Bakewell pudding

Bakewell pudding is an English dessert consisting of a flaky pastry base with a layer of sieved jam and topped with a filling made of egg and almond paste.

Bakewell pudding
A Bakewell pudding
Place of originEngland
Region or stateDerbyshire Dales
Serving temperatureWarm (freshly baked) or cold
Main ingredientsGround almond, jam, butter, eggs
VariationsBakewell tart


A breadcrumb-based recipe given by Mrs Beeton

References to "Bakewell pudding" appear earlier than the term "Bakewell tart", which entered common usage in the 20th century.[1]

In the Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson, it is claimed the earliest reference to "Bakewell pudding" comes from The Cook and Housewife's Manual by Margaret Dods, published in 1826.[2] This is, however, erroneous as no recipe for "Bakewell pudding" (or indeed Bakewell tart) appears in the 1826 edition.[3] A recipe for "bakewell pudding" does, however, appear in the 1847 edition.[4]


Three shops in Bakewell claim to own the original recipe of the Bakewell pudding.[5]

The pudding originated in the Derbyshire town of Bakewell.[1][6] The origins of the pudding are not clear, but a common story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 (other sources cite 1860)[7] by Mrs Greaves, who was the landlady of the White Horse Inn (since demolished). She supposedly left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart.[1][2][8] The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam. When cooked, the egg and almond paste set like an egg custard, and the result was successful enough for it to become a popular dish at the inn.[2][5][7]

The dates and/or premises given in this story are unlikely to be accurate as the White Horse Inn was demolished in 1803 to make way for the development of Rutland Square and subsequently the Rutland Arms Hotel.[9] Additionally, Eliza Acton provides a recipe for 'Bakewell pudding' in her book Modern Cookery for Private Families which was published in 1845, making the pudding's creation date of 1860 impossible.[10]

One of the earliest verifiable examples of a Bakewell pudding recipe comes from The Magazine of Domestic Economy issued in London in 1836.[11] Eliza Acton published a recipe in her 1845 work Modern Cookery for Private Families[10] and Mrs Beeton published two recipes for Bakewell pudding, one which used a pastry base and one which used breadcrumbs, in her Book of Household Management in 1861.[12][13]

See also


  1. "The Bakewell Pudding". Bakewell Online. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. Davidson, Alan (2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0199677337. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  3. Dods, Margaret (1826). Cook and Housewife's Manual (1826 ed.). Edinburgh. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  4. Dods, Margaret (1847). The Cook and Housewife's Manual (8th ed.). London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co. p. 480. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  5. Lord, Peter (2009). Clarence Whaite and the Welsh Art World: The Betws-Y-Coed Artists' Colony, 1844-1914. Llandudno: Coast and Country Productions. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9781907163067. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  6. "Famous Bakewell Tart & Pudding". Bakewell Derbyshire. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  7. Davidson, Max (18 April 1998). "One of our famous tarts? I don't think so". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 November 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  8. "Pudding or Bakewell Tart?". Bakewell. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  9. "The Bakewell Pudding - Putting The Record Straight". Bakewell Online. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  10. Acton, Eliza (1845). Modern Cookery for Private Families (1st ed.). London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green.
  11. The Magazine of Domestic Economy (Volume one ed.). London: Orr and Smith. 1836. p. 219. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  12. Mrs Beeton. "Bakewell pudding". BBC. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  13. Beeton, Isabella Mary (1861). The Book of Household Management. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. p. 630. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
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