Maple-Buttermilk Pudding Cake

This sweet and gooey pudding cake with crisp candied edges, a Maine favorite borrowed from neighboring Quebec, is known as pouding aux chômeurs—the unemployed guy's pudding. Hayward doesn't know how this dessert got its name, but the lavish use of maple syrup (a Maine staple) probably helped make it popular.

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  • Servings: makes one 8-inch square cake

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  • 1 1/3 cups dark amber maple syrup
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of mace
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sugar

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with a piece of parchment paper and butter the paper. In a medium saucepan, boil the maple syrup over moderate heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 6 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat, whisk in 3 tablespoons of the butter, then pour into the prepared baking dish.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt and mace. In another small bowl, whisk the whole egg and egg yolk with the buttermilk and vanilla. In a large bowl, beat the remaining stick of butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the liquid ingredients; beat until the batter is smooth.

  3. Evenly dollop heaping tablespoons of the batter on top of the maple syrup. Bake the pudding for 35 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The pudding can be made earlier in the day and served at room temperature or reheated in a 350° oven for 10 minutes.

Serve With

Unsweetened whipped heavy cream or crème fraîche.

Contributed By Photo © Frances Janisch Published November 2005

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