26 British Desserts (Best + Classic Recipes)

There is a reason why the British are famous for their desserts. They prepare several varieties of desserts, all unique and packed with different flavors.

Regardless of the season, the Brits are just too good with their desserts varying from classic to modern desserts, each with specific ingredients. 

British desserts

British desserts are also prepared based on seasons. During summertime, crispy crumbles and airy sponges are the most dominant.

On the other hand, custard topped desserts are primarily present during winter to keep you warm over cold periods. According to the brits, every occasion has a specific dessert perfectly done.

Here are some of the best British-style desserts you can enjoy from the comfort of your kitchen.

1. Queen of puddings

Queen of puddings is a traditional dessert that is super easy to fix and delectable. Raspberry jam, thick breadcrumb soaked in custard combine ideally to make this dessert heavenly. The golden meringue on the dessert as toppings makes this dessert lighter and delicious.

Recently, this dessert has regained popularity with slight variations from the traditional ingredients used. Coating this dessert with excess raspberry jam will damage its original flavor. The best is to heat the jam, after which you can brush it at the base of the dessert. You only need six ingredients to get the best of this dessert. Get the recipe.   

2. Jam roly-poly 

 

This is another classic dessert prepared during winter. Traditionally, roly-poly dessert was prepared by steaming then served with an English custard. This pudding resembles the Swiss rolls, and its pink swirly appearance and spongy texture create the difference between these desserts. 

Jam roly-poly desserts bring back memories to many brits who enjoyed this dessert as part of their dinner in school. You can prepare this pudding in advance and serve it after your meals. Making this pudding is straightforward and uses similar and basic ingredients depending on the variation you are preparing.

Roly-poly pudding is served with steaming hot custard. This is the reason it is a winter dessert. Historically, families would share this dessert immediately after eating roasted meat, usually on Sundays. The jam can readily be substituted with a chocolate spread to add a little twist to the whole dish. Get the recipe. 

Lemon drizzle cake 

There is nothing complicated about the lemon drizzle cake. You need essential ingredients like flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and baking powder to get the best of this dessert. You often find people enjoy this delicious cake in the afternoons with tea which has become more of a tradition by the Britons.

Before baking, lemon juice and lemon zest are added to the mixture giving the cake a citrusy, refreshing flavor. The topping of the cake includes icing sugar, usually drizzled with fresh lemon juice. This dessert requires you to use only six ingredients, making it a straightforward cake to put together. Get the recipe.

4. Bread and butter pudding 

 

It is not easy to find supremely and excellent desserts perfect than the British bread and butter pudding. It is a classic dessert born when homemakers tried to find a way they could use leftover bread. This pudding is easy to put together, and it involves the mixing of browned bread soaked in sweet hot custard.

The flavor of the pudding is unique, whereas the texture inside is chewy and soft. The original version of this pudding comes together by soaking the browned bread in custard, drizzling sultanas, and topping it with sugar and cinnamon. You can customize this pudding with your favorite ingredients, such as cherries, chocolate, and orange zest.

There are several variations of this pudding, and they are all straightforward. When preparing this pudding, you need to use day-old bread as a key ingredient. Serve this. Get the recipe.

5. Spotted dick 

 

The list of best British desserts will not be complete without spotted dick dessert. The name of this pudding has brought a lot of mixed reactions among children and youths. This pudding is traditionally steamed then served with vanilla custard. It is a straightforward dish with a handful of ingredients.

Spotted dick pudding gets its name from the dried fruits used during its preparation.  Currants and raisins are some of the fruits you see scattered on the pudding. On the other hand. “dick” refers to dough. This term was used during the old days when preparing this dish.

This dessert is popular especially in recent times as you can readily find it in supermarkets sold in cans. Get the recipe.

6. Treacle sponge pudding 

 

This pudding recipe is super moist and amazingly delicious. This steamed pudding is famous in the UK and the ingredients needed to make this dessert are a handful. Traditionally, this pudding is prepared through steaming, but modern cooking methods have changed to baking this pudding. Turns out it tastes just as good as the old-fashioned version.

