British School Puddings

Christine Albury

British School Puddings are not just popular with kids - adults love them too! Discover what kids at school have for dessert in the UK, and how to make these delicious dishes at home

British School Puddings are not always the type of 'puddings' you may be thinking of!

In the UK, 'pudding' is another word for dessert - although some of these desserts may actually be puddiings! 

Rice Pudding Photo


Don't worry, we're about to explain!

British school lunches

The hot cooked lunch in British schools is something of an institution and many British school puddings are legendary, often with generations of the same family enjoying the same type of desserts over the years!

And with so many Brits growing up and enjoying certain 'puddings', recipes for them have crept into cookbooks everywhere, so they're just as often enjoyed at home as at school.

Rhubarb Crumble Picture

The ultimate comfort food!

The UK is, of course, famous for it's damp weather, so British school puddings were typically designed to fill the tummies of young diners with something warm and satisfying before they went to play outside.

This makes these desserts - which are often very rich and heavy - into the perfect treats for chilly winter's evenings too.

Rice Pudding Image

British puddings vs American puddings

As we mentioned at the start, 'pudding' in the UK is just another name for dessert - but it has another definition too. It can also be used to describe a dish that it steamed or boiled in something like a piece of cloth or a dish.

Case in point is the classic Spotted Dick. This wonderul dessert - packed with dried fruit - is cooked in a pudding basin. 

Spotted Dick Pic

So is the sinfully sweet Treacle Sponge - light, fluffy sponge just dripping with treacle or syrup!

Sticky Toffee Pudding - sweetened by dates and served with a luscious toffee sauce - was traditionally steamed in a basin, but is often now baked instead. Our Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe is baked in a tin for around 30 minutes, which means dessert is on the table much more quickly than in the old days!

Another dish that used to be steamed is Chcocolate Sponge - but this modern Chocolate Sponge Pudding Recipe uses the microwave instead! It may be a little unconventional, but the results are great!

Chocolate Sponge Pudding Image

The word 'pudding' is more commonly used to describe sweet, milk-based desserts in America. There are two British school puddings that fit that description!

One is the traditional British Rice Pudding!

Probably one of the easiest desserts you'll ever make, this milky, creamy dish makes a fab breakfast too. And the recipe is incredibly versatile, so you can tweak it to taste just the way you want it.

You can find the recipe here (along with our suggestions for some great variations).

You might also like to try this recipe for Semolina Pudding - warming, nourishing and with a smooth texture that kids love.

Semolina Pudding Photo

Other British School Puddings

There are a few more desserts popular with kids in the UK (and with their moms and dads too!).

One is Rhubarb Crumble - a mouthwatering combo of tangy cooked fruit and a crunchy topping, usually served with sweet custard.

Bread & Butter Pudding Image

Another is Bread and Butter pudding, which may not sound inspiring but actually tastes amazing! One of the good things about this dessert is that it provides the perfect way to use up any bread you have that may be getting a little stale.

And chocolate lovers just have to try the wonderfully crunchy Chocolate Cornflake Cakes. They're easy to make and a great recipe for the kids to help with too!

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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!