Spotted Dick Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger

Spotted dick is a lovely, spongy lemony pudding ‘spotted’ with currants. Steamed on the stovetop in a water bath, this is classic British dessert is served with warm English custard. A warming and comforting dessert for those cold winter nights.

Well, here we are with another unfortunately funny British food name. Remember the cock-a-leekie soup with the funny name?

The spotted Dick name comes from the ‘spotting’ of currants you see around the pudding. But who is Dick?

Spotted Dick Photo

This part of the name seems to come from the shortened Old English names for pudding: puddog or puddick. In Scotland, it is often called Spotted Dog Pudding.

I know, it didn’t make sense to me either. I thought it was named after someone called Richard. I digress.

Spotted Dick Picture

As I mentioned, the pudding is steamed. This is done by putting the ceramic bowl containing the dough into a large pan (I used my stock pot), filling it 2/3 with water and steaming with the lid on for 2 hours.

This produces an even cooking and makes the pudding light and moist.

Spotted Dick Image

I want to talk about the ingredients, particularly the shortening. Because this is a traditional British pudding, instead of shortening, something called suet is normally used.

Suet is a beef fat (not beef drippings) that is very popular in British cooking. It is used for sweet and savory dishes like dumplings and sweet minced pies.

Spotted Dick Pic

It very popular for pastries because it produces a light and soft dough. Since suet is not available to me here in the U.S., shortening is the best substitute.

File 1 Spotted Dick

This pudding must be served with warm custard, it’s a must! If you haven’t had warm English custard, you are in for a treat.

File 2 Spotted Dick

It’s very easy to make and oh so good! Now I just need a warm fire and some cozy slippers.

And if you loved this recipe, try another British classic - Bread and Butter pudding

Are you tired of the dinner routine?

Stuck in a rut or looking for fun new recipes to try?

Our Facebook Group is growing every day! If you haven’t joined yet, we invite you to come check it out and join the fun.


You can ask for recipe ideas, talk about cooking techniques, or get help figuring out the right new pan set for you. If you’ve already joined, invite a friend along!


Spotted Dick Recipe

    6 Servings


  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 5 ounces Vegetable Shortening, or butter
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 ounces Black Currants, or raisins
  • zest of one Lemon
  • 1 cup Milk
For the Custard:
  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. Add the flour, baking powder and shortening to a bowl. Mix using a fork and breaking up the shortening incorporating into the flour until you see small balls. Stir in the sugar and currants or raisins, lemon zest and milk. Mix until you get a soft, sticky dough. Do not over mix.
  2. Grease a 1-quart (4 cup) heatproof bowl with the shortening.
  3. Add the dough to the bowl and cover with parchment paper and foil. Crimping the edges of the foil around the edge to seal, leaving room at the top in case the pudding expands.
  4. Place a cookie cutter or something similar in the bottom of the pan so the bowl is not sitting directly on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the bowl, foil side up on the cookie cutter into the pan and fill 2/3 up the bowl with hot water. Cover the pan with a lid, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours. Check periodically to make sure the water doesn’t boil dry.
  6. While the pudding steams, make the custard.
  7. Stir together the milk and sugar over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  8. While the milk is coming to a simmer, add the eggs to a mixing bowl and whisk in the cornstarch until smooth.
  9. Slowly whisk 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth. This will temper the eggs and stop them from curdling or cooking.
  10. Pour the egg and milk mix back into the pan with the milk and whisk over low heat until thickened.
  11. Once the custard has thickened, remove from the heat.
  12. Stir in the vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  13. When the pudding is ready, carefully lift out of pan and remove foil. Use a knife to carefully loosen the pudding around the edge. Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool slightly.
  14. Slice into wedges and serve with hot custard.


Cooking Method:
, , , , ,
Related Recipes:
British Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Steamed Recipes, Cake Recipes, Easy Recipes, Holiday Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 120 minutes
Total Time: 130 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 235
Calories 620

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g
  Saturated Fat 7g
Sodium 61mg
Total Carbohydrate 77g
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 45g
Protein 9g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!

Show Comments