Raw Sugar Pudding

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8 to 12


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Natilla is the traditional dessert for the Christmas holidays, the Novenas to the Virgin Mary and the Christmas Eve dinners. It is served in most of the country, although it is thought to have originated in Antioquia. It is a thick custard that is later sliced into one- or two-inch squares or slices and sweetened with panela, which in this recipe could be substituted for dark brown sugar; you would use one cup, firmly packed.


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ pound panela*, grated or 1 cup firmly pressed dark brown sugar
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Ground cinnamon, for garnishing


  1. In a medium, heavy pot over very low heat place 3 cups of the milk, the panela, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Simmer, stirring once in a while, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the panela has completely dissolved. Do not let the mixture boil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1 cup of milk and the cornstarch until completely dissolved; stir it into the panela mixture on the stove top.
  3. Raise the heat to medium and stir continuously, scraping the bottom of the pot, until the mixture has thickened and you can see the bottom of the pot when you stir. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, add the butter, mix well and remove the cinnamon sticks.
  5. Pour into an 8-inch square or round Pyrex mold or serving dish. You can spray the mold with oil spray and it will unmold very easily if you prefer to serve it on a platter.
  6. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
  7. Let cool and set; serve.