Drenched in sherry and kirsch, our version of a trifle features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream. It's a showstopper. Frozen lingonberries can be used if fresh cannot be found. See the recipe for Decadent Trifle »
. Todd Coleman
Great Britain is full of delicious food. We especially love British desserts, from toffee to trifle. We’ve rounded up our favorite British dessert recipes for you to try out.
The name spotted dick might elicit giggles, but it’s a wonderful dessert. This rich steamed pudding is laced with currants. A simple custard sauce makes the dish even more decadent.
A traditional trifle features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream, all drenched in sherry and kirsch. Making it takes some work, but you’re rewarded with an elegant showstopper perfect for holiday entertaining. For a simpler raspberry dessert, try layering almondy shortcakes with strawberries and whipped cream.
Treacle is the British term that refers to a variety of syrups, such as molasses and golden syrup. It’s the heart of our treacle tart—a buttery shortbread crust filled with golden syrup, bread crumbs, and lemon zest. It’s a sweet, beautifully simple dessert.
You can’t talk about British desserts without mentioning toffee, a candy made caramelized sugar and dairy. In banoffee pie, toffee is layered with sliced bananas and whipped cream on a crust made from digestive biscuits (semi-sweet British cookies). Or make toffee pudding—dates soaked in stout give this dessert an super-moist crumb, and a toffee sauce takes it to the next level.
Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of British dessert recipes.
An irresistible British dessert, banoffee pie has its share of fanatics on this side of the pond, too. Banana slices, sticky toffee, and whipped cream are arranged in layers over a cookie-like crust, resulting in a dense, cool treat. Get the recipe for Banoffee Pie »
English Sticky Toffee Pudding
In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from one in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), dates are soaked in stout beer and then pureed, resulting in a super-moist crumb.
Nutmeg Custard Tarts
Creamy and spicy, these classic English custard tarts boast all the hallmarks of our favorite eggnogs.
The trifle is a very old concoction—by some accounts, more than 300 years old—but twentieth century variations have turned it into a classic, occasion-ready centerpiece. Drenched in sherry and kirsch, our version features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream.
This simple raspberry dish can also be made with tayberries or blackberries.
In Britain, treacle is a word applied to everything from sticky molasses to golden syrup, which is lighter in character and in color, and an essential component of our beloved treacle tart. Inside a buttery shortbread crust, a molten goo of golden syrup drowns bread crumbs and lemon zest. With little more to it than warming ginger and an egg whisked with cream to set the center, its very simplicity is its ultimate strength. —Tamasin Day-Lewis
“The light, delicate fragility of this shortcake sets it apart from the dense and more traditional shortbread that figures large in Scottish cookery,” says chef Jeremy Lee. “It makes a mockery of the idea that Scottish cookery is heavy and stodgy.”