This slow cooker steamed spotted dick pudding is a classic British dessert that is prepared using plant-based vegan ingredients. The result is an incredibly light, sweet and comforting pudding with fresh lemon notes. And no suet necessary!
Enjoy a delicious bowl of spotted dick pudding with hot custard, chilled cream or a drizzle of warm syrup.
Spotted dick is a family favourite with an unusual name! But it is simply an old British term which means spotted pudding, with raisins or currants giving the steamed sponge the classic spotty appearance!
Origins Of Traditional British Spotted Dick Pudding
Spotted dick pudding is also historically known as spotted dog pudding (Scotland) or railway/sweet cake (Ireland) and originated sometime during, but more likely before, the British Victorian era when steamed puddings were very popular.
This classic steamed pudding has a rather unusual name but the word dick is simply an old English word meaning dough or pudding and the spotted name refers to the currants or raisins that give this pudding the spotty appearance.
In olden English times puddings could be referred to as a puddick or puddog so it is easy to see where the less than charming name spotted dick comes from!
The main ingredients for traditional English spotted dick pudding is beef suet (fat), flour, dried fruit most commonly currants or raisins, sugar, and with many recipes calling for lemon zest or cinnamon. Animal based suet is a hard shelf-staple saturated fat that originates from sheep and cow kidneys.
Vegan Slow Cooker Plant-Based Spotted Dick Pudding
This vegan steamed slow cooker spotted dick is a suet-free recipe.
There is a vegetable suet available [Atora Vegetable Suet] that can be used for spotted dick with great results. But here in the UK vegetable suet tends to be an expensive ingredient compared with vegetable margarine.
Although vegetable suet is shelf stable so it is a useful ingredient to have in the pantry.
Also over in the US and other countries suet can be a difficult ingredient to source.
So for this plant-based spotted dick recipe I decided vegan margarine would be more accessible and the result is an incredibly light pudding which is absolutely not too stodgy!
Although it will more than aptly satisfy any cravings for a classic stodgy pudding!
Even though spotted dick is traditionally steamed in a large pot within a pudding basin, the slow cooker is just as good and is arguably better if taking the cost of electricity into consideration.
Also by steaming in the slow cooker there will be much less steam and humidity released into the kitchen which can only be a good thing especially in wet climates!
If you prepare this recipe do pop back and let us know how you got on. We love reading all feedback and comments.
Thanks so much and have a lovely pudding!
How To Prepare Slow Cooker Spotted Dick Pudding:
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftover pudding can be stored within a covered container and placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Whole spotted dick puddings can be stored within the pudding basin but do allow the pudding and the pudding basin, if its made from stoneware, Pyrex glass, etc., to come to room temperature before reheating as the sudden change in temperature could crack the dish.
Freeze within a food and freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
Defrost before reheating or enjoy at room temperature.
Leftover pudding can be quickly reheated in just a few minutes using a microwave. (If reheating within your pudding bowl do check that the bowl is also safe for microwaves)
Or place the pudding back into the slow cooker within the pudding basin and add warm water to the slow cooker. Reheat on high until the pudding is at your desired temperature.
Alternatively place the pudding into an oven-safe dish and cover with a piece of kitchen foil and reheat in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes.
Pudding basins/bowls/dishes come in a variety of materials including stoneware and Pyrex glass. For these types of basins a home-made pudding lid needs to be prepared with greaseproof paper, kitchen foil and string.
There is a useful video that details how to prepare a pudding lid over on the steamed date and syrup pudding recipe post.
There is also a plastic reusable variety with a clip on lid and these are rather handy as no home-made lid needs to be prepared which reduces waste.
Steamed puddings are traditionally prepared on the stove-top within a large pot of simmering water that is used to steam cook the pudding.
To prepare spotted dick for stove-top steaming use a heat-proof pudding basin with either a clip on lid or prepare your own lid.
Steam cook the spotted dick for around 2 ½-3 hours.
It is important to maintain the water level half way up the pudding bowl and have it at a gentle simmer. So do check the water level often.
A small heatproof saucer/plate can be placed at the bottom of the pot, with the pudding basin placed on top of the plate, to prevent too much direct heat on the basin.
