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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!

I’ve been patiently waiting for my rhubarb to be ready for picking since April, I must have a late variety. We love rhubarb here at the Kitchen Shed and seeing the first leaves starting to unfurl is a sign of things to come in the garden.

My love of an easy to make ‘as if by magic’ self saucing pudding set me wondering if I could use 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 and 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. I trialled the recipe in the slow cooker too (as my Chocolate Mocha Pudding works a treat in the slow cooker) but the results varied – I think the bottom heat of the slow cooker is too much for the milk and custard powder – so the jury is still out and it’s a case of watch this space.

If you haven’t made a self saucing pudding before, don’t worry if this recipe goes against how you might usually bake. 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 Kitchen Shed Tips to help you on your way to making the perfect Self Saucing Rhubarb & 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.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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!
Recipe type: Pudding/Dessert
Cuisine: British
Serves: 6

Rhubarb Sponge:
  • 750 g rhubarb trimmed and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 75 g butter melted and cooled
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs beaten

Custard Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml milk
  • 25 g butter

You will need: A 2 litre shallow baking dish

Preheat oven: 180℃ / 350℉ / Gas Mark 4
  1. Kitchen Shed Tip: Make sure your dish is well greased with softened butter to prevent the pudding from catching or burning.
  2. Arrange the sliced rhubarb evenly over the base of your pudding dish and sprinkle with sugar.
  3. Bring your milk and butter for the sauce to boiling point before you start the batter mix.

Sponge Batter:
  1. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla extract and beaten eggs into the cooled melted butter and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour onto the dry ingredients and briefly whisk until smooth. Pour the batter evenly over the rhubarb.
  4. Kitchen Shed Tip: The key to a perfect pudding is to handle with care and don’t over mix.

Custard Sauce:
  1. Sift the custard powder and caster sugar together before sprinkling over the batter.
  2. Use the back of a tablespoon and slowly pour the hot milk and butter over your pudding.
  3. Kitchen Shed Tip: 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.
  4. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes until the batter is set.
  5. Kitchen Shed Tip: Let your Self Saucing Rhubarb & Custard Pudding stand and set for at least 5 minutes before serving as this allows the sauce to thicken up.

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