Sponge-Cake Pudding

Victorian cooks hated to waste food, and had all sorts of creative ways to use up leftovers. This super simple one-sentence recipe is an excellent way to use up leftover sponge cake (or, in my case, to use up a failed pound cake that didn’t rise properly. It’s not a failure if you can turn it into something else!). It works on the same principle as a custard-based bread pudding, just using cake instead of bread.

Sponge Cake Pudding:

  • sponge cake (or really any leftover cake)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (optional; see tasting notes below)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  1. Cut up the sponge cake into small pieces and place in whatever dish you would like to use; I used 3 individual ramekins.
  2. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the sponge cake.
  3. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, to let the custard soak into the cake.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees until custard is set – about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your dishes.

Tasting notes:

For the custard, I used a recipe given elsewhere in the same book. It makes a very rich, very egg-y custard; I would definitely leave out the extra egg yolk next time, and maybe even make it with only one egg.

The pudding as written is a little plain, although very rich. I ended up adding cinnamon to my pudding for a little extra flavor, which was delicious. My boyfriend spruced up his by spreading jam on top. Essentially, this is a perfect base recipe, which can be adapted with whatever flavors you like! Why throw away cake when you can make it a pudding instead?


Chadwick, J. (1853). Home cookery: A collection of tried receipts, both foreign and domestic. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and company. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Home_Cookery/kPUpAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

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