Wartime Recipes ~ Puddings & Sweets

These recipes are taken from the Ministry of Food leaflets issued in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

Further details can be found in the Rationing Section.

Puddings leaflet cover18th June, 1940

Steamed and Boiled Puddings

[Sufficient for 4 persons]

  • Basic Recipe
  • 8 oz. Flour
  • 2 oz. Sugar
  • 2 oz. Fat
  • 1 Dried egg (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • Water or milk to mix

Beat the fat and sugar until white and creamy, and then add the flour mixed with baking powder, salt and reconstituted egg alternately. Add enough milk to make the mix a dropping consistency. If no egg is used, mix with the milk alone. Add fruit or flavouring. Place in a greased basin cover with greased paper and steam for 1½ to 2 hours.

Basic Recipe Using Raw Grated Potato

[to replace half the fat]

  • 8 oz. Flour
  • 2 oz. Sugar
  • 1 oz. Fat
  • 1 oz. Raw grated potato
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water to mix

Rub the fat into the flour, add salt and baking powder. Stir in the grated raw potato, and mix to a moist consistency with water or milk, add fruit or flouring. Place in a greased basin and steam for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
Note – By omitting the sugar and flavouring, this mixture can be used as a suet crust with a variety of fruit or meat fillings. Suitable Flavourings for use with basic recipes: -

  1. Black coffee or coffee essence.
  2. Syrup and ginger.
  3. Leave the pudding mixture plain and put jam or syrup or marmalade at the bottom of the basin.
  4. Add 2- 4 oz. dried fruit.
  5. 1 oz. cocoa and a few drops of vanilla essence and a little more sugar.
  6. Serve with a sweet sauce, flavoured with one of the above.

Prune Sponge

  • 8 oz. Flour
  • 1 oz. Fat
  • 1 tablespoon syrup
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Salt
  • Water or milk to mix
  • 8-12 prunes

Rub the fat into the dry ingredients and mix to a soft consistency with syrup and milk or water. Place the soaked stoned prunes in the bottom of a greased basin, and pile the pudding mixture on top. Cover with a greased paper and steam for 1 ½-2 hours. Use the prune juice thickened with cornflour or custard powder as a sauce.

Marmalade Pudding

  • 4 oz. Stale bread
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 oz. Margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons marmalade
  • 1 Level teaspoonful baking powder
  • 1 egg (reconstituted)
  • ¼ pint of milk or water

Add the margarine to the milk and warm until the margarine has melted. Crumble the stale bread and pour over the warmed milk and melted margarine. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Add flour, sugar, half the marmalade and the reconstituted egg and beat well then add the baking powder. Place the rest of the marmalade in the bottom of a greased basin and pour the mixture over. Cover and steam for 1 ½ hours.

Bread and Butter Pudding

(sufficient for two children)

  • 3 ozs. Bread
  • 1½ ozs. Margarine
  • 1½ oz. Fruit
  • ¾ Pint Custard

Spread the margarine on bread, cut into cubes. Arrange layers of bread cubes and fruit in a small pie-dish, pour custard over this and bake in moderate oven till brown.

Ginger Pudding

  • 2 oz. Sugar [or 1 tablespoonful syrup]
  • 2 oz. Margarine
  • 6 oz. Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • Milk and water

Cream fat and sugar. Mix together the flour, baking powder and ginger. Add to the creamed fat and sugar. Mix to a soft consistency with liquid. Steam for 1 hour.

Steamed Chocolate Duff

  • 6 oz. Flour
  • ¾ Teaspoon baking powder
  • 2½ Teaspoons cocoa
  • 2½ Teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ oz. Fat
  • 1½ oz. Grated raw potato
  • Milk and water

Rub fat into flour and mix all ingredients together. Make into soft dough with the liquid. Steam in a small greased mould for about 30-40 minutes.

Steamed Sponge Pudding

  • Tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ oz. Margarine or fat
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Few drops of flavouring
  • 3 Tablespoons milk or water to mix

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in the margarine or fat then add the sugar. Mix in the flavouring and milk or water, turn into two greased cups, or a small basin, and steam for 30-35 minutes.
Serve with sweet sauce.
The recipe may be varied as follows; -

  1. Fruit Pudding. Add 2-3 tablespoons dried fruit with the sugar.
  2. Chocolate Pudding. Add ½ tablespoon cocoa and extra ½ tablespoon sugar to the dry ingredients.
  3. Ginger or Spice Pudding. Add 1 teaspoon ground ginger or mixed spice to the dry ingredients.
  4. Jam Pudding. Place 1 tablespoon jam at the bottom of the basin before adding the pudding mixture.

