Pudding au Chomeur

Pudding au Chomeur

I don’t think I was ever particularly patriotic when I lived in Canada. Of course I was always proud to be Canadian and put my little Canadian flag pin on my bag whenever I travelled, but I wasn’t that fussed about celebrating Canada Day. Since moving to England and especially since having kids, it’s become more important to me to recognise Canadian holidays and celebrate them.

Last weekend, we held our 8th annual Canada Day barbecue with around 35 adults and their assorted children. We started this tradition the first summer after our son was born, and the attendee list has grown considerably. Our friend Caroline (who’s Scottish) makes a papier mache beaver piñata for us every year, which is always a highlight. This year, she really went all out and the beaver was gold and sparkly. It was the most blingin’ beaver in town!

I always try to make something Canadian for the barbecue, usually in the form of a dessert. This year, I made butter tart squares, my Canadian friend Kelly brought Nanaimo bars (which were gone in around 60 seconds), and I also made something called pouding au chomeur.

It literally translates into “unemployment pudding”, although I can’t imagine how the unemployed could afford all the maple syrup and butter needed for this recipe. It’s a traditional dessert from Quebec, and it reminds me a lot of one of my favourite British desserts, sticky toffee pudding. It’s very sweet, very filling, and very delicious. A little goes a long way, even in this house.

The original recipe, in French, is here: http://www.recettes.qc.ca/recettes/recette.php?id=391 I’ll do my best to translate it into English (with additional instructions from me), with many, many apologies to my Quebecois/e friends.


Pudding au Chomeur


  • For the sauce -
  • 1 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 cup of freshly boiled water
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • For the cake -
  • 1 ½ cups of plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of whole milk


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Butter a 13”x9” rectangular dish.

To make the cake, sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.

Set aside.

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter until light.

Gradually add the sugar until the mixture is fluffy.

To the butter mixture, add ¼ of the milk and ¼ of the flour mixture, mix, add another ¼ of the milk and flour, mix again, and repeat until all the milk and flour has been incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the greased baking dish.

For the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.

Let it boil and stir often for 2-3 minutes, then pour the sauce on top of the batter.

Do not mix the batter and sauce together - it’ll look like a mess, but it will work out in the end.

Have faith in the unemployment pudding; it knows what it’s doing.

Bake for 45 minutes.

It’s a bit difficult to tell when the cake is cooked through because the whole thing will be rather wobbly from all the sauce underneath, but you can stick a toothpick about 1cm into the centre of the cake to test it.

It will be golden brown and will start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Serve warm.

If you’re making this ahead, you can store it in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave (in individual portions) for about a minute or so. A little cream poured on top is lovely and cuts through the sweetness of this dessert. Bon appétit!

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