Summer pudding
Summer pudding made with currants, in a bowl
Alternative namesSummer fruit pudding
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsSliced white bread, fruit, sugar, fruit juice

Summer pudding or summer fruit pudding is an English dessert made of sliced white bread, layered in a deep bowl with fruit and fruit juice. It is left to soak overnight and turned out onto a plate.[1] The dessert was most popular from the late 19th to the early 20th century.[2] It first appears in print with its current name in 1904, but identical recipes for 'hydropathic pudding' and 'Malvern pudding' from as far back as 1868 have been found.[3]

Making summer pudding is much easier if the bread is somewhat stale. This helps the fruit juices soak through the bread, which makes the pudding more pleasant. Summer pudding can be served with cream.

The fruits typically used in summer pudding are raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, and blackberries. Less commonly used are tayberries, loganberries, cherries and blueberries.


Discovering early recipes for summer pudding, or finding out when the name was first used, is difficult.[4]

Queens Pudding first appeared in print, with its current name, in 1904 in the book Sweets (Part one), No 6 in the Queen Cookery Books series, collected and described by S. Beaty-Pownall. Similar recipes though appear earlier. Examples are Hydropathic pudding, Malvern Pudding Rhode Island and Wakefield Pudding.[3][5]

Hydropathic pudding was popular in nineteenth century health spas. Cassell's New Universal Cookery from 1896 includes a Hydropatic Pudding recipe which is layers of fruit and bread sliced thinly. The author notes that the pudding has alternative names. Unlike other puddings which use pastry or suet crust the lighter bread casing, made it a suitable treat for ladies who were health-conscious or even where pastry was completely forbidden.[6][1][4]

By the 1920s it is said to have become a classic British pudding. One 1920s book stated "everyone knows this dish, all like it."[7]

See also

Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book 1896 by Lizzie Heritage.


  1. ^ a b Alan Davidson (21 August 2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. OUP Oxford. pp. 793–. ISBN 978-0-19-104072-6.
  2. ^ Alan Davidson, Helen Saberi, ed. (2002). The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy: Twenty Years of Food Writing. Ten Speed Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 1-58008-417-6.
  3. ^ a b Mary-Anne Boermans (7 November 2013). Great British Bakes: Forgotten treasures for modern bakers. Random House. pp. 263–. ISBN 978-1-4481-5501-9.
  4. ^ a b Goldstein, Darra (2015-01-01). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-931339-6.
  5. ^ Levy, Audrey (August 1999). "Het of Atworth's Purple Mountain". Petit Propos Culinaires - Essays and Notes on Food, Cookery and Cookery Books. (62).
  6. ^ Ysewijn, Regula (2016). Pride and Pudding. Britain: Murdoch Books. ISBN 9781922616210.
  7. ^ Gray, Annie (2019). The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook. Weldon Owen. ISBN 9781681885933.