Dessert Recipes

Want To Try Your Hand At Making A Great Pudding?

The desserts we feature tend to fall into two broad categories, traditional British puddings and cakes/biscuits. The call for Cordon Blue dessert recipes is very small. There is however a real demand for simple but exciting dessert and sweet recipes. The oral tradition of passing recipes on from one generation to the next is becoming weaker in the UK. Many of the recipes we feature have been passed onto us by our users.

If you've tried any of these recipes feel free to let us know how you got on. If you have a tried and tested family recipe you'd like to submit drop us a line.

We keep many of our most popular recipes available online for our users in the recipe directory, just click on the link to go to the page.



  • Apple & Cobnut Crumble - How to make a traditional Kentish style crumble, the local distinction is created by mixing some cobnuts (or hazelnuts if you prefer) with the topping. Use fresh apples of the best quality you can get, traditionally served with custard you may also like to try ice cream.
  • Bread and Butter Pudding - A great favorite for many decades, this simple dessert is delicious and was often prepared in working class households to consume unwanted bread rather than waste it. It is now one of the group of 'nostalgia desserts' frequently thought of as traditional school puddings, although I can't ever remember being served it at school.
  • Chocolate Cake - There are literally hundreds of variations of the chocolate cake, some using ingredients as incongruous as beetroot and chilli. Our own offering is one from the family cook book. It's been tried and tested over many years and gives good results. It should be ideally tackled by a cook with some baking experience, but it you are new to making sponge cakes do let us know how you get on.
  • Christmas Cake - This tradition dates back a very long time, over the years many households have developed their own particular version. The 'industrialized' food industry has led to the loss of many of the fine recipes that were used up and down the country as many of us reach for the supermarkets offering at Christmas. This recipe is one from a family tradition used over many years.
  • Christmas Pudding - The method and ingredients are full of symbolism, even more than we associate with the seasonal cake. It was said that pudding's ingredients date back to the middle ages. At one time every member of a household, however high or low was expected to 'stir' the mix; this was thought to bring good fortune (or ward off bad luck).
  • Cookies - Biscuits - How to make simple biscuits, also known as cookies on the other side of the pond. In the USA biscuits are actually like a scone and can be eaten at any time of day but they are a popular item with a cooked breakfast (yes really). They are simple to make, suitable for older children (under correct supervision) to try their hand at. Once you have the basic idea off pat you can experiment and made a vast number of variations.
  • Cup Cakes - Once upon a time they were known of as fairy cakes in the Commonwealth with the exception of Australia where they are usually called patty cakes. Like biscuits, simply to make older children can make them if they have the correct supervision..
  • Custard - Would you like to make home made custard? To save any confusion we refer to the thin sauce or cream that is usually used as an accompaniment to other dishes. Is is known in France as 'creme anglaise'. There are thicker versions of custard that can be used in other forms of desert or as a pudding in their own right, as in the case of egg custard.
  • Fresh Lemon Curd - Making lemon curd from scratch is much easier than you might think. Today it is used primarily as a filler for cakes and tarts. It can be employed in the same way that one might make jam. At one time however its use was much more widespread than today and it was possible to see lemon curd in sandwiches and offered with scones.
  • Home Baked Muffins - A fun and simple cake, children love both to make and eat muffins. In common with several of the other dishes on this page a muffin has different meaning in the Commonwealth than the USA. In the UK a muffin is a bun often eaten with savoury foods, in the USA it is an individually portioned sweet cake. We explain how to make the American muffin.
  • Hot Cross Buns - Our guide of how to make the sweet spiced bun long associated with Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns are particularly distinctive because they are marked with a cross on the top. Although the custom is popular in different countries, historians have identified Saxon and Greek origins for this food. It is presumed that Christians adopted and adapted the original idea dish to fit in with the Easter celebrations.
  • Mince Pie - Perhaps the most popular Christmas dessert or sweet, it can be found almost everywhere at Yuletide. The ingredients are widely thought to the traceable to the 13th century when cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were brought back to England from the Middle East by the Crusaders. The original recipe contained meat and suet, over time however the Christmas or mince pie has developed into a sweet not a savoury.
  • Rice Pudding - When people talk about traditional school lunches, rice pudding with a dollop of jam will be one of the is dishes many of us that attended school in the 1970's will remember. However a delicious homemade rice pudding oven baked and topped with ground nutmeg bears little resemblance to the vats of sweet white rice that are still so strong in my memory of school puddings.
  • Brilliant rice pudding.
  • Spotted Dick - How to make traditional sponge pudding, another pudding familiar to anyone eating school dinners over the last forty years. Traditionally served with custard. In the 20th Century Flint County Council banned the use of the name 'spotted Dick' preferring instead 'spotted Richard'.
  • Sorbet - We present a simple sorbet recipe. Like many cooking terms the precise meaning of a dish varies from country to country. In the US there seems to be some overlapping of terms like; sorbet, Italian ice, dairy sorbet and sherbet. In much of the Commonwealth sorbet has a consistent meaning and this is the one we provide a recipe for here.
  • Sponge Cake - The sponge cake is one of the most common form of cakes the world over. Once you have learned how to make a sponge there are literally hundreds of potential cake variations open up to you. This method is often called a 'pound cake' in the US. They have been made in England for over four hundred years.
  • Summer Pudding - A summer fruit favorite, made using bread and soft fruits. This another recipe designed to consume stale or left over bread. I'm not aware that this pudding is made anywhere outside of the British Isles but if you know different we'd welcome your feedback. Magda writes that there is something similar in Poland but there they have a 'system' for drying the bread so it doesn't become mouldy.
  • Upside-Down Pear Pudding - How to make upside down pudding, sometimes called upside down winter pudding and even just winter pudding. The idea being you made it in the late autumn or early winter with stored pears. There are many different versions you can try, ours is specifically designed to be simple and microwaveable.

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