Great British Puddings

It’s that time of year again – out goes the diet and in comes comes the winter wardrobe heavily laden with lovely warm woolies to cover the extra couple of pounds! If making puddings was an Olympic sport, we Brits would take gold every time. In fact we’d take gold simply on the naming of puddings!

Spotted Dick sussex_pond_pudding
Jam Roly Poly (or Dead Man’s Arm!)
Sussex Pond Pudding
Canary Pudding
Kentish Well and Black Cap Pudding, to name but a few.

What is a pudding?

Some people refer to pudding as being any dessert, but a true pudding is boiled or steamed. There are two types of steamed or boiled pudding – those made from flour and eggs and those made with suet. The sponge puds normally have a ‘hat’ of treacle or apple and are served with hot creamy custard, whereas the suet puds break open and all the delicious sauce runs out, but they are also great with custard.

The oldest puddings are mentioned in cooking books at least 250 years ago and were probably savoury versions such as black pudding and white pudding boiled in intestines – essentially sausages. But over time puddings have evolved into a huge array of both the sweet and the savoury.

Satisfying and warming, we think this is the perfect time of year to make one! And at the end of this post we’ve added a link to a helpful video, showing how to use a pudding basin.

Delia Smith’s Steamed Treacle Sponge Pudding


1 tablespoon black treacle
3 tablespoons golden syrup
6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
6 oz (175 g) butter, softened
3 large eggs
6 oz (175 g) soft light brown sugar
To serve:
3 extra tablespoons golden syrup
custard or crème fraîche


First of all butter the basin, then measure 3 tablespoons of golden syrup into it. Then take a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder into it, add the softened butter, eggs, sugar and black treacle.

Next, using an electric hand whisk (or a large fork and lots of elbow grease), beat the mixture for about 2 minutes until it’s thoroughly blended.

Now spoon the mixture into the basin and level the top using the back of the tablespoon. Place the sheet of foil over the greaseproof paper, make a pleat in the centre, and place this, foil-side uppermost, on top of the pudding.

Pull it down the sides and tie the string, taking the string over the top and tying it on the other side to make yourself a handle for lifting.

Trim off the excess paper all the way round.

Now steam the pudding for 2 hours, checking the water level halfway through.

To serve, loosen the pudding all round using a palette knife, invert it onto a warmed plate, and pour an extra 3 tablespoons of syrup (warmed if you like) over the top before taking it to the table.

For a short video demonstrating how to steam a pudding, click the following link:

How to Wrap and Tie a Steamed Pudding

Great British Puddings was last modified: November 8th, 2016 by nday_aw