Starter, main course or dessert: When do you eat a Yorkshire pudding?

Do they earn their own rate? (Photo: Getty)

For many, a Yorkshire pudding is a crucial – and beloved – part of a roast dinner.

But at dinner tables across the country, people are quietly rioting and eating their Yorkshire puddings as a starter.

And before you drop your gravy boat in horror, the truth is that this was the time when they were traditionally supposed to be eaten.

The original purpose of the pud was for you to fill up on the stiff batter first, which meant you didn’t need as much meat and vegetables to follow – which was perfect for large families on tight budgets.

So Yorkshire puddings are not meant to be hidden on a plate; they deserve their own, dedicated course.

And Callum Leslie, chef (and Yorkshireman) at The Black Swan, York, agrees that a Yorkshire works perfectly on its own.

Callum’s recipe for the perfect Yorkshire pudding

Serves 8-10


5 eggs

260 ml semi-skimmed milk

200g plain flour

4g garlic salt


  • Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it will go to.
  • Grease your baking tin and place it in the oven.
  • Beat the eggs until light and foamy.
  • Beat in the milk.
  • Slowly add 200 g of flour and beat to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Don’t put your batter through a sieve as this will take the air out of the mixture and prevent your Yorkshires from rising.
  • Add 4 g garlic salt.
  • Place the Yorkshires in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Then lower the temperature to 180C and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Once they’re ready – and only then – open the oven door and take out perfectly cooked Yorkshire pudding.

Speaking to, he says: ‘Yorkshires are definitely worthy of a standalone dish, served with rich onion gravy. Nowadays it is quite common to see it as a starter.’

And Callum’s best tips for making the ultimate Yorkshire pudding?

“I like to use salts with different flavors, like garlic or onion, and put those in the batter,” he says.

“I also never let the batter rest — but if you do, don’t add the salt until the last minute. Otherwise it will affect the eggs and prevent your Yorkshires from rising.

“If you eat your Yorkshires with beef, you can melt the fat and use that instead of oil.”

There are also those who choose to save the best for last and have their Yorkshire for dessert.

Ice cream, golden syrup, and raspberries can all be added to make a delicious after-dinner treat.

And given that the batter is exactly the same as that of a pancake, it’s not quite a leftfield choice – it’s called a Yorkshire pudding, after all.

Still reeling? Let us know how you eat yours.

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