When it comes to satisfying sweet cravings, there is nothing more comforting than British Bread Pudding. With its roots deeply embedded in British culinary traditions, this dessert has warmed the hearts of generations with its rich flavours and cosy textures. Let us uncover the rich history behind this warm sweet dish,  the process of making and the various regional variations that make British Bread Pudding a beloved classic with a delightful British twist.

A Journey Through Time: The Origins of British Bread Pudding

 Origins of British Bread Pudding

British Bread Pudding has humble origins, born out of the necessity to reduce waste and make the most of leftover bread. Traditionally, households would save stale bread from the previous day and transform it into a delightful dessert. The ancient bread pudding was a simple and practical creation that consisted of torn or stale bread soaked in milk or water to soften it. Often, sweeteners like honey or dried fruits were added for flavour and to make the dish more palatable. Spices might have been used to enhance the taste. The combination of soaked bread, dried fruits, and warming spices would create a dish that offered both sustenance and comfort during times of scarcity.

The term "bread and butter pudding" was first documented in Eliza Smith's renowned cookbook, "The Compleat Housewife," published in 1728. This early publication contains one of the earliest recorded recipes for this delightful dessert, showcasing its popularity and prominence in British culinary history.

Recipe of British Bread Pudding

To make this classic dessert, begin by tearing slices of stale bread or brioche into pieces and place them in a baking dish. Scatter a handful of plump raisins or sultanas over the bread, ensuring even distribution. Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and a pinch of warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Pour the mixture of custard over the bread and allow it to soak in and soften it. For an added touch of sweetness, sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top before baking. The pudding goes into the oven until it turns golden brown with a sumptuously creamy interior. Serve warm, either on its own or with a dollop of vanilla custard.

Regional Adaptations

 Regional Adaptations

Regional adaptations of British bread pudding offer delightful variations reflecting the diverse culinary traditions throughout the United Kingdom. Here are some intriguing details on some popular regional versions:

English Bread and Butter Pudding

This classic English version features layers of buttered bread slices that are generously sprinkled with raisins or sultanas and soaked in a mixture of creamy custard. The mixture is baked to create a luscious dessert with a golden, crispy top and a soft custard-soaked interior.

Irish Barmbrack

An Irish favourite, Barmbrack is a fruit-studded tea bread typically enjoyed during Halloween. The dried fruits, often soaked in tea, give this dessert natural sweetness, while warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg infuse the loaf with rich flavours. Barmbrack sometimes includes small charms or tokens, each carrying a unique meaning for the person who finds them.

Scottish Clootie Dumpling

Scotland's take on bread pudding is the famous Clootie Dumpling. It gets its name from the cloth (cloot) in which it is traditionally boiled. Made with breadcrumbs, suet, dried fruits and spices like cinnamon and ginger, this dense and hearty pudding offers a satisfyingly complex taste.

Welsh Bara Brith

Welsh Bara Brith

A beloved Welsh delicacy, Bara Brith translates to speckled bread. It is a fruity tea bread made with a mix of dried fruits, spices, and tea-soaked raisins. The resulting loaf is wonderfully moist and fragrant and best enjoyed with a generous spread of butter.

Cornish Saffron Bread Pudding

Hailing from Cornwall, this unique version incorporates saffron threads, which gives it a vibrant yellow colour and delicate aroma. With dried fruits and a pinch of spice, this saffron-infused bread pudding delivers a truly distinct flavour.

North Country Spice Pudding

A regional delight from the north of England, this pudding incorporates grated lemon peel and mixed spice, giving it a zesty and aromatic twist. It is often served warm with custard and is a comforting treat during colder months.

London Bread Pudding

London Bread Pudding

Often made with a mixture of white and wholemeal bread, this version of bread pudding is a blend of dried fruits like currants, raisins, and apricots. The addition of lemon zest and a splash of brandy adds a delightful tangy note to the pudding.

Every regional adaptation of British bread pudding reveals the ingenuity and creativity of local cooks who transformed a humble dish into a cherished speciality. While the core elements of bread, milk, and dried fruits remain constant, these delightful variations demonstrate the rich diversity of British cuisine and the love for this comforting dessert across the country.

Did You Know?

In 2017, a team of chefs from the United Kingdom created the world's largest Christmas pudding, weighing a whopping 7,231 pounds (3,278 kg). This massive pudding was made to celebrate the festive season and to set a Guinness World Record for the largest Christmas pudding ever made.

Where to Eat Delicious British Bread Pudding?

 Where to Eat Delicious British Bread Pudding


Greggs is a well-known bakery chain in the UK, and they are known for their classic bread pudding. Their version often features a delectable blend of spices and dried fruits, making it a popular choice for a comforting treat.

Peggy Porschen Cakes

This boutique bakery in London is famous for its beautifully crafted cakes and sweet treats. While their speciality is elaborate cakes, they also serve a delightful bread pudding that's sure to please any dessert enthusiast.

St. John Bakery

Located in London, St. John Bakery is known for its traditional approach to baking. They offer a simple and delicious bread and butter pudding that highlights the natural flavours of quality ingredients.

Cinnamon Square

Situated in Hertfordshire, Cinnamon Square is renowned for its wide array of baked goods, including its scrumptious bread pudding. Their innovative twists on traditional recipes are a must-try for any food lover.

Cutter & Squidge

Based in London, Cutter & Squidge is a bakery with a modern twist. Their inventive bread pudding variations, such as salted caramel or raspberry ripple, have quickly become famous.


 British Bread Pudding

British Bread Pudding, with its origins in resourcefulness and tradition, has become an enduring symbol of comfort and cosiness.