Jam roly-poly
Jam roly-poly
Alternative namesDead Man's Arm, Dead Man's Leg, Roly poly pudding
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsSuet, jam

Jam roly-poly, shirt-sleeve pudding, dead man's arm or dead man's leg is a traditional British pudding probably first created in the early 19th century.[1][2] It is a flat-rolled suet pudding, which is spread with jam and rolled up, similar to a Swiss roll, then steamed or baked and traditionally served with custard. In days past, jam roly-poly was also known as shirt-sleeve pudding, because it was often steamed and served in an old shirt-sleeve,[3] leading to the nicknames of dead-man's arm and dead man's leg. In the past it was known as roly poly pudding.[4]


Jam roly-poly features in Mrs Beeton's cookery book, as roly-poly jam pudding.[5] It is one of a range of puddings that are now considered part of the classic desserts of the mid 20th century British school dinners. Jam roly-poly is considered a modern British classic, alongside sticky toffee pudding and spotted dick.[6] In Beatrix Potter's 1908 book The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or, The Roly-Poly Pudding, the character Tom Kitten is rolled into a pudding by the invading rats.

See also


  1. ^ "Icons – Jam Roly Poly". Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2006.
  2. ^ Hart, Carolyn (25 September 2014). "Cooking for Chaps by Gustav Temple and Clare Gabbett-Mulhallen". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  3. ^ Debora Robertson (17 October 2015). "What it's like to be a recipe tester: Culinary secrets, celebrity chefs' foibles, and what happens if you make a mistake". The Independent. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Roly poly (noun)". dictionary.cambridge.org. Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 28 May 2021. a sweet dish made with thick pastry that is spread with jam, rolled up, and cooked:
  5. ^ "Puddings: how they have changed through history". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 February 2018
  6. ^ "The joys of jam roly-poly, a very British pudding". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2018

Media related to Jam roly-poly at Wikimedia Commons