Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding)

Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding) - just fresh berries, a little bread, and sweetener. mjskitchen.com


Before you head on down to the recipe, let me go ahead and tell you that this Mixed Berry “Pudding” has no dairy and no eggs and no bake time.  It’s simply fruit simmered for 2 minutes with a sweetener and a little bit of water, poured into a bread lined ramekin and weighted down overnight to allow the fruit, juice, and bread to all come together as one.  It’s best served cold with a bit of warm berries on top.  It’s amazing!

The first time we had this mixed berry pudding was on our trip to Abiquiu, New Mexico.  Bob took me out to eat at Cafe Abiquiu, in the Abiquiu Inn on US 84.  We both had wonderful meals. Bobby had grilled fresh trout and I had grilled trout tacos. YUM!  For dessert we split a mixed berry pudding.  It’s been a long time since I have been genuinely surprised by a dish, but this “pudding” was quite a surprise. It wasn’t at all what we expected.  It was much better!  The whole time we were eating it, I was trying to figure out exactly how it was made.  So when the waitress came by to check to see if we needed anything else I said “Yes! I’d like the recipe for this pudding.”  Without batting an eye, she says “Sure.”  And came back a few minutes later (my mouth still hanging open in disbelief) with a printout of the recipe.  Do you think if I had told her that I might be publishing it for the whole world to see, that she would have still given it to me? 🙂

Not only is this mixed berry pudding amazingly delicious, it is also relatively easy to make. I did have to adjust the recipe from a restaurant size recipe that called for 5 pounds of mixed berries and 5 cups of sugar, to a recipe that made just 4 little ramekins.  It would be easy to double the following recipe for 8 servings and to adjust the amount of sweetener or even the type of sweetener to your tastes.  I’ll talk about that in my Kitchen Notes.  But for now…on to the recipe.

Post – post note:  One of my overseas readers left a comment that she knew this pudding as “summer pudding”; so I looked it up.  Sure enough, based on King Arthur FlourSummer pudding was devised by the English in the 19th century for people who wanted something that tasted richer than it actually was. This pudding, also designed to use up stale bread, is chilled rather than baked.

Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding) - just fresh berries, a little bread, and sweetener. mjskitchen.com


Mixed Berry Pudding Recipe

Adapted by MJ’s Kitchen from the Cafe Abiquiu.

Yields:  4 servings with fruit topping
Cook and Assembly Time: 30 minutes
Set Time:  at least 8 hours


Dishes:  You’ll need 4 ramekins for the puddings, another 4 ramekins (or other circular dishes) to place on top of each pudding, and “weights” to fill the ramekins. (See the picture below.)

1 pound mixed berries (fresh/frozen) (About 3 cups)
6 Tbsp. maple syrup or 3/4 cup sugar*
¼ cup water
Brioche or any nice artisan bread*
Whipped cream (optional)

One pound of berries yields enough for 4 small ramekins and some berries and juice leftover to serve as a hot topping.


  1. If using fresh berries, coarsely chop the larger berries like strawberries.  The blackberries I used for one batch were huge, so I cut them in half.  Frozen berries don’t need to be chopped.
  2. Add the berries, maple syrup or sugar and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  4. Remove all of the crust from the bread.
  5. Cut 8 circular disks of bread (2 per ramekin), to the diameter of the ramekin and no more than ½” thick .  Cut several long, thin pieces of bread to wrap around the edges of the ramekin.Mixed Berry Pudding - just fresh berries, a little bread, and sweetener. @MJsKitchen*
  6. Place one disk of bread in the bottom of each ramekin. Line each ramekin with strips of bread to create a breaded side. Fill in any holes, with small pieces of bread.
  7. Fill each ramekin with some of the juicy berries.*  Place another bread disk on top and press. If it doesn’t start absorbing the juice right away, pour a little more of the berry juice on top of it.
  8. Place another ramekin on top of the pudding, gently press down and fill the ramekin with “weights”. (The juice should come to the top, but not run down the sides. If juice pours over the side of the ramekin. this indicates you have too much juice, so let it flow over or carefully let it drain back into the sauce pan with the remaining fruit.)
  9. Refrigerate the weighted puddings for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  10. Refrigerate the remaining berries/juice.
  11. Just before serving, heat up the leftover berries/juice or make another small batch. Bring to a boil and cook it down to a little thicker consistency if desired.
  12. Use a knife to release the pudding from the sides of the ramekins and carefully dump the pudding on to a small plate. You might need to use the knife or a fork to pull the pudding away from the ramekin.
  13. Top with hot berries/juice and whipped cream, if desired.

