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
- Cut up the sponge cake into small pieces and place in whatever dish you would like to use; I used 3 individual ramekins.
- Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the sponge cake.
- Let sit for at least 15 minutes, to let the custard soak into the cake.
- Bake at 350 degrees until custard is set – about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your dishes.
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