Traditional British Queen of Puddings

Queen of Puddings
Huw Jones / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
761 Calories
36g Fat
95g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 761
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 21g 104%
Cholesterol 279mg 93%
Sodium 334mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 95g 35%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 68g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 10mg 52%
Calcium 186mg 14%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 329mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Queen of Puddings is a quintessentially British dessert made of a custardy bread base, fruit, and meringue. This layered concoction begins with a sweet mixture of milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, and fresh breadcrumbs. Fruit is added either to this base or between the base and the meringue top—the choice is yours. Use a thick layer of jam, any fruit preserve, a compote of seasonal fruit, fruit curd, or even marmalade. The pudding is crowned with a soft, chewy, fluffy meringue, making the dessert worthy of its name. Although somewhat royal, this easy-to-make recipe is comforting while not too heavy.


For the Pudding:

  • 1 cup/225 ml milk (whole or full-cream)

  • 1 cup/225 ml cream (double/heavy)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup/110 g sugar (caster/fine)

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 1 1/3 cups/140 g fresh breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup lemon zest (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 cup/225 g jam (or fruit preserve or fruit compote)

For the Meringue:

  • 5 large egg whites (room temperature)

  • 1/2 cup/110 g sugar (caster/fine)

  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

Steps to Make It

For the Pudding Base

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 310 F/160 C/Gas 2. Lightly butter a 4-cup/2-liter ovenproof dish.

  3. Place the milk, cream, and vanilla extract into a saucepan.

  4. Slowly bring to a gentle boil.

  5. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until light and fluffy.

  6. Still whisking, slowly add the warmed milk and cream to the egg mixture taking care not to splash.

  7. Add the breadcrumbs and the lemon zest and mix to combine.

  8. If you are adding the fruit to the base, place the jam or chosen fruit into the bottom of the greased pudding dish.

  9. Pour the egg and breadcrumb mixture into the dish.

  10. Bake the pudding for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture rises and is almost set yet still slightly wobbly.

  11. Remove the pudding from the oven and set aside to cool.

Make the Meringue

  1. Raise the oven temperature to 375 F/190 C/Gas 5. In a large, clean, metal bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

  2. Whisk in the caster/fine sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.

Assemble and Bake the Pudding

  1. If you haven't used the fruit filling in the base of the pudding, warm it gently in the microwave or in a pan.

  2. Spread the fruit carefully over the cooled base.

  3. Cover the pudding with a thick layer of meringue.

  4. Sprinkle the meringue liberally with the confectioner's sugar.

  5. Place in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the surface is crisp and lightly browned.

  6. Serve immediately.

Making Fresh Breadcrumbs

The term "fresh breadcrumbs" is a bit of a misnomer since you want the bread to be a little stale before processing into crumbs. If you don't have stale bread, you can toast pieces in the oven for about 20 minutes until they are dried out. Then tear up and add to the food processor and blend until coarse crumbs form.