When I read the Sunday Supper brief for this weeks’ Mom’s Favorite Recipes asking us to share a favorite recipe Mom made throughout the years or the recipe they love to eat it was an easy decision to share our family recipe for brown sugar pudding. Or as know to French Canadians pouding chômeur, also known as poor man’s pudding. A dessert with three names, you know it must be good!

The decision on what recipe to share was made all easier since I recently posted a recipe for tuna casserole, which is my Mom’s ALL time favorite dinner. Also toyed with the idea of a recipe for croquet monsieur, but my Mom’s discovery of her love for this cheesy comfort food is a story for another time.

Plus this recipe for brown sugar pudding is handed down from generation to generation. My Mom learned from her Mom, and Mom from her mother. Confused reading that sentence? It isn’t a typo. I have a Mom and a Mummy – who now goes by her first name, unless I’ve done something, need something, or just generally want to be a sook. When I was born, the first grandchild, my Grandmother decided she didn’t want to be called Grandmother, Grandma or the worst Nana, so I and future grandchildren would call her Mom. My Mom, her daughter, was fine with it all. And growing up we had Mummy and Mom. Confused the heck out of other people, but we were all cool with it. Until I turned 13 and saying Mummy seemed a lot less cool. And since Mom wasn’t letting go of her title, my brother and I opted to call our parents by their first name. It doesn’t bother them any, it isn’t disrespectful, it is just how our family dynamic evolved.

brown sugar pudding, pouding chômeur, dessert, recipe, puddingMy Mom is French Canadian, growing up her Mother would make pouding chômeur for their family. Pouding chômeur is a classic french Canadian dish that was created during the Depression era as an inexpensive dessert that could be easily prepared and enjoyed for family dinners.

Well a young French Canadian nursing student met a handsome east coast medical student in Ottawa, he quickly whisked her off her feet, they married, and the young doctor brought his new wife and her French Canadian recipes to start a life in Cape Breton, including the now anglicized brown sugar pudding.

Mom is a fantastic baker, her blueberry pie and chocolate chip cookies are legendary. Mummy is a fantastic cook, the baker gene skipped a generation. The one thing Mummy could bake successfully was brown sugar pudding. This meant any special occasion, birthday, Sunday dinner was finished off with brown sugar pudding. And it was absolutely wonderful, trust me she did not need to know how to bake anything else. When I was growing up friends always wanted to come for dinner if brown sugar pudding was for dessert. Some even specially request it, and still do today…


Classic French Canadian dessert. A delicious ending to any family dinner.
Servings 6


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk


  • Preheat oven 350F
  • Mix the water and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. The add the brown sugar and corn starch, bring to a boil and let it boil (not rapidly) for at least 5 min. Remove from heat and set aside
  • .Mix together the flour, sugar, butter, and baking powder, then add 1 cup of milk. Mix, but allow batter to remain slightly lumpy.
  • Pour the hot brown sugar sauce into a greased over safe bowl, then add the pudding mix – it will raise to the top.
  • Cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
  • Let it cool about 10 min before serving.

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