This traditional spotted dick recipe is a firm family favourite that you'll want to make time and time again. Served with warm custard or thick ice cream, you just can't beat a bowl of this steaming pud.
There are a cohort of classic British puddings that we’re all admittedly a little curious about, and spotted dick is one of them.
The spongey pudding filled with raisins and sultanas makes us all nostalgic for retro school dinners. It’s a British dessert that’s been around for years, so if you haven’t tried one yet, now is the time to give it a go.
But just where did the spotted dick get its rather unusual name name from? According to the BBC, ‘spotted’ is in the name as it’s a reference to the spotty, dotted pattern created by the currants. And it’s believed that ‘dick’ derives from the word dough.
So if it’s become a classic dessert in your home, or you want to make it one of your go-to pudding recipes, learn how to make a classic spotted dick with our simple step-by-step recipe. With a soft suet sponge and sweet bursts of sultanas throughout, a traditional spotted dick is the ultimate warming pudding, best served with lashings of thick custard.
Steaming the pudding is what gives spotted dick the lovely soft texture, as it keeps the sponge moist and springy – it’s just how a old-fashioned spotted dick pudding would’ve be cooked all those years ago.
If you fancy experimenting with this classic, you could use chocolate chips instead of sultanas – which may please the younger kids in the family! Or, if you’re a fruit fan add in some extra dried cranberries or glace cherries for an even sweeter flavour.
This version of the classic recipe has been tried and tested in the Woman’s Weekly kitchen, so it’s sure to be a success. Try it out after your next Sunday lunch…
Spotted dick: how to make the classic pudding
- 250g self-raising flour
- 125g shredded suet
- 90g caster sugar
- 125g sultanas
- Rind of ½ a lemon
- Custard or golden syrup, to serve
Before you start, sort out how you’re going to cook the pudding, as you should put it in a steamer as soon as it’s been wet-mixed and not left sitting around while you find a suitable pan. If you don’t have a large enough steamer, place on a wire rack in the base of a pan which has a tight-fitting lid, so the bowl won’t be sitting directly on the pan base.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the suet, sugar and sultanas, and finely grate over the lemon rind, taking just the zest off the lemon and not the white pith.
Add about 150ml water and mix to give a soft dropping consistency, taking care not to stir it too much or it will develop a heavy consistency.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and level the surface.
Cover the bowl with baking parchment, with a pleat in it, to allow room if the pudding expands above the top of the bowl. Cut the paper so it hangs just over the rim of the bowl Then cover the bowl with a sheet of foil with a pleat in it and scrunch it around the rim to seal.
Place the bowl in a steamer or on a rack in a pan. Pour boiling water around it, to come about two-thirds up the sides. Put lid on the pan. Check water regularly to make sure that the pan doesn’t boil dry. Cook it for about 2 hrs or until it springs back when lightly pressed. Remove bowl from the steamer and turn it out on to a warmed serving plate. Serve with custard or golden syrup, and enjoy!