Withrow’s Date Pudding

From 1946 to 1950, I attended Withrow High School, at that time a prestigious school with a beautiful campus in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park.  I traveled by streetcar from our home in the not-so-prestigious area called the East End to this beautiful place which also had an enormous cafeteria with an extensive lunch menu.  I tried dishes here that were brand-new to me.  One of my favorites was a dessert called Date Pudding.  I loved the gooey pudding with crunchy walnuts and a dab of whipped cream (well before the era of Cool Whip).

After I left Withrow, I tried date pudding at restaurants without finding one that was similar to the cafeteria version.  When I started cooking, I tried out a lot of recipes and found some good ones, but not quite the right one.  Then, I found this one in 1989 (not sure where it turned up) and it was what I was looking for.  In my recipe binder I have a note, “2/25/89 – excellent.  Like Withrow H.S.’s in late 1940s.”


  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 Tblsp. butter

Place the sugar, water and butter in a medium saucepan and heat to boiling.  Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the rest of the dessert.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tblsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dates
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a 9×9 baking dish mix together the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder.  Stir in the chopped dates and nuts….

….then the milk and vanilla.

Mix together just until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed.  Spread out evenly in the baking dish.

Pour the warm syrup over the top and set baking dish on a large pan to catch spills.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with a little of the sauce from the bottom of the baking dish and a bit of whipped cream or topping.

This is also good at room temperature.  It is very rich – small servings are advised.

Makes 12 servings.

I eat a few bites and I’m transported back to Withrow’s noisy, crowded cafeteria and a special lunchtime treat.

Published by


Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

3 thoughts on “Withrow’s Date Pudding”

  1. I love sticky date pudding,I usually do a separate caramel sauce, I will try this out at our next family dinner, Thank’s for sharing the recipe. BTW thanks for posting the mini tut’s on the Civil War Blocks, they are very helpful

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s