Spotted Dick -School Dinners Memories

5/5 - (1 vote)

Spotted Dick a hearty suet pudding dessert is favourite memory from my schooldays. A currant filled suet pudding, it makes a filling dessert. The spotted part of the pudding is from the currants. Dick is an old name for a pudding. The accompaniment to the pudding is custard.

Beef suet is traditional in the recipe. However, at least in the UK, vegetable suet is available for purchase. So that can be used for those who prefer a vegetarian version. Indeed, a plant-based liquid can also be used instead of milk.

It is very easy to make this recipe. Simply mix the ingredients to form the dough. Then the dough is formed into a sausage or log shape. Parchment paper is used to wrap the log. But that is not quite all, since it has also to be wrapped in aluminium foil. Once the log has been wrapped it is steamed. The steaming takes a while, about 2 hours. The result is a nicely risen, but dense, pudding.

It is traditional to steam the pudding. However, if desired, this pudding can be baked in an oven. Similarly, the traditional fruit is currants. But it is ok to use raisins or sultanas too.

An optional ingredient is lemon zest. Another optional ingredient is a little spice, such as mixed spice. I used both of these in my spotted dick.

A variation to the log shape is a round pudding. For that use a pudding basin. Place the dough in the basin. Cover it loosely with parchment. Seal that with foil. Place an upturned saucer in a large pan. Stand the basin on the saucer. Pour water half way up the side of the basin. Then simply steam the pudding for two hours. Then you have a lovely Spotted Dick.

My Pudding

I had a perfectly steamed pudding. It rose as it steamed. I sliced, and served, the warm pudding with custard. And, I have to say it tasted great. The pudding was just as I remember from school. The hint of lemon and spice worked so well too. The main sweetness came from a thick sweetened custard.

This is the perfect dessert for a cold winter day. It is a very filling dessert. The pudding brought back so many memories of my time at school. It certainly filled me up too.

The school dinner ladies certainly knew what they were doing. This, along with Jam Roly Poly, is perfect for energetic children. I am sure to make it again soon. In fact very soon indeed. I enjoyed it so much.

Spotted Dick – Video

Another favourite dessert from my schooldays is Chocolate Sponge & Pink Custard.

Spotted Dick -School Dinners Memories

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Desserts, Stove top recipesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 30ml(2 tbsp) hot water

  • 75g(1/2 cup) currants

  • 150g( 1cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 8g(2 tbsp) baking powder

  • 25g(2 packed tbsp) light brown sugar

  • 75g(3.4 cup minus 1 tbsp) shredded suet

  • 100ml(1.3 cup + 4 tsp) milk

  • zest from one lemon(optional)

  • 1g (1/4 tsp) mixed spice(optional)


  • Soak the currants in the hot water for 30 minutes
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, lemon zest and sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Add the suet and mix again.
  • Pour in the currants and water, and then half of the milk as well.
  • Stir everything together until a dough starts to form.
  • Add more milk as necessary until a sticky dough has formed. You may not need all of the milk.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form into a log/sausage shape that is 15cm(6 inches) in length.
  • Wrap the dough, loosely, in parchment paper, twisting the ends of the paper and tying with string. Wrapping loosely it to allow the pudding to rise as it steams.
  • Wrap that in aluminium foil to completely seal.
  • Place the pudding in a steamer basket and place that on a pan of simmering water. (see the note below).
  • Cover the pan and steam the pudding for 2 hours, checking and adding more water if necessary.
  • Remove the pudding from the steamer and carefully open it and transfer to a serving plate. Serve with custard.


  • If you don’t have a steamer basket you can place the log on an upturned dish in a large saucepan, ensuring that the water doesn’t touch it. Then you can steam the pudding by simmering the water.

Leave a Reply

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