4.49 from 25 votes

Half-Hour Pudding

This half-hour pudding is the ultimate vintage dessert that takes just 30 minutes to get on the table. It tastes just like Grandma used to make, and I always adore pulling out generations-old recipes at dinner parties that still pack a punch.

Half hour pudding in a pan with a wooden spoon.

I remember the first time I tried this incredible recipe. I dug into it after a bad day at school when I was a child. Let me tell you – the ridiculous sweetness of the brown sugar sauce instantly made everything better.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what half-hour pudding actually IS? Well, it’s essentially a sweet bread pudding that’s baked in a rich caramel sauce. It’s just as indulgent as it sounds and is perfect for sorting out that sweet tooth.

Now, the soft and moist cake is a serious hit. But I’d say it’s the silky caramel sauce that tastes uber-sweet on the tongue that tips this recipe over the edge. It’s certainly sugary, but it’s oh-so-decadent and will have you sticking your spoon back in for seconds, thirds, and fourths!

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    Just fill your dessert dishes to the brim, serve them to your guests, and wait for nods of approval around the table. 

    Trust me, you’re going to get them!

    recipe binder image

    Why You’ll Love This Half Hour Pudding

    • As you might have guessed from the name, it’s ready in just 30 minutes.
    • It’s packed with delicious, silky, and sweet caramel flavor.
    • This pudding tastes so smooth on your tongue and will have you going back for seconds!
    • It’s super sugary, making it perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth.


    The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.

    For the cake

    • Brown sugar. This gives the cake a molasses-like flavor and keeps it super sweet.
    • Milk. For moisture and making sure the cake combines properly.
    • Flour. I recommend using regular all-purpose flour for this.
    • Baking powder. Crucial for getting a rise in your cake!

    For the sauce

    • Brown sugar. Brown sugar mixes perfectly with butter for a rich and deliciously sweet sauce.
    • Boiling water. For loosening the other ingredients and making things pourable.
    • Butter. Adds an indulgent smoothness that you can’t beat.
    Ingredients to make half hour pudding.

    How to Make Half Hour Pudding

    • Step One: Preheat the oven to 375F.
    • Step Two: Stir together the cake ingredients in a large bowl and set it aside.
    • Step Three: Bring water to boil on the stove.
    • Step Four: Add in the brown sugar and butter and stir.
    • Step Five: Boil for 5 minutes.
    Steps to make half hour pudding.
    • Step Six: Pour the sauce into a 9 x 13 baking pan and top it with the cake batter mixture.
    Steps to make half hour pudding.
    • Step Seven: Bake for 30 minutes, serve, and enjoy!
    Half hour pudding in a pan with a wooden spoon.

    Equipment Needed

    You don’t need much to make half-hour pudding (and that’s what I love about it!). But you can certainly grab a few basic pieces of equipment to make things easier. 

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    What to Serve with Half Hour Pudding

    If you want to add more oomph to your half hour pudding, it’s a good idea to serve it with a few of these fabulous recipes!

    Half hour pudding in a dessert dish.

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Don’t overmix your batter. Although this recipe is indulgent and sticky, you don’t want to be left with a dense batter. To avoid this, combine the ingredients slowly until it’s just combined.
    • Don’t skimp on the caramel sauce. You must pour some caramel sauce over the cake to stop it from going dry! And hey, using more caramel sauce is always a good idea.
    • Don’t burn your caramel. It sounds obvious, but you’ll want to keep a close eye on your caramel. If you cook it on heat that’s too high (or for too long!), you could easily burn your caramel.
    • Measure the flour carefully. It’s easy to overmeasure your flour and end up with an overly dense and floury cake. To avoid this, double-check your measurements with a digital weighing scale.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • If you want, you can throw in a few nuts or dried fruit (like raisins!) into the cake mix for a bit of a change.
    • If you adore chocolate, why not top this dessert with a few chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a hint of bitterness?

    Storage Instructions

    To keep this half-hour pudding tasting delicious, store it in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Can I Freeze?

    You can freeze this tasty pudding in portions (for easy defrosting!) for up to 3 months. 

