The Ultimate Spotted Dick (British Pudding)

Spotted Dick

 The Spruce

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
438 Calories
23g Fat
55g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 438
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 596mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 5g
Calcium 109mg 8%
*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.)

Puddings are the backbone of British food; they can be sweet or savory and are often cooked by steaming. One steamed pudding recipe that is most familiar is the spotted dick. The name of this classic English pudding will usually bring about a smile or a look of abject horror, which is why some prefer to use the lesser-known title of “spotted dog pudding," but it doesn't quite sound the same.

Spotted dick is the perfect pudding for a treat on a cold winter's day, filled with the comforting flavors of raisins, currants, and brown sugar; the lemon zest adds an unexpected brightness. This traditional recipe calls for suet, which is the fat that surrounds beef kidneys, giving this dessert a rich taste. If you can't find suet, you can replace it with butter.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spotted Dick Recipe ingredients
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  2. In a small bowl, mix the raisins, currants, sugar, and lemon zest.

    Mixed raisins, currants, sugar, and lemon rind
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  3. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the suet and the salt; rub together to combine.

    Flour in bowl
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  4. Add a little bit of the milk. Using a knife, cut in the suet, adding more milk little by little until the mixture comes together.

    Milk and knife in bowl
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  5. Use your hands to combine the mixture into a soft, elastic dough. Add more milk if necessary.

  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches.

    Dough on lightly floured wooden board
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  7. Evenly spread the pudding filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Using a pastry brush, cover the edges of the dough with a little cold water.

    Mixture on flattened dough
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  8. Starting with the narrow end, carefully roll up the dough.

    Rolled up dough
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  9. Soak a clean tea towel or cloth napkin in boiling water for a few minutes. Using tongs, squeeze to remove excess water. (Be careful doing this.) Wrap the napkin around the pudding, twisting at each end; secure the ends with kitchen string.

    Dough roll in towel
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  10. Place the pudding roll in a steamer and steam for 2 hours.

    Wrapped dough roll in steamer dish
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  11. Alternatively, wrap the pudding suet roll in foil and bake in a hot oven (400 F/200 C/Gas 6) for 1 hour 30 mins.

    Dough roll on foil
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  12. Unwrap immediately and cut into thick slices.

    Sliced Spotted Dick roll
     The Spruce
  13. Serve drizzled with custard sauce, if desired, and enjoy.

    Spotted Dick
    The Spruce

Where Does Spotted Dick Get Its Name?

When it comes to this strangely named dish, it is the second word that makes people scratch their heads. "Spotted," simply enough, refers to the raisins and currants in the dough. The word "dick" originates from the first word for pudding, a "puddick" or "puddog." The term was shortened to "dick" and became the common name for this dessert.