Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

The weather has been warming up in the UK, but there’s still enough of a chill some evenings that I need to make something filling to warm up little tummies, especially after swimming lessons or a hike with the scouts. This simple suet pudding recipe is a real winner in our family.

I often turn to steamed puddings as they are so easy to make and fit easily into a busy schedule.

I thought I’d share the simple suet pudding recipe I make very often, and that is always wolfed down here at Conker Corner. I would quite honestly choose to eat this over a fancy chocolate pudding or pavlova, or just about any dessert in fact. It’s great if you need a more filling pudding after a soup or salad for main. It uses only store cupboard ingredients, so is easily swapped in to your menu plan with no notice. And it is so quick to make!

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

Jump to the printable Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

The real key to making this and any other steamed pudding as quickly and easily as possible is using a slow cooker and a lidded pudding basin.

If I had to use a stove top steamer, I wouldn’t make this anywhere near as often as I do – and it can’t be left alone while you leave the house. Using a slow cooker also leaves the hob and oven free for whatever else you are cooking. Likewise if I had to fiddle about wrapping a pudding basin with greaseproof, foil and string, I wouldn’t make steamed puddings – I hate the waste and it would actually double the amount of time this pudding takes to make.

I have a plastic 2 pint pudding basin with a lid similar to these ones at Just Pudding Basins. Yes, it’s plastic, but I’ve been using it for years, I’m never going to buy another one and I am not using greaseproof, foil and string every time I make a pudding. It fits neatly inside my very cheap and cheerful slow cooker.

A real plus point for steamed puddings is that they cook for a long time so you have no last-minute faffing to do around meal times. You can attend to the rest of your meal and your hungry children. And if you make them in the slow cooker as I do, you can even leave it cooking whilst you’re out taking kiddies to scouts, ballet, swimming or whatever. This pudding will come to no harm if it goes half an hour beyond the stated cooking time.

If you like this suet pudding recipe, do check out my Mincemeat Suet Pudding recipe too, and see here for 12 more simple steamed pudding recipes.

Without further ado, here is the recipe – scroll down for a printable version.

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

Fill and boil the kettle. Put a little hot water in the bottom of the slow cooker and start pre-heating it on High whilst you assemble the pudding.

Butter the pudding basin and lid.

Preparing a pudding basin for a steamed pudding

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. I always use beef suet – I much prefer the flavour and I believe in doing the animals the justice of eating every part of them. But if you choose to use vegetable suet (you will want to check for the ethical use of palm oil) the recipe is just the same.

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

Since this is a recipe I inherited from my mother, I use the tablespoons she always used – the kind you actually use for serving at the table. I’m not sure what relationship this bears to the 15ml measuring spoon type of tablespoon…

You can use any kind of dried fruit you like, or a mixture.

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

You now need to add enough milk to bring the mixture together into a soft dough. When my mother dictated this recipe to me, she said “enough milk to make it into a podge” and I think that is the best description I can give. Add milk a little at a time until you see it form a podge. Mixing with a knife in a cutting motion rather than with a spoon prevents you overworking the dough.

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

Place the podge in the pudding basin.

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

Cover the basin with a lid, or if you’re using a traditional pudding basin, cover it in greaseproof then foil in the usual way. However, I find that when you are ‘steaming’ in the slow cooker, where the basin is in contact with the water, rather than a in stove-top steamer where it isn’t, it is better to wrap the foil around the basin from the bottom up, rather than top down as you normally would. This prevents water getting to the greaseproof, which (depending on the greaseproof) then wicks up and on to your pudding.

Place the pudding basin in the slow cooker and top up the cooker with boiling water until it comes about half way up the pudding basin.

Steaming a pudding in the Slow Cooker

Cook for 2 hours on High (or simmer for the same length of time in a steamer) but no harm will come to it if it has to stay in for a bit longer.

Remove the pudding and turn it out of the basin on to a plate. It should be a nice golden colour on the outside.

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

We have always served this with either brown sugar or golden syrup. Some people might serve it with custard. Cream or ice cream would be all wrong!

Simple Suet Pudding Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Simple Suet Pudding

Make this in a jiffy, using store cupboard ingredients and minimal equipment, for a satisfying family pudding.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: family-friendly, home cooking, quick, simple, slow cooker
Servings: 6 people


  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 oz suet
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (granulated or caster)
  • 1 handful raisins, sultanas or currants
  • milk
  • butter for greasing


  • Fill and boil the kettle. Put a little hot water in the bottom of the slow cooker and start pre-heating it on High whilst you assemble the pudding.
  • Butter the pudding basin and lid.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Stirring with a knife, add enough milk to bring the mixture together into a soft dough.
  • Place the dough in the pudding basin and cover.
  • Place the pudding basin in the slow cooker and top up the cooker with boiling water until it comes about half way up the pudding basin.
  • Cook for 2 hours on High.
  • Remove the pudding from the slow cooker and turn it out of the basin on to a plate. Serve with brown sugar or golden syrup.


You can cook this pudding in a stove-top steamer, wrapping a ceramic pudding basin in greaseproof and foil in the traditional way.

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Simple Suet Pudding Recipe

For more steamed puddings you can make in the slow cooker, see this post: 12 Steamed Puddings from One Recipe.


    1. Hi Judy, you must always put the lid on a slow cooker, otherwise either it won’t get up to temperature, or worse, the water will boil away. That’s as far as I know with any slow cooker.