Sweet Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon dried egg, dry
  • ½ Pint milk
  • 1½ Tablespoons sugar
  • A few drops of flavouring essence or ½ - 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Mix the flour and egg together and blend to a smooth cream with a little of the milk. Boil the remainder and pour on to the blended mixture. Return to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time; boil gently for five minutes. Add the sugar and flavouring mix well, and serve hot.

Baked Puddings

Basic Recipe for wartime Pastry

  • 8 oz. Flour
  • 2 oz. Fat
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • Water to mix

Mix the flour and salt, and rub in the fat until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Mix to a stiff consistency with water, using a round bladed knife. This can be used for savoury or sweet pies and tarts.

Potato Pastry

  • 8 oz. Flour
  • 1-2 oz Fat
  • 4 oz. Cooked mashed potato
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • Water to mix

Cream the fat and potato until smooth. Work in the flour and salt and mix to a stiff consistency with water [if necessary]. Not too much water is required for potato pastry, as care must be taken not to make it too moist.

Fillings for Tarts

Chocolate Filling

  • 3 oz. Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Saccharine tablets or 1-tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Reconstituted dried egg
  • 2 Teaspoons cocoa
  • ½ Teacup of milk
  • A few drops of vanilla

Dissolve saccharine or sugar in the milk. Beat the reconstituted egg with the sweetened milk. Pour over the breadcrumbs mixed with the cocoa. Beat well in a pan over the heat for a minute or two. Cool and pour into prepared pastry lining a deep plate. Cover with a pastry lid and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Date Filling

  • 4 oz. Dates
  • ¾ Pint water
  • 2 Heaped teaspoons custard powder
  • 3 oz. Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon essence

Wash and stone the dates and stew in the water until soft. Add the blended custard powder and lemon essence. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring the whole time. Press the dates on the side of the pan to help break them down. Lastly, add the breadcrumbs and stir. Line a tin with pastry and spread over the filling. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Swiss Pudding

  • 4 Tablespoons rolled oats
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon dried fruit or 3 tablespoons fresh fruit
  • Sugar to taste

Soak the oats in barely enough water to cover them. Leave overnight. Add milk, fruit, and sugar to taste. Beat well and serve cold.

Chocolate Oatmeal Pudding

  • 4 oz. Oatmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Dessertspoon cocoa
  • 1 Pint milk or milk and water
  • Vanilla flavouring

Soak the oats overnight in half the milk. Add the rest of the milk and cook slowly until soft. Add the cocoa and sugar and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add the vanilla, beat well. Pour into a damped mould and leave until set. Turn out and serve cold.

Mocha Pudding

[for 2 adults]

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ Pint coffee
  • ½ pint milk
  • Vanilla essence

Mix the sugar, cocoa, flour and salt, adding the coffee gradually. Heat the milk and add to the mixture. Return to the saucepan, bring to the boil stirring continually, and cook for about eight minutes. Add vanilla essence to taste.
Serve cold.

Chocolate Mould

  • 2 oz. Cornflower or custard powder
  • 1½ oz. Sugar
  • ½ Pint milk
  • ½ Pint water
  • ¼ Teaspoonful vanilla
  • 6 Teaspoonfuls cocoa

Put two-thirds of the milk and water into a pan. Bring to the boil. Mix cornflour, sugar and cocoa together with the rest of the milk and water. Add to hot liquid. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir very well as the mixture thickens. Add vanilla essence. Rinse out mould with cold water. Pour in mixture, leave to cool, then turn out.

Cake Trifle

  • 3 oz. Stale cake
  • 3 Teaspoonfuls jam
  • ¾ Pint sweetened custard

Spread cake with jam. Cut into cubes. Put into an individual dish. Pour custard over it.

Rice Custard

  • 1½ oz. Rice
  • 2 Teaspoonfuls custard powder
  • 2 Teaspoonfuls sugar
  • 1 Pint milk

Cook the rice in the milk, using a double saucepan. Add the sugar. Blend the custard powder with a little extra milk or water and add to the rice. Cook until thick and creamy.

Egg Custard

  • ½ Pint milk
  • 1½ Dried eggs
  • 2 Teaspoonfuls sugar

Reconstitute the eggs by mixing 1 ½ level tablespoonfuls dried egg with 3 tablespoonfuls water till smooth. Heat the milk and pour over eggs and return to pan. Cook slowly till thickened, add sugar and serve in custard cups.