Traditional date and syrup steamed pudding prepared in the slow cooker or crock-pot is so deliciously simple, easy, and uses all vegan plant-based every-day pantry staples.
This steamed pudding is amazingly light, fluffy, sweet with sticky toffee cinnamon notes, so good!
Serve with hot custard, chilled cream or ice cream for the perfect family dessert with old-style comforting retro vibes!
Preparing classic steamed puddings in the slow cooker or crock pot equals less fuss and is more budget-friendly compared with steaming for hours on the stove-top!
Origin Of Steamed Puddings
Steamed puddings are a traditional British dessert that is either steamed in a cloth bag (clootie) directly within simmering water or the uncooked pudding placed within a covered pudding basin/dish which is then placed in a pot of simmering water.
These types of pudding appear to have evolved from a type of Roman sausage that was brought over to Britain during the 1st Century.
The first puddings were technically not intended as a dessert but rather a savoury dish served along with the meal. But even more confusing is that the savoury meat pudding contained sugar and dried fruit along with spices such as mixed spice, nutmeg, mace, or cinnamon!
Modern Christmas pudding that is popular in the UK stemmed from these medieval meaty, sweet, spicy puddings that were also known as figgy or plum puddings.
In Scotland we still have the traditional Haggis and black pudding which is a meat based pudding cooked within a skin. Haggis and black pudding are not actually desserts but rather are served as part of a savoury meal.
There are now vegan plant-based versions of haggis and black pudding available which are very tasty and nice as an occasional treat especially for a Robert Burns Night Supper.
During Wartime Era Britain (1939-1945) and a few years after, as rationing and shortages went on after the war ended, steamed puddings were a popular savoury and dessert meal.
For a vegan plant-based adapted wartime era steamed Christmas pudding try this easy one we have on the blog. It is so tasty and much lighter than traditional Christmas puddings and features grated potato and carrot! A bonus is that it can be prepared in the microwave and ready in just 15 minutes.
Steamed puddings were common during the British second world two era as they were so versatile and could be filled with inexpensive ingredients and adapted to what was available.
Many savoury steamed puddings were lined with a suet pastry crust with some dessert puddings featuring a bread lining or prepared with breadcrumbs, fruits, custard, etc.
Vegan Date and Syrup Steamed Pudding
This steamed date and syrup pudding is similar to another popular British pudding sticky toffee pudding, which is not usually steamed rather is baked and served warm with a hot sticky toffee sauce poured over the date cake.
However, for sticky toffee pudding the chopped dates are stewed before bicarbonate of soda is mixed through, which results in a kind of date puree which is mixed through the sponge batter.
For this date and syrup pudding the dates are simply chopped and stirred through the cake batter, with Lyles golden syrup added to the bottom of the pudding basin.
This method results in delicious pieces of soft dates mixed with thick sweet golden syrup that looks incredibly pretty when the cooked pudding is demoulded out of the pudding basin.
If your in the UK, the large inexpensive packets of dried dates from Home Bargains are ideal for this pudding, as they are what I used!
Cinnamon is also added to this date pudding recipe, but this can be replaced with ginger, mixed spice, pumpkin or apple pie spice if preferred.
Steamed puddings are just so budget-friendly as only every-day simple ingredients are required but at the same time these tasty treats retain an indulgent and comforting vibe.
Also preparing classic steamed puddings in the slow cooker or crock-pot saves time and money compared with a few hours of steaming on the stove-top cooker.
If you use a pudding basin with a clip-on-top the process is even simpler as no home-made lid needs to be prepared.
A slice with hot custard is the perfect winter evening warmer especially when your all cosy on the sofa watching your favourite soap or TV show!
If you prepare this steamed date pudding recipe do pop back and let us know how you got on.
We love reading all comments and feedback.
Thanks so much.
How To Prepare Slow Cooker Steamed Date And Syrup Pudding:
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftover steamed pudding can be stored in the fridge, within a covered container, for up to 4-5 days.
Whole puddings can be cooled within the pudding basin/dish and then stored with a lid on or with the greaseproof/kitchen foil cover intact.
Freeze within a food container for up to 3 months.
Defrost fully before enjoying at room temperature or reheating.
Reheat by placing the cooked pudding back into the pudding cooking dish or similar heatproof container and pop back into the slow cooker. Set the cooker to high and leave it until the pudding is reheated to your liking.
Or place the pudding in an oven proof dish and cover the top and reheat in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pudding is nice and hot.
For faster reheating a microwave can be used and will take only a few minutes to reheat to piping hot. (Although do change the pudding dish to a microwave safe one if necessary and remove any kitchen foil that may have been used as part of the pudding lid)
* vegan pouring cream
* whipped vegan cream
* vegan ice cream
* hot vegan custard
* hot or room temperature vegan-friendly chocolate or toffee sauce
* fresh fruit slices/berries
* hot berry coulis
For a gluten-free steamed pudding replace the flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend (such as Dove's Farm).