This mixed berry pudding will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.  Just keep the ramekins weighted until ready to serve.  You can see from the picture below how the berries and bread all come together into a pudding-like dessert.

*See Kitchen Notes



Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding)- just fresh berries, a little bread, and sweetener. mjskitchen.com


Kitchen Notes

The Berries – Use whatever you have – fresh or frozen or both.  As far as the type of berries – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – they all work. Just use whatever is available in your area.

The Bread – The original recipe called for a brioche, but I’ve now made it with 4 different types of breads and all have worked but one – the sourdough.  We didn’t like the sour flavor with the sweet berries at all.  Brioche, a good artisan bread, or farmers bread all worked wonderfully.

The Sweetener – The original recipe called for 5 pounds of frozen berries, 5 cups of sugar and 1 cup water which made a very sweet pudding.  I did reduce the amount of sugar a little bit without sacrificing the deliciousness of the pudding.  I also made a couple of batches with maple syrup which I preferred; however, Bobby preferred the batches made with sugar.

Lining the ramekins with bread – If there is a difficult part to this recipe, I guess lining the ramekins might be it; however, I found that it’s not a critical task.  Because the fruit and the juice grab a hold of the bread and it all just melds together under the weight, getting the bread lined up perfectly is not critical.  By the third time I made this I was using small pieces of bread to fill holes and gaps in the lining.  Believe me… it all holds together.  It does not fall apart.

The most critical part is not making the bread too thick.  For the small, single serving ramekins, try to keep the pieces to between ¼” to ½” thick, leaning more toward ¼”.  If the bread gets too thick, you won’t have room for enough berries and juice and the pudding will be “bready”.  For larger ramekins, you can get away with a little thicker bread.

The amount of fruit and juice – Don’t be afraid to be generous.  The first time I made it I was overly cautious and didn’t put near enough juice in the ramekins thinking that it would make the pudding “soggy”.  Well, it did the opposite – it was too dry.  In fact, some of the bread hadn’t absorbed any juice.  So for then on, I didn’t worry about the amount of juice and just filled the ramekin with berries and juice.  As mentioned in the recipe, if you use too much juice, it will run over when you press the other ramekin on top.  Just let the overflow run back into the sauce pan.

Weighting down the pudding – To compress the puddings, you need a vessel that fits on top and a little inside the pudding’s ramekin.  That’s why another ramekin works great.  For the weights, use glass marbles, rocks, or any small, heavy objects.

Because this Mixed Berry Pudding is served cold and doesn’t go in the oven, it makes the perfect summer dessert.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do…and a BIG thanks to the Cafe Abiquiu for sharing this recipe and for a memorable anniversary meal!


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68 Responses to “Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding)”

  1. Carole from Carole's Chatter June 11, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Divine! On my shortlist for a feature. Cheers

    • mj June 12, 2015 at 8:51 am #

      Thanks Carole! I thought you would like this one. It’s one of our favorite desserts!

  2. Roz July 22, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    No need for baking? This is perfect for summer! I’m amazed the server gave out the recipe too and sure wish that would happen to me whenever I ask! Beautiful pudding; thanks for sharing ‘with the world’, MJ!