However, I tend to miss this step out as my plate tends to rattle too much! Also I much prefer to use my slow cooker to steam cook puddings as it can save electricity.
Traditionally spotted dick pudding would have a pat of butter placed on top of the hot pudding so that it melts down the sides and then sugar sprinkled over the surface.
A few additional ideas:
* vegan pouring cream (such as Oatley oat cream/Alpro single cream/ Elmlea plant cream
* hot vegan custard
* vegan ice cream
* vegan vanilla yogurt
* canned fruit cocktail/tinned fruit mix
* slices of fruit or a tasty fresh fruit salad
* fresh or frozen berry coulis/sauce
* vegan chocolate/toffee/butterscotch sauce
* golden syrup that has been warmed in a pan so that it is easily pourable
More Vegan Traditional Slow Cooker Puddings:
Slow Cooker Steamed Spotted Dick Pudding
- 1 ½-2 pint (¾-1 quart) pudding basin 4 cup pudding bowl, plus greaseproof paper, kitchen foil and string to prepare a lid if necessary, some pudding bowls have clip-on lids
- Slow cooker/crock pot at least 3.5 litres (3 quarts plus) size or large enough to fit your pudding basin with the slow cooker lid placed on top.
- lemon zester to grate/shred lemon zest of the fresh lemon
- 70 grams vegan margarine such as Flora dairy-free (not the lite version)
- 70 grams granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 120 grams self-raising flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 115 grams apple sauce home-made or regular shop bought smooth or small diced apple sauce
- 100 grams raisins (golden sultanas) or currants
- 1 whole lemon zest removed
- 2 tablespoon plant milk such as oat or soya
After cooked, optional
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar light brown sugar/ use more if preferred
- Set the slow cooker to the high setting. Pour a little water in to cover the bottom and pop a lid on.
- Grease a pudding bowl with vegan margarine as this will make it easier for the cooked pudding to be released.
- Using either a mixing spoon or electric hand whisk cream the margarine and sugar together until well mixed.
- Stir through the apple sauce.
- Tip in the sifted flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Next add the raisins or currants, and the two tablespoons of plant milk.
- Fold all the ingredients together using a mixing spoon until all is combined.
- Scoop into the pudding basin and level the surface.
- Pop a lid onto the pudding basin or prepare a homemade lid (there is a link to a video detailing how to prepare a lid within the recipe notes and FAQ section above)
- Place the pudding basin into the slow cooker and pour warm water at least half way up the pudding basin. (Don't use boiling water). The water level may end near the top of the actual pudding mix in the basin as that may be half-way up the bowl, but this is perfect.
- Pop a lid onto the slow cooker and leave to steam for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours carefully remove the pudding basin from the slow cooker and remove the lid. Allow the pudding to sit in the basin for at least 10 minutes before removing.
- Use a cutlery knife to gently loosen the top edges of the pudding. Place the serving plate over the pudding bowl opening and flip the pudding over.
- If the pudding does not slip out give the pudding bowl a hard tap and the pudding should slide out.
- Sprinkle soft or light brown sugar over the top of the pudding and serve with hot custard or chilled cream.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Data does not include any accompaniments but does include 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for adding to the finished pudding.
- Leftover pudding can be stored within a covered container and placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Whole spotted dick puddings can be stored within the pudding basin but do allow the pudding and the pudding basin if its made from ceramic, stone, glass, etc to come to room temperature before reheating as the change in temperature could crack the dish.
- Freeze spotted dick pudding for up to 3 months. Defrost completely before enjoying at room temperature or reheated.
- Leftovers can be reheated in minutes using a microwave (if using the same pudding basin do check that it is also safe for microwaves)
- Or place the pudding back into the slow cooker within the pudding basin and add warm water to the slow cooker. Reheat on high until the pudding is at your desired temperature.
- Alternatively place the pudding into an oven-safe dish and cover with a piece of kitchen foil and reheat in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes.
- For an easy video detailing how to prepare a pudding basin lid refer to the link within the recipe notes and FAQ section.
- Dried currants, raisins or sultanas can be used for this recipe. Although it is traditional to use currants. Dried cranberries could also be used.
- Any type of apple sauce can be used either home-made or shop bought. Any shop bought variety is fine either completely smooth or those that come in small apple dice.