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New England Hasty Pudding Recipe

Have you ever wondered about hasty pudding? Of course, most of us have heard of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club, but what is hasty pudding and what does is have to do with Harvard? The answer to the first question is that hasty pudding is actually derived from traditional English recipes. Early colonials learned to adapt their food preparation to available ingredients, one of which was the Native American’s cornmeal. Hasty pudding is one of those such early American foods.

This wonderful recipe is adapted from

The answer to the second part of the question is at the bottom of the post.

Prep: 15 minutes | Bake: 50-60 minutes | Serves: 8

Hasty Pudding


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit or nuts, finely chopped (I use cranberries)
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a heavy skillet, add milk and cream until is scalds. Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, gradually sprinkle in cornmeal. Keep stirring rapidly to keep lumps from forming. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and keep stirring until it starts to thicken.
  3. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in butter. Then add brown sugar, molasses, spices, dried fruit or nuts. Allow mixture to cool about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs to small bowl and beat together with a fork. Stir into pudding mixture. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until pudding is firm. Serve with warm bourbon sauce, if desired.

Bourbon Sauce (Bourbon is an American distilled corn mash spirit … you can just omit the bourbon if you prefer, the sauce is still fabulous!)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon (or more!) bourbon (or you can omit bourbon if you like, still tastes great!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a sauce pan mix all ingredients. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Serve warm over hasty pudding.

What does hasty pudding have to do with Harvard?

Harvard and The Pudding Story (from
In 1795, twenty-one Harvard students crowded into a dorm room to celebrate the establishment of a new on-campus society. Members pledged to maintain the club’s secrecy and “to cultivate the social affections and cherish the feelings of friendship and patriotism.” Most importantly, they mandated that “the members in alphabetical order shall provide a pot of hasty pudding for every meeting.” With this ritual, the Hasty Pudding club found its namesake, and the theatrical organization of today found its simpler roots.

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