter.
  • Double the recipe if there’s more than 3 people.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 4 )

  • yanga

    looks yum and moist-my kind of dessert:-) I’ll try it on Christmas day and let you know. thanks ntombi.

    • You’re welcome girl! I was thinking you know mos in the E.C. we go to the beach on new year’s day. We camp there the whole day! I think the pudding would be perfect to prepare while chilling and having a braai. It’s very easy! Well, let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  • Love this, Thuli! You are such a clever young lady!!

    • I’m smiling from ear to ear! LOL! Thanks Zirkie! Hope you get to try the recipe you’ll love it!

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