Have you tried macaroni pudding? This old fashioned recipe is a really frugal dish made from pantry staples and, it's really easy to make.
Like all milk puddings, it's a really comforting and filling dessert that is perfect for cold days, or for when you just need cheering up.
Serve this hot from the oven, warm or cold from the fridge. I love it warm with a dollop of clotted cream.
My husband remembers this pudding fondly from childhood and I said I would make it for him, although we didn't have a recipe.
I scoured all of my cookery books and found a recipe in a 1968 edition of Mrs Beeton's family cookery. I followed the recipe faithfully, including folding whipped egg whites into hot milk, which didn't seem right at all. Even after doubling the baking time the pudding was a curdled mess, that only the dogs were vaguely interested in, and the whole lot went in the bin!
All of the research pointed to the macaroni being baked in a type of custard mixture, so this is my version, which my husband assures me is how he remembers it. And yes, he is the first to tell me when something I've cooked isn't right.
Let me know what you think in the comments or if you have a family recipe for this too.
All of the ingredients for this recipe are likely to be in your kitchen already, so you can make this dessert at any time.
- Macaroni - standard dried short macaroni. The original recipe called for macaroni that you needed to break into small pieces.
- Eggs - medium or large eggs.
- Sugar - caster (fine sugar) or golden caster.
- Vanilla extract
- Milk - whole milk or semi skimmed.
- Butter - this is just for greasing the pie dish.
- Nutmeg - freshly grated if possible or ground nutmeg from a jar.
- Salt - for cooking the pasta.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Saucepan - for cooking the pasta.
- Measuring jug
- 26 centimetre or 10 inch pie dish
Fill a medium saucepan two thirds with water and bring to the boil.
Add the salt and pasta and cook for 10 to 14 minutes, according to the packet instructions. The pasta should be soft.
Drain the pasta in a colander then return it to the saucepan.
Measure out the milk in a jug and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Whisk to combine the custard mixture then pour it over the cooked macaroni, mixing well.
Grease the pie dish with the butter. Use a pastry brush for this or a piece of kitchen paper.
Pour in the macaroni mixture and put the dish on a large baking tray.
Grate the nutmeg over the top.
⏲️ Baking time
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C/350 F/160 C FAN/Gas Mark 4 for an hour.
There should still be some wobble in the middle of the pudding when you take it out of the oven.
Serve warm from the oven or cold from the fridge.
🥗 Serve with
- Ice cream
- Whipped, single or clotted cream
- Drizzled with runny honey
- Chocolate or caramel sauce
- A dollop of strawberry jam
- Fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries
- Macaroni - use other small pasta shapes like shells or bows instead.
- Adult only - add a tablespoon or two of brandy or rum and replace a quarter of the milk, (125 ml), with single cream.
- Child friendly - serve with a dollop of jam or drizzle of honey.
- Flavouring - replace the nutmeg with ground cinnamon or ginger or add the zest of a lemon or orange to the custard mixture.
Cool the pudding to room temperature and then cover with cling film.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. It is easiest to reheat a portion in the microwave for 1 minute on high. Check the temperature and cook on high for another minute, until the temperature is right.
This baked pudding is mentioned in Mrs Beeton’s The Book of Household Management, published in 1861, but there have been references to macaroni from the 1300's. It may have come from a time when it was common for wealthy households to bring across chefs from Europe, notably France, Spain and Italy, who have influenced the food in Britain.
In fact, a version of macaroni and cheese is first mentioned in a 14th century British book, no doubt from Italian influences at the time!
- 26 cm or 10 inch pie dish
- measuring jug
- 115 g macaroni
- 2 eggs
- 50 g sugar golden caster
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 500 ml semi skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Fill a medium saucepan two thirds with water and bring to the boil.
- Add the salt and pasta and cook for 10 to 14 minutes, according to the packet instructions. The pasta should be soft.
- Drain the pasta in a colander then return it to the saucepan.
- Measure out the milk in a jug and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk to combine the custard mixture then pour it over the cooked macaroni, mixing well.
- Grease the pie dish with the butter then pour in the macaroni mixture and put the dish on a large baking tray.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C/350 F/160 C FAN/Gas Mark 4 for an hour.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended'
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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I love a good old fashioned recipe that brings back memories and this one does exactly that!
I make Macaroni Pudding about once a month and my husband and myself always enjoy it. I am 74 years old and remember it being a real favourite when my Mum used to make it
My first attempt at make macaroni milk pudding. It was once a favourite on a Sunday dinner time.
A vintage recipe for kids and adults alike! Love how you can eat it warm or cold!
Such a delicious dessert! It is really impressive!
This was surprisingly delicious and I have no idea why I have never heard of this before. Next time, I'm making an adult version with rum!!
