This traditional Vegan British Eve's Pudding, or Vegan Apple Pudding, is one of our family's favourite baking recipes. The apples are sweet and tangy with a pleasant bite while the sponge has delicious sweet cinnamon and lemon notes. So delicious served with vegan hot custard, ice-cream, pouring cream, whipped cream or yoghurt for the ultimate dessert that is great for everyday comfort food puddings as well as for dinner party desserts. Its just so easy to prepare this old-fashioned dessert and have a tasty vegan apple pudding ready in a short space of time.
Not a fan of apples? Simply replace with your choice of fruit such as peaches, pears, or plums, or a mix.
Eve's pudding is perfect for using up a pile of apples languishing at the back of the refrigerator, a glut of windfall apples, cheap seasonal apples, or a bag of reduced apples from the supermarket or store.
What is Traditional British Eve's Pudding?
Eve's pudding, an old-fashioned dessert, is essentially a Victoria sponge baked on top of a layer of stewed apples. Eve's pudding dates back to at least the early 1800s, Britain, and its name is a nod to the biblical Eve, signifying the apple's symbolic connection to the story of the Garden of Eden. Originally known as 'Mother Eve's Pudding', its earliest versions were quite different, using pieces of bread and suet. Over the years, the recipe evolved, favouring sponge over bread, and omitting the suet. Although Eve's pudding was once a family favourite its popularity has waned in recent times, however the simplicity, the taste, and the family-friendly nature of this deliciously easy apple pudding makes it a dessert truly worthy of being baked in your oven!
Vegan Eve's Pudding is a delicious homely apple pudding that can make a nice change from the regular apple crumbles or crisps, or apple pies. Although this is a vegan apple pudding no-one will know that it does not contain eggs or butter so you can confidently dish it up to any non-vegan guests!
Vegan Eve's Pudding
Eve's Vegan Pudding is crisp and golden on top, with a soft sweet cinnamon-lemon sponge underneath and a juicy apple filling at its core. The choice of apples can slightly change the flavour, so you can use your favorite variety. This means the apple pudding might taste a bit different each time, especially if you switch up the apples. Hot from the oven, it's perfect with some plant-based custard, cream, or ice cream. It's also great just by itself – so yummy! If there are any leftovers, they're still tasty the next day, even cold as a quick morning treat. If you're thinking of a pudding to offer guests, this one's a top pick. It's warm, comforting, and easy to whip up, giving you more time with your company.
How to prepare Eve's Pudding
*this post is currently being updated and new photos will be added soon*
First, stew the apples with water, lemon juice, and brown sugar, until soft.
Add the apples to a baking dish.
Next add the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest to a mixing bowl. Next stir through the water and vegetable oil and then spread the cake batter over the apples.
Bake for 25-40 minutes until risen, golden brown, and firm. The pudding will be deliciously moist with crispy parts on the sponge surface.
While the pudding is baking, prepare the home-made plant-based custard, although this is an optional side.
***For an easy vegan custard recipe, [that uses custard powder] have a look below at the FAQ section.***
Also there are pre-prepared vegan custards available such as Alpro custard or instant custards which only needs boiling water stirred through.
Enjoy with the delicious hot plant-based custard, or a drizzle of vegan cream or a scoop of whipped cream, or even a scoop of vegan vanilla yogurt.
Recipe notes and FAQ's
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, within a covered container, for 3-4 days.
This pudding is delicious chilled but if preferred reheat in a warm oven for a few minutes. Eve's pudding also copes well with being frozen. Simply place in a freezer-proof container and freeze for 4-6 months. Defrost before enjoying and reheat if preferred.
The traditional accompaniment for Eve's pudding is hot custard and we have provided an easy recipe below.
Alternatively, a scoop of vegan ice-cream, or a drizzle of vegan cream, or a dollop of whipped vegan cream, or a spoonful of vanilla plant-based yogurt are all tasty accompaniments.
Growing up in Glasgow during the 80s and 90s cream was a luxury, and custard was often not available, so with hot puddings such as fruit crumbles or apple pies, my mum would pour a little milk over the pudding, and it was quite nice!
So, if you have no other additions to add to the Eve's pudding a wee drizzle of plant-based milk is a nice alternative and yes we have tried it with this pudding and it is good!
Yes, the following is our family custard recipe the one we have been using for many many years! This custard is the deal accompaniment for Eve's pudding as well as any of your favourite desserts and puddings.
Vegan Custard Recipe:
A tasty plant-based custard, perfect for accompanying your favorite vegan puddings, ready in under 20 minutes.
* 2 tablespoons custard powder
* 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or your preferred sugar, syrup, or sweetener)
* 400-500 ml (around 2 cups) of plant-based milk (adjust quantity for desired custard consistency)
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the custard powder and sugar.
2. Add a few tablespoons of the plant-based milk to this mixture, stirring until it forms a smooth paste.
3. Place the saucepan on medium heat. Gradually pour in the remaining milk, continuously whisking with a wooden spoon or fork to ensure no lumps form.
4. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, making sure to stir constantly.
5. Once it starts simmering, reduce the heat to low.
6. Continue to cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes.If the custard becomes too thick, add a little more milk and mix.
7. If it's too thin, let it simmer a bit longer to achieve the desired thickness.
8. Remember to keep stirring to prevent burning or sticking.
9. Once done, you can serve immediately. If you're not serving right away and want to prevent a skin from forming, cover the custard's surface with a piece of parchment paper.
10. If a skin does form, simply whisk it back into the custard.
11. If your custard thickens too much upon standing, you can thin it by whisking in some additional milk.
12. Reheat gently if needed before serving.
13. Or place into small serving dishes such as ramekins and chill for a chilled custard pudding.
Apples in the recipe can be substituted with fruits like pears, nectarines, plums, or peaches. Even a mix of these fruits would be delicious. Simply follow the same steps as you would when using apples.
For a tropical twist, consider using fresh or canned pineapple chunks. If you opt for canned pineapple, make sure to drain the juice or syrup first before adding them to your baking dish. Plus, pineapples won't need any additional stewing. Or perhaps go with canned fruit cocktail [canned mixed fruit].
Any eating apple variety is fine for an apple pudding such as Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Northern Spy, Jonagold, or Fuji. Although apples simply labelled as dessert apples or sweet apples are also perfect for an Eve's pudding.
Yes, you can use Bramley apples (often referred to as cooking apples) for Eve's pudding, but with a few considerations. Bramley apples have a sharp, tart flavour and can break down into a softer texture when cooked, which is why they're favorite for many types of apple pudding and apple sauce.
If you would like to use Bramley apples for your pudding, keep in mind the following:
1. You will likely need to add more sugar as Bramley apples are quite tart and so generally need more sugar to balance out their flavour.
2. Bramley apples have a softer texture when cooked compared to other apple varieties so if you prefer a pudding with apple pieces that maintain their shape, Bramley might not be the best choice. However, if you're okay with a softer apple texture in the pudding, then they can be a nice tasty option.
3. Another option is to use a mixture of Bramley apples and an apple variety that retains its shape better when cooked, as doing so, you'll gain a mix of flavours and textures, with some apples breaking down and others keeping more firmer.
Yes, you can prepare the apples ahead of time or even stew them ahead of time, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. Once cut or peeled, apples begin to turn brown or oxidize but a few steps can be taken to prevent this.
Prepare the apples 1-2 in advance:
1. Use a lemon water bath - Toss the sliced or chopped apples in a mixture of cold water with a splash of lemon juice as the citric acid in the lemon helps prevent browning. Alternatively, you can use a pinch of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) powder dissolved in water.
2. After bathing and draining the apples from the liquid, place the apples in an airtight container or zip-lock bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
Store in the refrigerator and ideally, use them within 1-2 days for the best freshness and flavour.
3. If your recipe requires the apples to be precooked or stewed, you can do this ahead of time as well. Once cooked, let them cool, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be used within 2-3 days.
Stew the apples ahead of time:
1. If you want to prepare apples well in advance, consider freezing them. Treated apple slices (as described above to prevent browning) can be spread out on a baking sheet and frozen individually. After the apples slices are frozen place them into a freezer bag or container as this way, they won't stick together and can be used directly from the freezer in recipes. However, do keep in mind that freezing can change the texture of apples, making them softer once thawed.
Although, the lemon zest does add tangy notes that compliment the sweet-cinnamon sponge, it can be omitted if preferred. Perhaps replace the lemon zest with orange zest? If you do go with orange zest the lemon juice for the stewed apples can also be replaced with fresh orange juice.
Yes, with a few changes this pudding can be prepared as gluten-free although do keep in mind that we have not tested this apple pudding as gluten-free yet, but we have tested similar sponges with success.
First, use a gluten-free self-raising flour blend in place of regular flour. Many gluten-free flour blends are formulated to be a direct 1:1 substitution for regular flour. Look for blends that contain a mix of rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and possibly xanthan gum, which helps provide structure in the absence of gluten. We like to use the Doves Farm Freee From Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour.
You will also need to make sure that your baking powder used is also gluten-free. While these ingredients are naturally gluten-free, they can sometimes be contaminated if processed in facilities that also handle gluten-containing products.
As gluten-free bakes tend to have less structure and ability to hold together which tends to result in a crumbly crumb its always a good idea to include some xanthan gum. Many gluten-free flour blends already include this, but if yours doesn't, you might want to add it separately. Add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon per cup of flour, and for our Eve's pudding a ¼ teaspoon will be enough.
Another point to note is that gluten-free flour tends to be more thirstier compared to wheat flour so you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of extra water to the batter if it looks very thick.
Lastly, remember to adjust baking times as needed as sometimes gluten-free bakes require a bit more or less time in the oven.
More family favourite British puddings
All these delicious puddings are egg-free, butter-free, and dairy-free, yet no one will ever be able to tell! All the ingredients used are every-day pantry ones so no special ingredients are required.
This selection are our family favourites especially during the chillier months - Steamed Spotted Dick Pudding, Chocolate Concrete Cake, Old-School Coconut and Jam Sponge, and Old-School Chocolate Sponge - and they are also all British old-school dinners favourite puds and desserts!
Each pud is especially tasty served up with a good dollop of hot vegan custard and we provide an easy custard recipe above in the FAQ section.
For more vegan adaptations of old-school dinner recipes check out our Old-School Dinners recipe collection.
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Eve's Pudding (Traditional British)
- baking dish or pie dish big enough for 4 servings. Roughly about 8 x 8 or 8 x 6 inch.
- non-stick saucepan for stewing apples
- zester for zesting lemon peel
- 115 grams self-raising flour [sieved, or replace with plain, all-purpose flour plus an extra teaspoon of baking powder, and a few pinches of salt]
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 65 grams soft brown sugar [or use dark brown, caster or granulated sugar]
- 115 millilitres water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil [any neutral flavoured oil is fine such as rapeseed, sunflower]
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest [the zest of 1 small lemon or ½ a large lemon, can replace with orange zest]
- 5 medium apples [Ordinary eating or dessert apples, cored and chopped into chunks. I don't peel the apples unless there is a blemish as I prefer to keep the skin on for the extra nutrition, but if preferred peel the apples]
- 3 teaspoon soft brown sugar [or an alternative sugar]
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice [or fresh orange juice]
- 1-4 tablespoon water [exact quantity depends on your apples and how much juice they release during stewing]
To serve, optional:
- vegan custard, home-made or shop-bought *** we have included our step-by-step custard recipe in the FAQ section above***
- Preheat oven to 160 Fan,180 C, 350 Fahrenheit, Gas 4.
- Grease the baking dish with a little margarine or oil.
Stew the apples:
- Tip the chopped apples into the saucepan along with 2 tablespoons of the water, lemon juice, and sugar.Over a medium heat, stew the apples until fork soft but still firm.Stir frequently and if too dry add another 1-2 tablespoons of water.After about 10-15 minutes the apples should be ready. Add the apples to the greased dish.5 medium apples, 3 teaspoon soft brown sugar, 2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1-4 tablespoon water
Prepare the sponge topping:
- When the apples are nearly finished stewing prepare the sponge.Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest to a mixing bowl and stir well.115 grams self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 65 grams soft brown sugar, 115 millilitres water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- Next pour in the water and oil and mix until its a smooth batter.
- Pour and spread the cake batter evenly over the apples.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven.Bake for 25-40 minutes until golden. (Exact time will depend on your oven, check the pudding after 25 minutes). Fan ovens tend to cook faster.A skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean-ish. Its a pudding so no need to be completely dry inside.
- Serve hot straight from the oven with hot custard or an alternative such as plant-based ice-cream, pouring cream, whipped cream, or a pain or vanilla vegan yogurt. We often like a simple drizzle of plant-based milk over a serving of Eve's pudding if there is no other options available!vegan custard, home-made or shop-bought
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutrition data does not include the vegan custard accompaniment.
- For a larger Eve's pudding or more servings simply double the ingredients and use a larger oven dish. (I doubled the recipe and used a larger baking dish and the pudding was ready in just over 30 minutes with a fan oven, so times will depend on your oven. Check the pudding after 25-30 minutes).
- Leftover Eve's pudding can be stored in the fridge, in a covered container, for up to 3-4 days.
- Or frozen for up to 2-3 months, well wrapped.
- Leftovers are really tasty chilled for breakfast. Or take a slice for a pack lunch or picnic. Eve's pudding slices up really well when chilled and holds its form.
- Serve Eve's pudding with vegan cream, custard, yogurt or ice-cream. Or enjoy on its own. It is traditionally served with hot custard.
- For an easy vegan hot custard recipe check out the FAQ section above for a step-by-step method.
- Not too keen on apples? Or have other fruit that needs using up? Sub the apples for pears, peaches, nectarines, or plums. Or a combination. Eve's pudding is an ideal way to use up reduced sticker punnets of fruit or whenever you happen to have a surplus of fruit.
- For more useful information, including how to prepare the apples ahead of time, and how to prepare a gluten-free Eve's pudding do check out our recipe notes and FAQ section above this recipe.
Prepared our Vegan Eve's Pudding? We would love to know how you got on so do pop back and drop us a comment below and click the star ratings. Its very much appreciated. Thanks so much, Love Jacq x