    • mj July 22, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      That’s right – no baking! It is a perfect summer dessert and next time we return to Abiquiu, I’ll be dropping in and thanking the waitress. 🙂

  3. Terra July 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Wow! No eggs or dairy? Now this is a recipe I must make ASAP! Your pudding recipe sounds amazing! Hugs, Terra

    • mj July 16, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      Thanks Terra! Yep – it surprised me too when I saw no eggs or dairy! Hope you get a chance to try it.

  4. Sanjeeta kk July 14, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    This is such a beautiful summery delight, MJ! Love the colour and the fact that it is completely devoid of dairy products and is a no-bake dessert. Been missing many of your lovely posts, a family function and some unexpected work schedule.

    • mj July 14, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Thanks so much Sanjeeta! I was really surprised that this didn’t have dairy. But it really doesn’t need it.

  5. The Wimpy Vegetarian July 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    This reminds me of an apple betty I made once in school! It was so good – it just melted in my mouth. I would love this!!

    • mj July 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks Susan! I’ve only had a couple of apple bettys before, but if its anything like this pudding, then it’s time to make one. 🙂

  6. Asmita July 9, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    I have been waiting to try this dessert for such a long time. I love the bright color of this dessert. Looks absolutely gorgeous!!

    • mj July 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      Thanks Asmita! It does make a very lovely dessert and tasty as well.

  7. Raymund July 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    I love the colours and flavours on those pudding they look so fruity delicious.

    • mj July 9, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      Thanks Raymund! It is a lovely pudding isn’t it?

  8. Donalyn@TheCreeksideCook July 8, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    My grandma used to make “Summer Pudding”, so this brought back nice memories for me! Definitely filing this away for when our raspberries are ripe – thanks!

    • mj July 8, 2014 at 8:51 am #

      Thanks Donalyn! Not until after I posted did I discover that this was called “summer pudding”. I’ve seen lots of pictures of big batches of it and I do like what the Cafe Abiquiu did to make it single serving. I bet this would be delicious with just raspberries!

  9. Katerina July 8, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    I love the idea! Must burst with fruit flavor!

    • mj July 8, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Thanks Katerina! It does burst with flavor! 🙂

  10. Sissi July 7, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    Gorgeous summer dessert, MJ! I love the colour, the ingredients and… of course the lower sugar content (I almost always cut down sugar in recipes, not because of health reasons but simply because I hate oversweet dishes). It’s amazing that you have got the recipe so easily.

    • mj July 8, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Thanks Sissi! I know – when I saw 1 cup sugar / pound of fruit, I knew I had to cut it back some. Of course, Bobby’s response was “That’s probably why it was so good.” 🙂 Actually, he is quite happy with the lower sugar content. Yep – I was rather shocked when the waitress said “Sure!” Usually, they just give me a “you know better than to ask” look. 🙂

  11. Karen (Back Road Journal) July 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    How easy and so pretty. 🙂

  12. Lisa July 6, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    This dessert looks fantastic! I’m definitely going to try to make it very soon!

    • mj July 6, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

      Thanks Lisa! If you do make, please let me know how it went.

  13. Liz July 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    I would be swooning over this pudding, too! I’ve seen recipes, but I’ve never made one. Perfect time of year to give it a shot. The color is phenomenal!

    • mj July 6, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

      Thanks Liz! I guess I’m behind the ball on this one because I had never seen it before. 🙂

  14. A_Boleyn July 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    I am visiting from Charlie’s “Hotly Spiced” blog in response to your comment on summer puddings. I’m in Canada and watch the Food Network often which is where I’ve seen this pudding made.

    I believe that they used sliced pound cake as a base and to line the pudding because it’s sturdy enough to absorb the fruit juices without falling apart. I’ve thought about making it with challah as well, especially the fruit version that I’ve seen at a local bakery.

    • mj July 6, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

      Ann, because this is weighted down to compress the bread and berries, it really doesn’t fall apart. I’ve used several different types of bread, including little pieces of bread and it all holds together. It’s pretty amazing.

  15. minnie@thelady8home July 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    This is a cool cool pudding, and very unusual too. In India, mainly in the East, we make a bread breakfast with milk and fruits, but that most often is a soggy, mushy, though a delicious affair. Very interesting, thanks so much for sharing.

