Bakewell Roly-Poly Pudding

Bakewell Roly-Poly Pudding

I think this might just be the most British pudding that has ever existed. Not only is it a roly-poly pudding – the Lord of quintessentially British desserts – but it’s a bakewell roly-poly pudding.  For years this steamed suet roll has been gracing our tables in the UK, whether it be in the school canteen or at a humble family meal, and so it’s naturally become synonymous with warmth and comfort. Thus, if you need a little comfort food, all you need to do is rustle up one of these –  it’s bound to bring back memories of cosy autumn evenings and home baking, even if you never had this as a kid.

The flavours of a bakewell pudding can be summarised as almonds + raspberry. In this case I’m going to use plums instead as they’re in season and also work really well with the almonds. I’m also not going to use traditional animal suet as it isn’t vegetarian and vegetable suet is just as readily accessible. You could use it if you want the true ‘authentic’ version, but it’s completely your choice. I must warn you that suet is weird. If you’ve never worked with it before, imagine those pellets that you feed rabbits, then imagine them made out of wax. That’s the kind of stuff we’re dealing with here. But, that said, it does make really good puddings, so we’re going to use it.

I should probably write more for this post, but a simple pudding only needs a simple write-up. So, in summary, this tastes good and it’s comforting, perfect for now!


Serves 8

Time:  1 hour plus extra time for cooking


  • 50g Slightly salted butter
  • 200g Self raising flour
  • 50g Ground almonds
  • ½ tsp Almond essence
  • ½ tbsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 50g Vegetable suet, shredded
  • 150ml Milk
  • 150g Plum jam

For the custard

  • 250ml Whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 50g Caster sugar
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 10g Plain flour
  • 10g Cornflour

To serve

  • 2 Plums
  • 75g Plum jam
  • 25g Flaked almonds



  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Take a deep roasting tin and fill it with water about 2/3 full. Put this onto the bottom shelf, or base of the oven and leave in the oven.
  2. Take a sheet of foil and another of greaseproof paper and lay the paper on top of the foil. Grease the paper lightly with butter, and set aside for later.
  3. Now it’s time make the roly-poly. Put the butter, flour, ground almonds, almond essence and vanilla into a bowl. Cut into the butter with a round bladed knife to chop it into small lumps. Once you can’t chop the butter any further, go in with your fingers and rub the butter into the flour until you have a bread-crumb texture. Shake the bowl from side to side every now and then to get the lumps to the top so you can rub them in.
  4. Stir the suet into the mixture. Then pour in the milk and bring together with a round-bladed knife until a dough forms. If the dough is dry add some more milk, you want the dough to be a little sticky.
  5. Flour a surface (a lot) and tip out the dough. Shape into a rough square and then roll out to around 25x25cm. Don’t roll it as thin as you would pastry, and this dough is very soft and will tear easily.
  6. Spread the jam over the sheet of dough, leaving a 1cm strip at one end. Roll the dough up from the other end into a tight spiral. Pinch the non-jammy dough into the roll to seal it.
  7. Lift the roll onto the greased baking paper, making sure that the join is on the paper and not facing up. I know this part is much harder than you would expect, I found that it’s true to it’s name, and so literally rolling it onto the greaseproof was the best way to get the roll off the work surface.
  8. Bring the foil and paper up around the roly-poly and fold over the top and scrunch the ends to seal the parcel. Don’t wrap the dough too tightly as it’ll need to stretch when cooking.
  9. Make sure a rack is above the tin of water in the oven and place the parcel onto the rack. Steam in the oven for at least 1 hour.
  10. Meanwhile make the custard. Put the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  11. Mix the sugar, egg yolks and two flours until fully combined. Once the milk is heated, remove the pan from the heat and mix 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture.
  12. Whisk the mixture quickly and then pour the egg mixture into the milk. Put the pan back over a heat and whisk on a medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Pour into a jug and cover with cling-film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside for later.
  13. Once the pudding is ready take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before unwrapping. When this is going on you can prep the decorations.
  14. Put the almonds into a small roasting tin and roast in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until starting to brown. Set aside for now. Then halve, stone and thinly slice the plums. Take the extra plum jam and put into a pan. Heat gently for around 2 minutes, until it’s thinned out slightly. Put into a pipping bag with a small round nozzle.
  15. Unwrap the roly-poly and put it onto a serving plate. Arrange the plum slices on top of the pudding. Pipe the thinned jam on top of the plum slices in a zig-zag and top with the flaked almonds. Serve with the custard and enjoy!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope this one brings you a little warmth and comfort for the cold days ahead. Next post coming out on Sunday!

Emma x

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