Blackstrap Molasses Banana Pudding with Molasses Caramel Sauce Recipe

This recipe was created by Sharon Gates of North Carolina. She took second place at the 2021 National Banana Pudding Festival Cook-Off. 

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Molasses Cookies

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ stick button, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, salt
  • For coating: ⅓ cup raw cane sugar

Preheat oven to 350℉ (175 ℃)

In a large bowl, with a mixer, combine sugar, butter, egg and molasses until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and all spices. Add gradually to molasses mixture and mix until dough forms. Soon out pieces of dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll each cookie in raw cane sugar to cover. Place 1-2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool the cookies before assembling pudding. This recipe makes about 36 cookies.

Vanilla Pudding

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together sugar, flour, salt and milk. Cook until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes, reduce heat to low.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, add a small amount of pudding mixture to eggs to temper them, then pour egg mixture into saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or to desired thickness. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Set aside.

Molasses Caramel Sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons blackstrap or other molasses
  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Over medium heat, in a large high-sided saucepan, melt butter, add sugar and molasses to a boil. Add cream (take care: mixture will bubble). Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.


Just before assembly, thinly slice bananas into disks. In a 2-quart casserole dish or decorative serving bowl, layer the cookies, the banana slices, the pudding and drizzles of the caramel sauce. Repeat layers until the dish is filled. Break cookies if needed to fill all areas of the dish or to line the edges. Reserve 2-3 cookies to crumble atop the pudding.

Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Yield: 6-8 servings