I don't remember Mum using eggs in it. Hers was always like a baked rice pudding. I will give it a go and see if it is different. Looking forward to it very much though.
Ian said exactly the same thing! All of the research I did pointed to eggs in the original, but I think that it evolved into an even more frugal dish. For rice pudding there is the starch to thicken it, but perhaps the starch in the pasta works too? If you find the recipe without eggs please let me know and I can reference to it.
I have just read The Wind in the Willows for the first time, and had never heard of Macaroni Pudding beforehand! (I couldn't tell from the context what the nature of it was, either. "It was a simple but sustaining meal - bacon and broad beans, and a macaroni pudding"). Thank you very much for satisfying my curiosity!
Hi. How interesting! It does seem to have been a very popular recipe in the past, but has really fallen out of fashion. Good, old fashioned comfort food! Thanks for commenting, Amanda
The first recipe needs some measurements.
Hi, the measurements are in the printable recipe card in the post. Thanks,
Finally!!! I am coming up for 32, however when my sister and I and to go to our dads on Sunday, he would take us to our Nan and grandads. They were from Hackney originally and always made us macaroni pudding for dessert! It was mine and my sisters favourite thing though unfortunately we never got a recipe as they didn’t use one. I’m really looking forward to trying this and getting a taste of my childhood!!!
Hi Adam. There are so many of these old recipes that seemed to have disappeared, so I had fun experimenting with this one. Let's just say there were a few inedible disasters! Let me know you get on and if there any other recipes you are interested in please get in touch. Many thanks,
As I write, the pudding is cooking in the oven. I had some leftover pasta and I'm always on the lookout to utilise the leftovers by making something a little different. I stumbled across your recipe when searching for desserts to make with pasta. Preparation was very easy. A great project for the kids can get involved with during the holidays.....and then enjoy the fruits of their labour. Thanks so much.
Hi Kanda, It's definitely a great way to use up cooked pasta, especially as the price of food has gone mad! Hope you enjoyed it and the kids enjoyed helping too. Thanks, Amanda
I tried to explain to my wife my mother used to make me macaroni milk pudding when I was in school in the early 70's. My wife said you are probably mixing it up with rice pudding, I said no, it was macaroni pudding, my wife said you told me your mother never used pasta, I replied we never heard of pasta my mother used macaroni.....!
Ha! I totally get it. My mother in law used to make this for my husband but she though pasta was too exotic for a meal. From what I understand, macaroni has been in the UK for a long time but mainstream pasta seems to become popular in the late 70's and 80's. Thanks for the chuckle, Amanda.
nice to see people making macaroni milk pudding,used to have this has a kid. i cannot find the sweet macaroni in the shops to make it myself so what did you used.
Hi Paul, It's just normal macaroni pasta that you would use in a savoury dish, nothing special! Enjoy, Amanda
Growing up I also had the plain milk mac pudding and made it many times for my kids. Sadly I don't have quantities because like my mother I just eyeballed the amounts. I would grease an old enamel pie pan with butter and then line the base with a single layer of regular uncooked macaroni. Sprinkle on some sugar and then pour on whole milk to about 1/2in from the top of the pan. Dot the top with about 5 small knobs of butter and then grate fresh nutmeg on the top. Bake for about an hour and half gas mark 5. We would often make it on a Sunday cooking it on the shelf below the Sunday Roast so the time and mark 5 was negotiable.
Hi, My husband described the same process and it's a great way to use the residual heat from the oven. Thanks so much, Amanda
I couldn’t find a traditional macaroni pudding recipe so I tried this one. I only used one egg as I don’t think eggs were ever included when I was a child. It still set too solid for me so next time I will omit the egg completely and also use a bit less sugar.
I made this pudding last night with dinner and it was absolutely fantastic! Definitely going to be making often!
This recipe is so easy to follow, It turned out perfect, tastes amazing straight from the oven buy I find it even better next day straight from the fridge, really tasty, thank you souch for sharing this recipe.
I’m gutted my turned out a curdled mess 😞 no idea where I went wrong?
Hi Zoe, I'm really sorry to hear this. There are a few reasons why this could happen. It may be that your oven runs very hot or it was cooked for too long. I would suggest putting the dish in a water bath, as this helps to keep the temperature constant in the oven. Hope this helps. Thanks, Amanda
I followed the recipe and enjoyed the pudding. It is many years since i have had mac
I followed the recipe and enjoyed the pudding. Macaroni pudding was always one of my favourite puddings. However, I had not had macaroni pudding for an exceedingly long time. I had forgotten about it until coming across your recipe while looking for something else
Hi John, I'm glad you liked the pudding and it seems to evoke a little nostalgia. Best wishes, Amanda