Classic Macaroni Pudding Recipe

Macaroni Pudding is a British classic.

Why? Well, that’s an excellent question, but like so many British classics, it takes influences from around the world, adds a certain Britishness, and makes it its own. Macaroni Pudding is a perfect example of this, and we’re thrilled it is!

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - In an oven dish

Much like my Grandma’s scones, Macaroni Pudding is another dish famed within our family, thanks to her frequent cooking of it when I was growing up. I’m so excited to share this recipe that’s based on hers!

I say based because most of her “recipes” are solely in her head and have never been written down, which makes it very hard to learn to make them!

However, we’ve generally managed with a combination of looking through her old recipe books for notes, her sending me long messages with her thoughts on what things should look like at each stage, and my sending photos.

I think this one is pretty spot-on!

We’ve kept it simple. In fact, it might even be the easiest Macaroni Pudding ever. And it tastes just like my Grandma made it.

The History of Macaroni Pudding

One of the first things people, besides my Grandma, said when we mentioned we were making Macaroni Pudding for Scottish Scran was, “Oh, I used to have that when I was little/at school”. 

Milk puddings, in general, are a classic, like Bread & Butter Pudding and Rice Pudding also. And like many cost-effective recipes made in Britain for many years, Macaroni Pudding was often part of a British school dinner.

Not only was it made in huge pots at school but also in British homes when maybe other decadent ingredients weren’t affordable.

Macaroni Pudding has been made in Britain for many years, at least since the mid-to-late 18th century. This is when it first popped up in cookbooks, around the same time Macaroni first appeared in the UK.

We don’t think this is a coincidence. 

It’s a recipe similar to another British classic, Rice Pudding, that preceded Macaroni Pudding by over 400 years! So we can quickly see how the people of the 1800s created such a tasty dessert by swapping out the rice for Macaroni.

It’s a deliciously creamy dish, often with a slight bite to the top layer, and it’s so easy to make. You just mix everything together and put it in a greased dish to bake in the oven.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - on a spoon with oven dish in the background

Is Macaroni Pudding Scottish?

So we’ve established it’s a British classic and why everyone remembers it so fondly, but we will undoubtedly get asked why Scottish Scran would be making it. After all, it’s not Scottish, is it…?

Well, no. It’s not Scottish. Like the rest of Britain, it’s well-loved, but unlike the rest of Britain, Macaroni featured in more than just pasta dishes and this delicious pudding.

If you haven’t tried a Macaroni Pie, you’re missing out despite being a wee bit carb-heavy. So no, Macaroni Pudding isn’t Scottish in itself, but the love for this tasty pasta has been accepted and used in Scotland in different forms since it first reached the ports of Leith.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - in a bowl

Things you’ll need to make Macaroni Pudding

  • Large Pan
  • Whisk
  • Baking Dish

Ingredients for Macaroni Pudding

  • 250g macaroni pasta (2 cups)
  • 1 litre of milk (4 cups)
  • 100g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Macaroni Pudding Recipe - Ingredients

How to make Macaroni Pudding – step by step method

Add the Macaroni to a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. 

Drain and rinse the cooked Macaroni with cold water.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Whisk the milk, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large jug or bowl.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - Method

Spread the Macaroni in an even layer at the bottom of a baking dish.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - Method

Pour the milk mixture on top to cover the Macaroni.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - Method

Bake for 1 hour, until a golden skin has formed on top.

Serve warm with jam, fresh fruit, cream or your favourite toppings.


Different Pasta

We use macaroni pasta to make this pudding, obviously. However, you could always use other pasta if you want to make it, and that’s all you have available.

Adding Fruit

Some people like to add raisins/sultanas to their macaroni mixture, although this isn’t something we ever did but could be tasty if that’s what you like.

We would suggest adding fruit after when serving. Tinned peaches in a favourite in our family!

Frequent questions

What do you serve Macaroni Pudding with?

Macaroni Pudding is delicious all on its own. However, you can also serve it with various things.

Add a splash of milk or cream for extra creaminess, or try a dollop of your favourite jam to break up the creaminess a bit.

Nutmeg is also a popular addition to milk puddings, and you could sprinkle some over the top either before cooking or just before serving.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - two bows of pudding, one with jam

Does Macaroni Pudding have eggs in it?

Some Macaroni Pudding recipes call for eggs, a bit more like the custard mixture that’s used in a Bread & Butter Pudding.

We’ve stuck to the recipe as my Grandma, and therefore my Mum, always made it with just milk, sugar, and a little vanilla. This makes the recipe even easier!

Is Macaroni Pudding served hot or cold?

Both! You can eat Macaroni Pudding straight from the oven (cooled, of course), or cold from the fridge.

Macaroni Pudding Recipe - Pudding in a dish

How do you store and reheat Macaroni Pudding?

Allow the pudding to fully cool before covering with cling film and placing it in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You can eat it cold straight from the fridge or heat a portion in the microwave for around 60-90 seconds.

Can you make Macaroni Pudding in the slow cooker?

You can make this recipe in a slow cooker for around 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Make sure you stir it a couple of times at least.

However, it will be missing the distinctive milky skin on top!

Did you love this Old School pudding?

If this recipe pushes your memory into overdrive and gets your nostalgic tummy rumbling, then we have a whole bunch of recipes that you’re going to love!

Have a look at our Best School Puddings post for some absolute British school dinner classics. All you need now is pink custard!

Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these pudding recipes before.

Yield: 6 servings

Classic Macaroni Pudding Recipe

Macaroni Pudding Recipe

Macaroni Pudding is a delicious British classic. It's a milk pudding similar to a Rice Pudding, with a delicious creamy sauce covering the macaroni. It's a family favourite, and this recipe is as close to my Grandma's as we can get!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 250g macaroni pasta (2 cups)
  • 1 litre of milk (4 cups)
  • 100g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Add the macaroni to a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the cooked macaroni with cold water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Whisk together the milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a large jug or bowl.
  4. Spread the macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of a baking dish.
  5. Pour the milk mixture on top to cover the macaroni.
  6. Bake for 1 hour, until a golden skin has formed on top.
  7. Serve warm with jam, fresh fruit, cream or your favourite toppings.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 8g

The above values are an indication only.

Other Classic British Puddings:

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Macaroni Pudding Recipe - A British Classic

2 thoughts on “Classic Macaroni Pudding Recipe”

  1. my gran used to make this regularly on a Sunday after the roast meat came out of the oven.
    I have also made this too for my wife and kids on a Sunday.
    Thanks for sharing this once very popular pudding.
    …”this tasty pasta has been excepted and used in Scotland in different forms since it first reached the ports of Leith.”

    The word here should be accepted, just saying.

    • Thanks for just saying, hate leaving atypo.

      We’re so pleased you liked the recipe. It’s one that isn’t searched for that often but when people try it they wonder why they haven’t eaten it more often! Keep up that Sunday tradition!


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