Suet pastry is essential when preparing this dish. It is responsible for the spongy texture and unique taste of this pudding. In addition, the treacle on top of this pudding has a significant role. It gives the pudding a gooey and delicious flavor. Suet pastry is dominant in many British classic desserts, and you should not omit it when preparing your ingredients.

This pudding goes well with warm custard or leftover cream. Get the recipe.

7. Banoffee pie 

 

If you love sugary desserts, then this is just what you need. This pie is one you would enjoy over and over if you have a sweet tooth. The good news is you can customize this dessert pie to match your taste buds. If you don’t love the pie with too much sugar, tone it down by omitting sugary ingredients like dark chocolate.

The traditional banoffee pie combines cream, bananas, and caramel sauce spread over a biscuit base. Nowadays, Britons use digestive biscuits as the base of this pie or store-bought crust to help reduce the preparation time of this pie. 

The base biscuits are made by crumbling them using a rolling pin. You can also make your caramel sauce, but this will increase the preparation time of this dessert. However, it’s worth every minute if you want the classic version of this pie. Get the recipe.

8. Knickerbocker glory 

 

This dessert recipe takes you back to your childhood because of the ice creams. The levels of simplicity or complexity of this dessert depend on the ingredients you use. Generally, this dessert is all about the perfect combination of fruits and ice cream, just the perfect dessert for a lazy afternoon.

Summer fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, and loganberries are fruits you can incorporate when making this dessert. The classic version of this dessert is layered on a cream sundae, then served in tall glasses and eaten using long spoons. The layers of the knickerbocker glory dessert are different, each with a distinctive flavor.

The good news is you can substitute the ingredients without altering the flavor of the dessert. The toppings are all about your imagination. You can readily put anything on top of this dessert. Get the recipe

9. Coffe and walnut cake 

Coffee and walnut cake is a popular dessert you can never miss on afternoon tea trays in Britain. The flavors of this classic dessert are unique, especially with the sweet icing, which blends perfectly with the savory flavors from the sponge. 

It takes about an hour to put this cake together. The ingredients required for this recipe are basic, with straightforward instructions on making this delicious dessert. You can customize this cake by adding a dollop of cream to the cake. Chilling the cake before serving will facilitate better results. Get the recipe.

10. Christmas pudding 

 

Technically, this is not a cake. However, it has a spongey consistency that makes many people consider it a cake. It is a simple cake to make because all you need to do is soak, steam, and stir. This recipe has often been referred to as plum pudding. Nevertheless, as the name suggests, this recipe was prepared with loads of raisins and currants and not plums.

Christmas pudding takes a long time to put together, but it’s worth the wait. This pudding is packed with unique flavors coming from the different ingredients used when making it. It is the perfect wintertime dessert you can customize with your favorite ingredients to match your taste buds. 

It goes well with brandy butter or with sauce. There are several pudding sauce varieties you can use for this recipe. It’s all about finding your favorite. Get the recipe.

11. Syllabub 

 

This dessert is packed with unique flavors. Alcohol and dairy are vital ingredients required when preparing this recipe. The appearance of the dessert might look underwhelming, but the flavors are super delicious. The undesired appearance of this dessert often happens when the wine and dairy separate, which leads to a cheesy-like layer on the dessert.

Syllabub dessert has a rich history about its origin but with few variations. Therefore, there is nothing complicated about this delicious dessert. It involves a mixture of white wine, lemon juice, and cream. The dessert is then put in glasses and chilled for good results.

This dessert’s popularity has gone down over the years, but it’s worth every minute spent making it. Get the recipe.

12. Sticky toffee pudding 

 

Sticky toffee pudding is a super delicious dessert, but it’s not a recipe for the scared and weak-willed because the combination of the ingredients used is known to induce coma. However, this cake is one you wouldn’t want to miss if you have a sweet tooth. 