Also sift a ¼-1/2 teaspoon of xanthum gum through the flour. This ingredient helps to stick the pudding crumbs together.
Also use a gluten-free baking flour.
If the cake batter looks too dry once prepared add an extra tablespoon of plant milk to the mixture as gluten-free flour tends to be quite thirsty compared to regular flour!
Prepare this pudding and simply pop it into a large pot to steam for about 2 and a half hours.
A small heatproof plate can be placed at the bottom of the pan and the pudding basin popped on top if preferred.
This can help protect the base of the pudding from too much heat but I don't tend to do this as it can rattle nosily as the water simmers.
Pour boiling water half way up the pudding basin and don't let the water run dry whilst steaming.
The easiest method for steaming a pudding with less fuss and more convenience is to use a pudding basin that comes with an attached heat-proof lid. It is so much easier!
There is an Amazon affiliate link within the recipe card to the exact pudding basin that this recipe uses.
However, if you already have a pudding bowl that you would like to use then you can prepare a traditional lid with greaseproof paper, kitchen foil and string.
Watch this YouTube video clip below from Mason and Cash on how to fashion a pudding lid as it explains it much easier than I could write!
More Vegan Plant-Based Traditional Puddings:
Slow Cooker Date And Syrup Steamed Pudding
- 1 ½-2 pint (¾-1 quart) pudding basin if possible use one with a clip-on-lid or prepare a lid using greaseproof paper/kitchen foil and string.
- slow cooker at least 3.5 litre ( 3.6 quart plus) or large enough to fit your pudding basin with the slow cooker lid on
- hand whisk optional, can simply use a mixing spoon
- 2 tablespoon golden syrup or enough to thickly cover the bottom of your pudding bowl (replace with corn syrup (US) or maple syrup/date syrup/agave syrup)
- 60 grams vegan margarine or vegan butter
- 60 grams soft brown sugar light brown sugar
- 110 grams apple sauce homemade or ready-made jarred apple sauce (ordinary apple sauce from supermarket is fine)
- 100 grams self-raising flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder sifted
- 100 grams dried dates sliced and any stones removed (if in the UK the dates from Home Bargains are ideal)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 2 tablespoon plant milk such as oat or soya
- Switch the slow cooker to the high setting while you prepare the pudding.
- Grease the pudding bowl with vegan margarine.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of golden syrup to cover the base of the pudding bowl. Add a little extra if required.
- Cream the margarine and sugar together either using a hand whisk or wooden spoon.
- Mix through the apple sauce.
- Next add the sifted flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Tip in the chopped dates and pour in the 2 tablespoons of plant milk.
- Using a mixing spoon fold the flour into the mixture until thoroughly combine. Don't use an electric hand whisk as it will over mix the batter.
- Scoop the pudding mix into the pudding basin being careful to just pop the mix over the syrup and not mix it in with the pudding.Level the surface and pop a lid over the pudding basin. Or make a home-made lid with greaseproof paper and kitchen foil large circles, and use string to tightly attach the lid.
- Pour in enough warm-hot water (not boiling) into the slow cooker, so that the water level goes at least half way up your pudding bowl.
- Add the slow cooker lid and leave to steam for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours carefully remove the pudding bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the bowl. Use a knife to go around the edges to loosen the pudding before removing.
- Serve hot with vegan custard, pouring cream or ice cream.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Leftover steamed pudding can be stored in the fridge, within a covered container, for up to 4-5 days.
- Freeze within a food container for up to 3 months.
- Whole puddings can be cooled within the pudding basin/dish and then stored with a lid on or with the greaseproof/kitchen foil cover intact. If preferred prepare a fresh homemade lid.
- For easiness use a pudding basin which comes with a matching lid as then you don't have to prepare your own lid!
- To prepare your own lid first use a layer of greaseproof paper to overlap your pudding dish, then cover with a layer of kitchen foil, and use string to wrap around the pudding basin tightly attaching the two layers. Use large sheets of greaseproof paper and kitchen foil so that a pleat can be folded within the middle. Check out the easy video tutorial just below the recipe FAQ section which explains the technique much better!
- It is important that the pudding doesn't get water into the inside of the bowl as it cooks.
- To steam on the stove-top add the pudding bowl with a lid, to a large pot, and fill with boiling water about half way up the bowl. On a gentle steady simmer steam the pudding for about 2 and a half hours. Don't allow the water to run dry.
- Serve steamed pudding with hot custard, chilled vegan pouring cream or whipped cream, or a good dollop of vegan ice cream.
Prepared our Slow Cooker Spotted Dick Pudding recipe? We would love to know how you got on with the recipe so do pop back and drop us a comment and click the star ratings. Thanks so much! Love Jacq x