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March 01, 2023

Pouding Chômeur aka: Unemployment Cake!

During a visit to Montreal, we had a big get-together with a group of Quebec friends.  Our get-togethers were usually a big potluck.  A member of the group was unemployed at the time and brought a Quebec dessert called Pouding Chômeur.  The rest of the members giggled at the name.  What’s so funny, we asked.  Pouding Chômeur translates as “Unemployment Cake”.

According to legend, this delightful dessert was created by factory workers during the Great Depression.  Typical comfort food, it consists of a few, simple ingredients including butter, flour, milk and eggs. During the depression, the sweet caramel sauce that bathes the simple batter was originally made from brown sugar.  As the economy improved, maple syrup was used instead of brown sugar.

Here are some facts about maple products and Maple Syrup:

  • The motif on the flag of Canada is a maple leaf. 

  • Canadian maple syrup must be made entirely of maple sap. 
  • Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup.  Further, about 70 percent of global maple syrup production takes place in the province of Quebec
  • Maple syrup contains 54 beneficial compounds,  including calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and potassium
  • Maple syrup contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that acts as food for good gut bacteria and aids in healthy digestive and immune systems
  • Maple syrup contains a unique polyphenol, or micronutrient, called Quebecol—named after Quebec. Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. A diet rich in polyphenols (also found in some berries, fruit, green tea, and red wine) helps reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system.


Now for the recipe of a truly decadent dessert:


1/2 c (115 g) butter
1 c (200 g) sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c (200 g) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t (10 g) baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 t (5 ml) vanilla
3/4 c (180 ml) milk



1 1/2 c (240 ml) water
1/2 c (120 ml) maple syrup
2 c (400 g) brown sugar
1 T (8 g) finely sifted flour

Sirop preparation

  • add all the ingredients to a cooking pot
  • heat just to the boiling point
  • remove from heat and put on the side

Preparation of the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).  Butter a deep baking dish and place it on a cookie sheet pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, gradually add sugar, eggs and beat well for some minutes (5-10 min), add vanilla
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, add baking powder, salt
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix with a spatula until the batter is just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared deep baking dish.  Then carefully pour the syrup on top, stopping between ½ to 1-inch (1.5 cm to 3 cm from the top of the dish.  Reserve the extra sauce.
  • Bake in the center of the preheated oven until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, about 30 minutes.  Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with any extra syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Bon Appetit


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  1. C'est super de pouvoir lire des histoires sur le Canada...pays que je souhaite visiter au plus vite pour en plus rendre visite à mon fils.

    1. Le Canada est un endroit charmant à visiter, avec une histoire incroyable - j'espère que vous pourrez bientôt y rendre visite à votre fils.

  2. This is a wonderful blog, and extremely interesting. Please keep up the good work, as we look forward to the next edition. Kind regards, Rael

    1. Thank you Rael for your lovely comment. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.


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