      1. My mum made her pudding this way as well, she called it rag pudding and would boil it in a pot on the stove rapped in cloth, it was the best ever with syrup on it , I could never find the recipe for it because nothing came up under rag pudding that fit her recipe, this is the closest one I found so far.

  1. My Mum placed the mix onto a cotton cloth, tied the ends and the boiled the pudding under water for a couple of hours. Gives a less spongy pud, covered in Tate & Lyles golden syrup. Fit for the Gods!

    1. Yes, of course that is how it was always done and many people will still use that method, but it uses a hob ring and requires someone to be home to watch the pot. I wanted to share the convenience of the slow cooker method for the reasons given above.

  2. Podge!!! What an excellent description! I found a recipe in an old Atora Suet recipe book that I ‘inherited’ from my mother, I prepared the mixture, which said it should be ‘stiff’, but I was unsure about the consistancy, BUT podge makes so much sense!
    I’m going to use your recipe in my slow cooker this Sunday…….Fond memories of childhood dinners – and my dear mother!

    1. My mother used to make these with dates, and I have not had one for almost 35 Years. I decided to use this so simple recipe to give it a go.
      Not only was it beautiful, but it literally brought tears to my eyes as it took me back 35-40 years. Thank you.
      Today I am about to try another, this time with Jam. 🙂

  3. Thanks for that, your observations on the ethics of palm oil use was very well stated, I sometimes use sago to plump up puddings without any fat at all, works very well.

  4. I haven’t had suet pudding for over 50 years! Your recipe sounds pretty darn close to what my mum made! I’ve gotten back into making steamed puddings recently but couldn’t find a steamer for the life of me! […] Mum’s took three hours in the steamer system with periodic water additions.

    Now that I found your recipe, I can’t wait to make this!!!

    The downside: I’ve been living in the U.S. for 23 years and NO ONE sells suet!!!!! I’ve ordered two boxes of Atora through Amazon and it’s shipped from Britain. It takes almost a month to get here but I’ve gone 50 years; what’s a month???

    1. Hi Joyce. I couldn’t really say as the basin or bowl goes hand-in-hand with this recipe. The pudding needs to be turned out on to a plate for it to count as a pudding to my mind, so you really need a bowl or jug shape rather than a dish. Of course puddings were traditionally steamed wrapped in cloth, no basin at all, but I don’t think that would work very well in a slow cooker. If your dish doesn’t have a lid, you need to plan carefully how you will wrap it to keep the pudding dry. Basically, I think you should look for a different recipe! If you’re specifically after a suet recipe, there are many baked suet pudding recipes out there.

  5. Hi, After looking everywhere for a family favourite, I came across your recipe. Growing up in Sussex, the humble Sussex Pud was always given a welcome. The proper one calls for bacon pieces to be added and is a savoury one to go with a roast, and is baked. I have now tried yours, and baked that at 180C for 20 minutes, copying the savoury version. Sitting in a puddle of custard, the joy is untold. Thanks so much.

  6. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe which will take me right back to my childhood and mums good old fashioned suet puddings. I’ve only recently discovered the joy of a slow cooker so my question is would I need to adjust the cooking time (and by how much) if I do the pudding in individual metal bowls?

    1. Hi Colin,
      This recipe is for what I would consider a ‘normal’-sized pudding basin, which is 2 pints. I also make 1.5x this recipe in a 3 pint pudding basin, which *just* fits in my slow cooker.

    1. Hi Judy,
      You would need to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications to whether your cookware was suitable for this purpose. If the bowl is suitable, the article describes how you can cover the bowl in the traditional fashion using greaseproof and foil.
      All the best, Clare

  7. Hello,
    I have just discovered the wonderful world of suet after conversations with my mother. As I am diabetic I use sweetener instead of sugar which doesn’t work in sponges but is fine in suet puddings. I was wondering, does this freeze once cooked? I also have quite a number of smaller plastic basins that shop-bought puddings have come in, are these reusable for this?

    1. I’m afraid I have no idea whether they would freeze well – one pudding is usually one meal for my family, so I’ve had no need. Also freezing would require defrosting, which would presumably take longer than making the pudding in the first place, so it wouldn’t fit into our routine – much easier just to make the pudding. If there are any leftovers, we keep them overnight in the cold oven, and reheat them the next day, when I think it’s even nicer. I’m afraid I also have no idea about your particular basins as I’ve never seen shop-bought puddings – it would depend what type of plastic they are made of as to whether it would be safe to heat them and I’m not an expert. Sorry to not be of more help, but I can only really offer the recipe as shown above.

  8. Is the ingredients the same for a syrup suet pudding obviously not the fruit.. & are the cooking times the same..

    1. Hi Tracy,
      If you mean a pudding that has a type of syrup in the ingredients, then I’m afraid I couldn’t say as that would be a different recipe. We serve this one with golden syrup.
      All the best, Clare

    2. My mum always made a suet steam pudding with syrup in the bottom then we would add more if we needed it after it was served, she use to make a chocolate suet pudding as well.

  9. I want to try this but worried about the plastic bowl melting in the slow cooker. Have I misread that it goes directly into the cooker and boiled water is poured around it?
    Enjoyed reading your page!

  10. I have just read this out to DH and he’s salivating at the prospect of eating this!
    I’ve used a microwave before to reduce time, but the texture was a bit disappointing.
    Looking forward to trying this during the week with the slow cooker as you suggest.

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