Chocolate Sponge & Pink Custard – School Dinners

Rate this recipe

Somebody who watches, and comments, on my Youtube videos recently mentioned that she remembered a chocolate sponge, with pink custard, that she had as part of her school dinners.  That took me back more than 50 years to when I was a school and had the same thing.  Having done some research I see that many people recall this particular dessert.  Others enjoyed a coconut sponge with jam and pink custard.  So that might be another recipe I will try out sometime.  But for today I am sticking with Chocolate Sponge and Pink Custard.  My viewer remembers it as Buffalo pudding or sponge but I didn’t encounter that in my searches. 

For my sponge I opted for a tried and tested method of weighing the eggs, still in the shells, and using that weight to inform the remaining ingredients.  In the recipe below I will put the weights I used, but they can be adjusted by the size of the eggs.

As for the pink custard, well that was always a bit of a cheat at school since it wasn’t custard at all but pink blancmange served warm, before it could set.  Blancmange is not so common these days in the UK, but you can still buy packs of four flavours in most supermarkets.  I used one sachet from such a pack, raspberry flavoured.  Of course the pink custard is not mandatory, normal custard, or chocolate sauce or, indeed, any fruit sauce would be just fine too.

My chocolate sponge turned out very well, nice and light with a lovely flavour,for a more intense chocolate flavour more cocoa powder could be added, but I didn’t need that.  Served with the pink custard it was very good indeed.

Chocolate Sponge & Pink Custard 


Chocolate Sponge & Pink Custard – Video

For the sponge:

  • 3 large eggs, weighed with shells on(205 grams) – (XL in USA)
  • same weight, 205g self raising flour(a good 1 1/2 cups)
  • same weight, 205g caster sugar(1 cup will be fine)
  • same weight, 205g softened butter(3/4 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp)
  • 25g cocoa powder(3 tbsp) (more for a stronger chocolate flavour)
  • 30ml milk(2 tbsp)

For the pink custard:

  • 1 sachet of raspberry or strawberry blancmange powder
  • 568ml(1 pint) milk
  • 45g(3tbsp) caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
  2. Grease and line an 8″ square cake tin(larger could be used, but will give a thinner cake so baking time should be adjusted).
  3. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, with a tablespoon of flour each time, and beat until combined.
  5. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in until combined(or do it very with a mixer on very low speed).
  6. Add the milk whilst mixing in the flour.
  7. When all has been mixed together place the batter into the cake tin and spread out until it covers the entire tin and is fairly level.
  8. Bang the tin a couple of times, on the counter, to remove any large air bubbles.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Place the blancmange powder into a bowl with the caster sugar and three of tablespoons of milk and mix to a paste.
  12. Heat the remaining milk until warm and pour  a little over the blancmange paste.
  13. Mix thoroughly until all is combined.
  14. Pour the remaining warm milk into the mixture and stir until combined.
  15. Pour mixture back into the saucpan and heat until just boiling, stirring all the time.
  16. Allow to simmer gently for one minute.
  17. Remove from the heat and pour into a jug for serving.
  18. While still warm any excess can be poured into a small bowl and placed in the fridge to set as blancmange.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *