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Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding

A light airy vanilla sponge blanketing a layer of rhubarb in a pool of custard, complete with tips to the perfect Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding!

My love of an easy to make ‘as if by magic’ self saucing pudding set me wondering. What if I could incorporate one of my favourite classic British flavour combinations, rhubarb and custard ? Remember those rhubarb and custard boiled sweets ? So sharp, yet so sweet and creamy.

After a few trials experimenting with quantities and methods, I finally cracked it! A tender vanilla sponge over a layer of sharp rhubarb revealing its own pool of creamy custard beneath.

It makes a delicious alternative to a rhubarb crumble and you don’t have to make any custard.

Top view of a baked pudding with a spoonful taken out. Fresh sticks of rhubarb are next to the dish.

If you haven’t made a self saucing pudding before and this recipe goes against how you might usually bake, don’t worry. Sprinkling sugar and custard powder over a batter and pouring hot milk on the top looks and sounds rather strange but be patient, it works. I’ve included a few tips to help you make the best rhubarb and custard pudding.

If your tastebuds are not keen on rhubarb or there is a rhubarb shortage – seasonal or otherwise – this recipe also works well with apples or blackberry and apple.

A dessert bowl with a portion of pudding with a silver spoon on a wooden table.

What Do I Need ?

This recipe is perfect for when you’ve got plenty of rhubarb growing. The rest of the ingredients are pantry and fridge staples.

Sponge Batter Ingredients

  • Plain flour or all purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Caster sugar or superfine sugar if you’re in the US.
  • Butter – I used salted butter but you can use unsalted, just add half a teaspoon of salt to the mix.
  • Milk – I used full fat milk.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs – I used medium eggs. If you’re in the US use large eggs (egg size categories vary from country to country)

Custard Sauce Ingredients

  • Custard powder – I used Bird’s Original Custard Powder
  • Caster sugar
  • Milk
  • Butter
Pudding in a baking dish with a bowl at the side and a portion being served.

How To Make Rhubarb Pudding

Firstly, melt the butter for the batter mix and leave to one side.


Arrange the sliced rhubarb over the base of a large well greased baking dish (I used a shallow 2 litre / 8 cup dish). Sprinkle with sugar.
Bring your milk and butter for the custard sauce to boiling point before you start the batter mix.


To make the batter mix, sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the milk, vanilla extract and beaten eggs into the cooled melted butter. Pour onto the dry ingredients and briefly whisk until smooth.
Pour the batter evenly over the rhubarb.

To make the custard sprinkle the custard powder and caster sugar over the batter.

Slowly pour the hot milk and butter over the back of a tablespoon onto your pudding.


Bake in the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes until the batter is set.

Tips For The Best Self Saucing Pudding

  • Baking dish – Use a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity baking dish that has been well greased with butter. This helps prevent the pudding from burning or catching.
  • The key to a perfect pudding is to handle with care and don’t over mix.
  • Making the custard – to ensure even distribution of the custard and caster sugar, sieve them together in a bowl and mix before sprinkling over the top of the pudding batter.
  • Pouring the hot liquid over the back of a spoon as close to the pudding as you can will prevent the liquid from falling too heavily and help keep a light sponge.
  • Don’t over bake – it’s important not to over bake the pudding as you don’t want the custard to dry out and disappear! Once the top of the rhubarb pudding is cooked to the touch, it’s ready.
  • Let your pudding stand and set for at least 5 minutes before serving as this allows the sauce to thicken up.

How To Serve

Self Saucing Rhubarb and Custard Pudding is best served freshly baked. It’s an all in one pudding so you can take it the table just as it is and serve.

A baked pudding on the table being served with a large spoon.
Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding

How To Store And Reheat

If you do have any leftovers – you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. I wouldn’t recommend reheating in the oven as the custard will dry out. Pop a serving in a bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds.

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A Pinterest Pin with two images and title. Top image is of a bowl of pudding and the bottom image is of the pudding in a large baking dish with sticks of rhubarb by its side.
 
A light airy vanilla sponge blanketing a layer of rhubarb in its own pool of custard, complete with Kitchen Sheds Tips to the perfect self saucing pud!

Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding

A light airy vanilla sponge blanketing a layer of rhubarb in a pool of custard, complete with tips to the perfect Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding!
4.97 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Pudding/Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • 2 litre (8 cup) shallow baking dish

Ingredients


Rhubarb Sponge:

  • 750 g rhubarb trimmed and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 75 g salted butter
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs beaten


Custard Sauce:

  • 3 tbs custard powder
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml milk
  • 25 g butter

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180℃ / 160℃ fan / 350℉ / Gas Mark 4
  • Make sure your dish is well greased with softened butter to prevent the pudding from catching or burning.
  • Melt the butter for the batter mix and leave to one side.
  • Arrange the sliced rhubarb evenly over the base of your pudding dish and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bring your milk and butter for the custard sauce to boiling point and leave to one side.

Sponge Batter

  • Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract and beaten eggs into the cooled melted butter and whisk to combine.
  • Pour onto the dry ingredients and briefly whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the batter evenly over the rhubarb.

Custard Sauce

  • Sift the custard powder and caster sugar together before sprinkling over the batter.
  • Slowly pour the hot milk and butter over the back of a tablespoon onto your pudding.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes until the batter is set.
  • Let your pudding stand and set for at least 5 minutes before serving as this allows the sauce to thicken up.

Notes

  1. Baking dish – Use a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity baking dish that has been well greased with butter. This helps prevent the pudding from burning or catching.
  2. The key to a perfect pudding is to handle with care and don’t over mix.
  3. To ensure even distribution of the custard and caster sugar, sieve them together in a bowl and mix before sprinkling over the top of the pudding batter.
  4. Pouring the hot liquid over the back of a spoon as close to the pudding as you can will prevent the liquid from falling too heavily and help keep a light sponge.
  5. Don’t over bake – it’s important not to over bake the pudding as you don’t want the custard to dry out and disappear! Once the top of the rhubarb pudding is cooked to the touch, it’s ready.
  6. If you do have any leftovers – you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. I wouldn’t recommend reheating in the oven as the custard will dry out. Pop a serving in a bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds.
  7. Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Nutrition Facts
Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
343
Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Cholesterol
 
108
mg
36
%
Sodium
 
316
mg
14
%
Potassium
 
435
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
71
g
24
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
40
g
44
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
600
IU
12
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
262
mg
26
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Recipe Rating




Sian Clarke

Friday 15th of May 2020

Is it possible to use well drained tin rhubarb please as fresh isn't always easy to get hold of and I have no garden or outdoor space to grow it x

sarahj

Saturday 18th of July 2020

Using well drained tinned rhubarb might end up too soft and be more of a syrup as the pudding is baked for 40 minutes.

Cook It With Kids

Monday 22nd of May 2017

Really looking forward to cooking this with a group of kids in a half term workshop next week. Was looking for the perfect seasonal recipe and here it is!

sarahj

Monday 22nd of May 2017

Thanks Jess, do let me know how you get on.

Manju | Cooking Curries

Monday 6th of March 2017

I have always been so fascniated with self saucing pudding cakes and am yet to make any myself. Thank you for the recipe!

Jules

Sunday 5th of March 2017

This looks utterly delicious and certainly one that I will be trying. I love rhubarb and have a big patch in our garden, this looks creamy enough to appeal to the kids.

Elizabeth

Sunday 5th of March 2017

I love self saucing cakes, and I still have loads of rhubarb left from last season - I need to make this cake soon!