Radio pudding is a classic vintage dessert – made with simple ingredients. A simple cake-like pudding baked in a butterscotch syrup. We have made this dessert in vegan style.Read more: Vintage Vegan Radio Pudding
Radio Pudding is a delicious family recipe. I make it vegan so that everyone can enjoy it. At our family dinners, this is a showstopper – and it is demolished in minutes. As the cook, I am so happy when everyone enjoys it – but I just throw this dish together with very little effort!
My husband’s grandmother used to make this special but simple dessert. Apparently she wrote down this recipe that she had heard on the radio. That’s the story that is told in our family!
When I Googled Radio Pudding, I found that there are a few other recipes by the same name – with the very same story – “Grandma” wrote down a Pudding recipe from recipes broadcast on the radio and called it Radio Pudding. It’s funny that there were other recipes broadcast – but everyone called this particular recipe Radio Pudding. Was there no Radio Soup or Stew?
It all makes sense though. Before we had FoodTV or even TV -people listened to the radio. In the early 20th century, radio was the popular form of entertainment and an important source of information. Radio shows often featured cooking segments where hosts would share recipes and cooking tips with their listeners.
Aunt Sammy’s Kitchen
In the United States one of the earliest cooking shows was “Aunt Sammy’s Kitchen,” which aired in the United States from 1926 to 1946. The show featured the fictional character Aunt Sammy (created by the U.S. Bureau of Home Economics), who shared recipes and cooking advice with listeners. The recipes were often simple and focused on using readily available ingredients.
Here is a copy of Aunt Sammy’s Radio Cookbook from 1941! I always enjoy looking through vintage cookbooks!
I can’t find the Radio Pudding recipe in this publication – so who knows what the original source is – but likely a show like this!
During World War II, radio recipes became even more popular as food shortages and rationing made it difficult for people to find and afford certain ingredients.
Cooking shows on the radio provided helpful tips and advice on how to stretch food supplies and create tasty meals with limited resources – and some were designed to encourage housewives to use less food and substitute ingredients!
CBC Radio – Kate Aitken
In Canada, our national broadcasting organization (don’t even ask Elon Musk if this is a government sponsored news source) – the CBC featured recipes as well. For example, Kate Aitken was a popular host in the 1940s and 50s. She gave housekeeping, fashion and recipe advice!
In North America – pudding generally means a sweet milk-based dessert – similar in consistency to custard. (We think of Jello Pudding). Internationally, pudding may refer to any dessert, or a “sweet or savory steamed dish made with flour”.
The Radio Pudding recipe reminds me a little bit of “Cottage Pudding” – from my favourite 1950 edition of the American Woman’s Cookbook – except that it is baked without the butterscotch syrup.
For as long as I have been making Radio Pudding, I have been tinkering with the recipe. It uses basic ingredients that I have on hand – brown sugar, sugar, flour, baking powder – and dairy or non-dairy butter and milk.
Making it Vegan
I use vegan margarine and unsweetened oak milk – or whatever non-dairy milk that I have on hand. My non-vegan boys just don’t notice the flavour difference -and my vegan daughter appreciates being able to enjoy the dessert with her brothers.
I have also added LOADS of raisins (You could halve this amount of raisins if you like – but why would you? – we love raisins). This dessert tastes like a deconstructed butter tart!
Family Dinner Timing
This is a recipe that I have been making lately for family dinners. I am always trying to find ways to have everything ready at the right time – and balancing family dinners is a challenge.
I prepare the syrup portion in advance and pour into a pyrex dish. (This way I am not making syrup on the stove while I am mashing potatoes or steaming the vegetables for dinner). I mix the dry ingredients together and set everything aside. Those steps may take place hours before dinner! When we are about to put the main course on the table – I mix the butter and milk with the dry ingredients, toss in the raisins – and then drop spoonfuls of the batter into the syrup and bake – while we are eating dinner.
You don’t have to make it this way – we just really juggle a lot of things when we are putting dinner on the table for a family spread!
Here is the basic method for making this delicious dessert. There is a printable recipe card at the bottom of the page!
Vintage Vegan Radio Pudding
Sauce or Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. Vegan Margarine (or butter)
1 1/2 cup water
In a saucepan, stir together brown sugar, margarine and water. Boil while whisking for 3-5 minutes. Pour syrup into 9 inch cake pan. I use a ceramic pyrex dish!
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (or dairy milk)
2 tbsp. vegan margarine (or butter)
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup raisins
Mix dry ingredients together. Mix in milk and margarine/butter. Stir together. Add raisins and mix.
Drop spoonfuls of batter into the syrup – do not mix in. The batter should be sitting in a shallow amount of syrup – but the surface should be above the liquid level. Don’t spread the batter to the edges – unevenness is good! When the mixture cooks the batter will rise and spread out – and the syrup will sit underneath!
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25-27 minutes.
Serves 5! We serve with a splash of (non-dairy or dairy) whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
We NEVER EVER have leftovers!!
Below is a printable recipe card from RecipesGenerator. Please give it a try!
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