    • mj July 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks Minnie! If I hadn’t eaten this before looking at the recipe, I would have thought it would have been soggy and mushy as well, but it wasn’t. I was quite surprised.

  16. Carol at Wild Goose Tea July 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    I am a real pudding fan. I think it is an underestimated dessert these days. This type of pudding is totally new to me. So that is pretty dang exciting. What a technique to make it. And thank you for cutting it down from restaurant size.

    • mj July 5, 2014 at 9:44 am #

      I’m with you Carol! We both love pudding and that’s why we ordered it. It was quite a surprise when we started eating it because it wasn’t at all what we expected. You really should give it a try!

  17. thelady8home July 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    This looks so mouthwatering. Wow!!! Perfect one for the summers. 😀

    • mj July 5, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      Thanks!! It is a perfect summer dessert!

  18. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles July 3, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    Oh what a lovely little recipe!! (how great that you were able to acquire it so easily too 🙂 ). The simplicity of this pudding overwhelms me with joy 😉 and I just love how you’ve been able to keep the ingredients so pure and unfettered. I must try this! You also have a way of letting the food speak for itself in your food photography MJ. Elegant, natural, beautiful. I gasped.

    • mj July 5, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks so much Kelly! The color of this beautiful pudding (and my new dishes) made it quite easy to photograph. 🙂 I think most people would agree that the less you do with fresh berries, the better they are going to be and this is a perfect example.

  19. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 3, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    That’s definitely summer, isn’t it? I would never have guessed it was that simple to make. Looks very posh.

    • mj July 5, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Thanks Maureen! Yes, it is definitely a summer dessert! I was shocked at how easy it was to make so it’s becoming my “go to” summer dessert. 🙂

  20. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet July 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    The first thing I thought of when I saw this picture is that it’s a british summer pudding, which also happens to use bread. So this recipe is from Mexico – who knew?!?

    • mj July 5, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      Michelle, apparently is the British pudding, but I didn’t know. Until I had it first in Abiquiu, I had never heard of it. But after looking up “summer pudding”, it’s the same thing. It took me 50 years to discover it, and it was worth the wait. 🙂

  21. Tessa July 2, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    I love this! A definite must try. Thank you MJ!

    • mj July 2, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks Tessa! It’s really good! 🙂

  22. Nami | Just One Cookbook July 2, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    This is wonderful. I wish I had tried it somewhere but I guess it’s more common outside of the US. I love those unexpected surprises…and how nice to get the recipe! 😀 Thanks to the kind gesture, we now all can enjoy it at home! 🙂

    • mj July 2, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks Nami! Apparently it is more common outside of the US. Many of the US readers didn’t know about it either, including me. 🙂 I’m glad Charlie brought up that she knew it as summer pudding. Love discovering new foods!

  23. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz July 1, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    OMG I have not seen or eaten this pudding in years. I know I had some at least 20 years back. So good, thank you for remind me. It looks amazing.

    • mj July 2, 2014 at 7:31 am #

      Thanks Evelyne! Thanks to your comment and Hotly Spiced’s, I looked it up and found out that this is an old British pudding called summer pudding so that’s probably why you’ve heard of it and I hadn’t. In all my years, I had never seen it before. So glad to have discovered that! Thanks for your comment!

  24. Choc Chip Uru July 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    What a lovely light pudding, with delicious colour and flavour!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • mj July 2, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      Thanks Uru! It is a lovely pudding!

  25. Hotly Spiced July 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    I can’t believe you were able to get that recipe. How fabulous. I’ve seen this kind of a pudding before and here it’s called ‘Summer Pudding’ because of all the summer fruits it uses. It certainly is a pretty colour xx

    • mj July 2, 2014 at 7:18 am #

      Thanks Charlie! and thanks for the information! I just looked up summer pudding and there it is. Apparently, it’s a British pudding. It’s not very common over here in the states. In fact, I had never seen it before. Good to know that I didn’t steal someone’s original recipe. 🙂 What I found also answered my question as to whether or not it could be made in big batches. Thanks!