    You can technically keep it for longer, but it tends to lose some of its structural integrity after this point.

    Half hour pudding on a serving spoon.

    Pudding Recipes

    If you can’t get enough of this half-hour pudding, I suggest rolling up those sleeves and getting to work on a few other desserts! Hey, you only live once, right?

    • Butterscotch Pudding – Is there anything better than a rich and tasty butterscotch pudding? It’s way better than anything you could get in a packet, and it seriously couldn’t be easier to make. The perfect choice for a lazy midweek dessert!
    • Orzo Pudding – It might sound slightly bizarre to use orzo in a dessert, but it tastes just dreamy in this interesting twist on rice pudding. It’s creamy and is packed with a cinnamon flavor that’s so warming and moreish.
    • Butterscotch Pudding Cookies – If you just can’t scratch that butterscotch itch, then you need to jump on these butterscotch pudding cookies. They’re super thick and chewy, and you can even make them with a box of instant cookie mix for ease!
    • Cracker Pudding – This is an old-school recipe made with milk, soda crackers, eggs, vanilla and coconut. It’s one of my favorite vintage dishes that’s thick, creamy, and beautifully sweet.
    • Rocky Road Pudding – When it comes to indulgent desserts that combine multiple flavors and textures, this Rocky Road Pudding always wins out. It’s topped with nuts and mini marshmallows and has a glorious chocolatey taste!

    You’ll also like Eggnog Bread Pudding, Earthquake Cake and Fruit Cocktail Cake.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    4.49 from 25 votes

    Half-Hour Pudding

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 8
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    An easy vintage dessert recipe just like Grandma used to make. The sweet bread pudding bakes in a rich caramel sauce for 30 minutes.



    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 4 tsp baking powder


    • 2 cups brown sugar
    • 4 cups boiling water
    • 2 tsp salted butter


    • Preheat oven to 375°F.
    • Stir together cake ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
    • Bring water to a boil on the stove. Add in brown sugar and butter and stir. Boil for 5 minutes.
    • Pour sauce into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Top with cake batter mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.


    Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 81.4g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 1.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 5.6mg | Sodium: 50.3mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 56g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Desserts
    Cuisine American
    Keyword half hour pudding, old-fashioned pudding, pudding, pudding recipe

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    Recipe Rating


    1. caroline m. says:

      Oh my looks delicious!  Actually it looks just like an old dessert my grandmother (and many other Quebec grandmothers I’m sure) used to make, we called it “pudding chomeur”  roughly translated to poor man’s pudding.  My favourite!

    2. June Murphy says:

      I love caramel as well. This is making my mouth water and it seems easy enough for me to make

    3. We love pudding and this looks delicious and so comforting! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
      Miz Helen

    4. Looks and sounds so yummy Stacie! Sharing! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!

    5. Gwyneth persson says:

      Adding 3/4 cup raisins to the sauce takes it over the top. Ads another layer of moistness. I found putting the batter in first n the Carmel sauce on top makes it an even more luscious dessert as at the end all the caramel raisin sauce settles at the bottom any way. Reduce brown sugar by 1/2c lightly packed brown sugar. If you’ve never liked raising try this. You will be a convert

      1. Was about to write a similar comment. So much easier to spread cake layer first  and top with sauce. Have always made with raisins but omitted this time because I didn’t have any on hand. Did add a bit of vanilla and a pinch of nutmeg. Also a pinch of salt in the cake. 

      2. Vickie Calvin says:

        We always plump our raisins before putting them in a recipe, but squish out a lot of the moisture! We think it makes it better, as you don’t run into a chewy raisin! I personally hate that!

    6. Karin Nyberg says:

      Thank you for sharing recipes. For the sauce, is it 2 teaspoons butter or 2 tablespoons? Just making sure I have correct amount before starting. Take care!

    7. Looks great….is.it all purpose.flour or self rising?…

    8. Sonya Amling says:

      I’m I missing something in the recipe, I don’t see any caramel in the ingredients list.

      1. Sheral Downham says:

        The sause is the Carmel I believe

    9. Kathy Mehrtens says:

      Looks great
      Thanks for sharing asking it today

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