Preparing this pudding is pretty simple. Some of the ingredients you need for this recipe include moist sponge cake, prepared with pureed and boiled dates, black treacle, and cream or custard. The star of this recipe is the toffee sauce often drizzled on the hot pudding, after which it is served with custard.

This is one of the most beloved British desserts. It all comes down to the intensity, richness, and gooeyness of the pudding. Get the recipe.

13. Rice pudding 

 

Rice pudding dessert brings back the good old days to many Brits when they enjoyed it from bowls at a young age. This dessert has several variations, with several ingredients used to infuse unique flavors to the pudding. 

The procedure of making this recipe is straightforward, and you need basic ingredients, nothing complicated. When preparing this recipe, you need to mix the rice with water and milk then add flavors such as vanilla and cinnamon. The mixture is then cooked over medium heat, which results in a thick and creamy texture. 

Vanilla adds extra flavor to the pudding, but you can also add sugar. This dessert is best served chilled with raisins and cinnamon for added sweetness. Get the recipe.

14. Eton mess 

 

Putting this dessert together is super simple as all you need to do is combine the crushed meringues. The good news is you don’t have to make the meringues if you don’t have enough time. Instead, all the ingredients are chopped and combined, which results in a light and sweet dessert you can get done in a few minutes.

If you opt for the store-bought meringues, whipping the cream will be the only hard work you need to perform. There are several ancient theories of how this dessert was born. Strawberries, meringues, and cream, all layered in a tall glass, create just the perfect mess for this delicious dessert. Get the recipe

15. Victoria sponge 

 The key to getting the best of this cake is using the exact required proportion of the ingredients. Often, you will find this dessert served with afternoon tea parties or summertime. This dessert holds a special place in the heart of many Brits.

Throwing this cake is pretty simple and requires basic ingredients. The cake is fluffy and light, and with straightforward procedures on how to put it together, it is the perfect cake for beginners to put together. Recently, several variations of this cake have been prepared with both complex and simple ingredients. Get the recipe.

16. Summer pudding 

Berries are essential when preparing this recipe, and summer is not complete without these fruits blossoming in the gardens. This pudding recipe is easy to put together, but you have to be careful as it may easily crumble when the instructions are not followed perfectly. Also, you should use the fruits in their fresh form as frozen fruits will make the recipe soggy.

The texture and taste of the bread are also essential for this recipe. Unsliced bread is the perfect option because it readily holds the fruits without making the whole recipe soggy. Serve the pudding chilled as this helps retain its texture. Get the recipe

17. Scottish Dundee cake


This dessert is treasured in Scotland, and its trademark ingredient is the almonds often perfectly positioned on the cake. It has a delicious aroma packed with unique flavors. Unfortunately, this cake recipe has countless variations with different ingredients used, and finding the traditional version of this dessert is not an easy task.

The Seville marmalade, orange zest, and raisins are some of the critical ingredients needed when you need to prepare a traditional and authentic Dundee cake. That said, any version prepared using cherries, nuts, dried fruits, whiskey, and rum is not considered authentic. Preparing homemade marmalade is better than getting it from the stores because you can adjust the flavor. Get the recipe

18. Apple crumble 

 

Most European countries refer to this recipe as apple pie, but the crumble is all that matters to the Brits. This dessert has several variations across Europe, with different fruits used besides the traditional apple. If you have ever heard ‘as easy as apple pie,’ then you understand how easy it is to throw this recipe.

The Brits prefer the Bramley apples the best for this recipe. These apples have the perfect balance of sweet and acidic flavor usually released when cooking the apples. Take your time and practice often to learn the pastry requirements. There are countless ways you can prepare this recipe. It is often served after meals and served alongside vanilla or custard. Get the recipe.

19. Sherry trifle 

 

Trifle dessert is widespread in Britain, and the sherry trifle dessert is the oldest version. Recently, different ingredients have been used in preparing this dessert. However, regardless of the ingredients you use to prepare this dessert, it takes a pretty short time, and the ingredients required are readily available.