  26. Angie (@angiesrecipess) July 1, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    wow look at the vibrant purple red colour…a very beautiful and delicious bread&berry pudding!

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Thanks Angie! It is a beautiful color isn’t it. 🙂

  27. Bill July 1, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    I wasn’t quite sure what this was going to be like until I read the post. What an unusual way to make a pudding. It’s almost like a bread pudding without the milk and eggs. It sounds absolutely delicious! I think this is the perfect dessert for my 4th of July meal! Good for you for asking for the recipe. I’ve wanted to ask in the past, but figured they wouldn’t give it to me. Great post, MJ!

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      It surprised me as well Bill once I saw the recipe! I don’t know who created this recipe originally but it’s genius in my opinion. I know we’ll be eating it all summer until the berries disappear. I hope you get a chance to make it. You and your family will love it! BTW – I have asked for a recipe many times in restaurants, but this is the first time someone said “Yes” and said it so enthusiastically. The woman who gave it too me was a real sweetheart.

  28. Swathi July 1, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Delicious lovely color MJ, you need to set side a bowl for me.

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      I have an extra for you Swathi! 🙂

  29. Nads July 1, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! Berries have been really cheap so I’ve been jamming up a storm. This gives me something else to do with all those yummy little pieces of heaven. Plus, I’m not so much for rich deserts but Jim and Brynn are (not that any of us need desert). This should satisfy everyone, and it actually sounds pretty light. I will give it a try soon. Have you tried making it in a larger dish, like a 9×9 pan and then cutting portions? I don’t have any ramekins.

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Have you run out of room in the fridge yet with all of that jam? 🙂 I think you all will love this dessert and you’ll definitely love it in the heat and humidity y’all are experiencing. After chatting with you, I think the larger method of making this might just work. If you try it, let me know. Maybe it’s time I bought you some ramekins. 🙂

  30. Judy @Savoring Today July 1, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    Just one of the things I love about summer is the fresh berries — so ripe and robust with flavor to bring any dessert alive if you can keep from eating them out of hand. Beautiful photos, MJ, lovely dessert. 🙂

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Amen to the fresh berries comment Judy! I can’t get enough of them. Thanks for your comments!

  31. John@Kitchen Riffs July 1, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, what a fun pudding! I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything like this before. I know I’ve not seen a bread and berry combo — very cool. I’m becoming more and more a fan of frozen berries. You can’t beat good quality fresh, of course, but good quality isn’t always what you get when you’re buying fresh, alas. Anyway, very nice — thanks.

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Fun is right! I really enjoy making it which is pretty obvious since I made it every week in June. 🙂 As I mention, this pudding can be made with fresh or frozen. The first couple of batches I used a mix of fresh and frozen. It worked just fine. Thanks for your comments!

  32. Gloria July 1, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    Loved the vibrant color of this yummy mixed berry pudding.. Looks delicious..

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Thanks Gloria!

  33. Debra July 1, 2014 at 6:51 am #

    Hey, M.J. Giving you a short shout-out today for being my cruise director during my recent Santa Fe trek. Adding Cafe Abiquiu to my list when we travel there this fall!!!!! Delicious looking pudding too. Needing something for the Fourth to feed the troops (my family) while they are here. Have a great holiday!

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Thanks so much Debra for the comment and the shoutout! Loved reading about your trip to Santa Fe! This will make a great dessert for the 4th weekend.

  34. Laura @ Family Spice July 1, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    What an interesting pudding. I expected a traditional dairy pudding when I read the title. This looks and sounds very refreshing, especially during these hot summer months!

    • mj July 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      Thanks Laura! When we ordered it, we were thinking the same thing – a dairy-based pudding. WOW – were we pleasantly surprised. June has been dreadfully hot here, so it’s been our go to dessert this month.


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