Quick, Easy British Desserts

Recipes You Can Make in Less Than 30 Minutes

It is absolutely possible to create super British desserts in less than 30 minutes. These desserts are much lighter than traditional British puddings, such as spotted dick, steamed sponge, crumble, and traditional rice pudding, and use more fruit, cream, and custards. However, they're just as delicious and you can't beat how quick and easy they are to prepare.

  • 01 of 06

    Strawberry and Sherry Trifle

    Quick Sherry Trifle

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Nothing shouts British like a traditional trifle. There are many variations on the classic recipe, most of which involve making jelly and custard. However, when you're in a hurry, this quick sherry trifle is the recipe you need.

    This one takes less time because it doesn't contain jelly and uses ready-made custard. Since you're not waiting for the jelly to set, you can have your trifle made in a mere 10 minutes, which is perfect for a last-minute dessert.

    You can also adapt the recipe as needed. It recommends strawberries, but fresh raspberries are just as good. And, you'll only want to use the sherry if the trifle is for adults.

  • 02 of 06

    Classic Eton Mess

    English Eton Mess

    The Spruce 

    In Britain, Eton mess says summer, sunshine, cricket, and Wimbledon. It is one of the easiest desserts to put together and there's no denying that the combination of cream, strawberries, and meringue is a guaranteed winner.

    The dish does indeed look messy, with lightly mashed strawberries and meringue gently folded into a pile. It's then topped with another heap of cut berries. While it's traditionally made with strawberries, other fruits like raspberries and rhubarb work equally well.

  • 03 of 06

    Rhubarb Fool

    Rhubarb Fool

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    The rhubarb fool is a combination of gently cooked rhubarb, honey, mascarpone, and lots of whipped cream. It's a dish that screams summer and sunshine and there are few desserts around that are this simple.

    Rhubarb is a classic, but gooseberries also work well in this recipe. You can also add elderflower cordial, skip the honey, or use a prepared custard instead of the mascarpone.

  • 04 of 06

    Lemon Posset

    Lemon Posset Recipe

    The Spruce

    You will need to chill this dessert for a few hours, but it comes together quickly and is the perfect make-ahead option for busy days. Though the lemon posset has been around for centuries, it has made something of a comeback in recent years. That's likely because it is so easy to make and requires just three ingredients, so it's also quite cheap.

    The beauty of the posset is that you can vary the flavor, so there may be a perfect solution in your kitchen. Any citrus fruits work out wonderfully (particularly clementine), or you can go with a berry jam or add a sweet liquor or wine. Chocolate, vanilla, and seasonal spices are options as well.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Scottish Cranachan

    Scottish Cranachan Recipe

    The Spruce

    Scottish Cranachan is considered a festive dessert. While it's often served on Burns Night and Hogmanay, this dessert is too good to be reserved for just a few occasions out of the year. Made with oatmeal, raspberries, cream, and a good malt whisky, it's quick and easy.

    You will need to chill it for an hour at least, and it doesn't keep well for more than a few hours. Serve it as is or along with shortbread, it's delicious either way.

  • 06 of 06

    Scottish Tipsy Laird Trifle

    Tipsy Laird Trifle recipe

     The Spruce

    This is a trifle in the English sense of the word but that is where it stops. The tipsy laid trifle is totally Scottish in the ingredients. It is a beautiful pudding dessert featuring Scottish raspberries, whisky, and cream on top of sponge cake. Finish it off with flaked almonds and the only thing anyone who tastes it will be able to say is, "Delicious." Again, it doesn't hold up well, so make it right before dinner.