Traditionally, this dessert is layered victoria sponge as the base, then covered with strawberry jelly, custard, whipped cream, then topped with fresh strawberries. You will often see this dessert served on special occasions. Get the recipe.

20. Melting moments 

 

Melting moment cookies are popular in Scotland. Often, you will find people enjoying these cookies during the afternoon time. It takes 30 minutes to assemble and cook these delicious cookies, and the ingredients required are readily found in the markets and stores.

Traditionally, these cookies combine eggs, flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. All you need to do is mix the ingredients then make small-flattened balls. You can then slather the balls with desiccated coconut or opt for the traditional method, which uses rolled oats.

These cookies create just the perfect accompaniment for your milk tea. This recipe is a staple, especially during celebrations and parties. There are no limitations which means you can customize this dessert with your favorite ingredients. Get the recipe.

21. Treacle tart 

When you visit British restaurants, there are staple recipes you can never miss. Treacle tart is a delicious dessert consisting of golden syrup, lemon juice, and breadcrumbs. The golden syrup is the star of this recipe, primarily because of its caramel-like flavor and often super sweet.

Like many other British desserts, treacle tart comes in several variations. You will find some ingredients like breadcrumbs substituted with almonds, but still, the flavor is delicious. Usually, this dessert is served hot with ice cream or custard as the toppings. Making your golden syrup is key to getting the best of this recipe. Get the recipe.

22. Madeira cake 

 

Some people find this cake to be flavorless and dry, but it all depends on your taste buds. This cake comes from England and not Portugal, as many people would think. Madeira region in England is known for wine production, and the cake is often served with this wine.

There is nothing complicated about this cake, primarily when designing, because it is relatively plain. However, it is just the perfect treat for you when craving cakes. Also, it is the perfect accompaniment for your afternoon tea. Get the recipe.

23. British brandy snaps 

 If you are looking for a holiday dessert to prepare, then brandy snaps are what you need. These cookies are super delicious but delicate since they are tube-like cookies. The traditional way of preparing this recipe omits brandy when preparing it. However, you can customize it by using the brandy flavor of your choice.

You only need 15 minutes to fix this delicious dessert. All you need for the dough is flour, sugar, ginger, and butter. You can also use the golden syrup when baking the cookies for an extra sweet flavor. Get the recipe.

24. Bakewell tart 

Bakewell tart dessert is a classic recipe packed with delicious flavors. You can never miss this dessert in British restaurants. This dessert includes a shortcrust pastry coated with raspberry jam then topped with an almond-flavored filling. After that, you need to add sugar icing for extra sweet flavor after cooling.

However, you can opt to live the tart plain without drizzling icing sugar, and still, it will retain its delicious flavor. The raspberry and almond filling combine to give this recipe a sweet-savory flavor. Make sure you have a glass of water when enjoying this dessert to balance off the extra sweetness. Get the recipe.

25. Cranachan 

 

This mouth-watering dessert from Scotland is one you don’t want to miss preparing. Traditionally, the dessert was served in June, when raspberries were harvested. It has become popular, and you will readily find it in many Scottish baking restaurants with slight variations. Recently, this dessert has been used during celebrations and special occasions.

The modern version of cranachan dessert includes whipped cream and a partially toasted oatmeal base. Some variations of this dessert include the use of Scotch whisky. This dessert comes with several layers depending on how you prepared it. So, instead of folding it, you can serve it in tall glasses. Get the recipe.

26. Peach melba dessert 

 

The best part about this recipe is you only need a handful of ingredients and a few minutes to put together. This recipe is light and refreshing, perfect for people who love sweet stuff. 

You can readily make this recipe on a grill and enjoy it in no time. The toppings for this dessert depend on what you love. Ice cream, peaches, and warm jam are some of the most common toppings for this dessert. Get the recipe.  

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