Centenary Rice Pudding


We asked Poppy Loves London to recreate one of the famous dishes from Margaret Powell's 'Downstairs Cookbook: Recipes From A 1920s Household' to help us celebrate our Centenary year. Read on to see how Poppy got on.


I often find myself musing about what it would have been like to live in another era and thanks to leading cooking appliance brand, STOVES, who are celebrating their centenary this year (they were established on 14th Feb 1920!) I’ve been able to do just that.

However, my rose-tinted glasses always accompany me on these whimsical thoughts – I never consider the poor hygiene, the zero rights for women, the total lack of central heating, the wars. I essentially imagine myself wafting about in 1920s flapper dresses without a care in the world. It’s utterly romanticised, completely irresponsible, and this is why I (mostly) keep these ridiculous thoughts to myself.

However, this time I’m allowed to pretend PROPERLY that I am living in another time entirely – thank you, STOVES!

They sent me a fabulous cookbook – The Downstairs Cookbook - written in the 1920s by Margaret Powell, a then house-maid and cook who ended up writing best selling recipe books! The recipe book offers genuine 1920s recipes, accompanied throughout by her heartwarming anecdotes from life in service.

After pouring over the book and giggling at beef with bananas and grimacing at ‘Larks’ Tongues Pâté, I settled upon one of my all time favourite desserts – rice pudding.

Rice pudding holds a very special place in my heart. It’s the ultimate in comfort food and epitomises cosy. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s utterly delicious.

The ingredients are still the same as they ever were, I just had to look up what a ‘gill of cream’ was  (a gill equates to a quarter of a pint) and substitute in my pudding rice for Margaret’s ‘Carolina rice’.

The result was a gloriously gooey, creamy and sweet rice pudding, perfect for gobbling up in a big bowl under a blanket.

Thank you, STOVES, for the inspiration! And here’s to the next 100 years. Happy Birthday!



1. Wash the rice, put it into a pie-dish with the sugar and milk.

2. Grate a little nutmeg over the top.

3. Bake in a slow oven at Gas 1-2/ Electricity 275°-300° for about 2 to 24 hours.

4. If using cream: about 15 minutes before the pudding is ready, remove from oven, carefully turn back the skin from the top, stir in the cream, replace the skin and leave in the oven to finish setting.

Recipe from The Downstairs Cookbook: Recipes From A 1920s Household Cook by Margaret Powell. Re-created by lifestyle, food and travel blogger, Poppy Loves London (https://www.instagram.com/poppy_loves_london/).


Prep time: 20 Minutes

Cook time: 2 - 2.5 Hours

Serves: 4

  • 1.5 oz Carolina Rice

  • 1 oz sugar

  • ½ gill cream (optional)

  • 1pt milk

  • Nutmeg