Bread and butter pudding is a traditional dessert popular in British cuisine. It is made by layering slices of buttered bread scattered with raisins in an oven dish into which an egg and milk (or cream) mixture, commonly seasoned with nutmeg (and sometimes vanilla or other spices), is poured.
It is then baked in an oven and served. Some people may serve it with custard or cream, but often the pudding under the crust is moist enough to be eaten without sauce. It is traditional to use stale bread, but old croissants can be used instead. Sometimes raspberry, strawberry, blackberry or mixed fruit jam, marmalade or other sweet preserves will be spread upon the bread, along with the butter. Other modern variations include scattering fresh or dried grapes between the layers of bread, melting apples into the egg-milk mixture, and using unusual types of breads — such as brioche — to make it. Lemon or orange peel will add a characteristic flavour.
The earliest bread and butter puddings were called whitepot and used either bone marrow or butter. Whitepots could also be made using rice instead of bread, giving rise to the rice pudding in British cuisine. One of the earliest published recipes for a bread and butter pudding is found in John Nott's Cook's and Confectioner's Dictionary of 1723.