Want to know the secrets to making perfect (foolproof) Yorkshire puddings? I’m answering all of your questions in my step by step guide, PLUS a video to talk you through the process!
Why are Yorkshire puddings called Yorkshire puddings?
You’d think it was because they were invented in Yorkshire, but the origins of Yorkshire puddings aren’t fully know. It’s thought they did originate in the North of England, and we’re called dripping pudding – as they were cooked underneath the meat – which was roasted on a spit – to catch the meat drippings. ‘Puddings’ were originally savoury dishes (like black pudding) until the late 18th century.
Using “Yorkshire” as a prefix was first used in a publication – “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Simple” by Hannah Glasse in 1747.
Source: Historic UK
What’s the difference between popovers and Yorkshire pudding?
The American equivalent to a Yorkshire pudding is call a popover. The recipe itself is very similar, but they’re cooked in popover tins.
The USA also have the dutch baby – which again is similar to a Yorkshire pudding, but is often served as a pancake-equivalent for breakfast with fruit and icing (powdered) sugar. The dutch baby is often a large ‘pancake’ cooked in a cast iron pan, and it uses butter – rather than lard or dripping for the fat.
Yorkshire puddings are either cooked in Yorkshire pudding tins (usually for large Yorkshire puddings), muffin tins or smaller fairy cake tins. This gives them a bowl-like shape (perfect for holding all of that gravy!).
Popovers are cooked in special popover tins – which are taller and more narrow than muffin tins. This forces the batter up, to ‘pop over’ the top. They’re crispy like Yorkshire puddings, with a similar flavour profile, but they often have a domed top, with a hollow interior. They can be served sweet – with fruit and/or chocolate, or savoury – flavoured with cheese, or as a side dish to soups, meat and eggs.
Traditional Yorkshire puddings eluded me for a long time. Flat ones, wonky ones, soggy-bottomed ones!
Occasionally I hit the right formula, and that was always cause for a bit of a celebration. But the next time, despite appearing to have followed the same process, they turned out flat again!
It turns out, the main problem was with my oven. I had an old oven (like 15+ years old) and the temperature wasn’t always consistent, plus it used to lose heat really quickly when the door was opened. I didn’t realise this at the time, and continued to try different things to figure out that perfect formula.
Since having my new oven, my Yorkshires have turned out perfect every time. Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a new oven as part of this recipe – but it is worth knowing that you need your oven to maintain a temperature of 220C/425F. An oven thermometer is a great help in figuring this out.
How to Make Yorkshire Puddings
We start by adding plain (all purpose) flour to a large jug. Make a well and add in the eggs. Stir together to combine, then stir in the milk – the consistency should be that of double/heavy cream. Don’t worry if it’s a little bit lumpy at this stage. Then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight is fine). That combination of cold batter hitting hot oil will result in a better rise. Also, resting the batter allows the starch molecules in the flour to swell – meaning you’ll get a lighter, crisp and more even Yorkshire pud.
Next pre-heat the oven to a temperature of 220C/425F. and add lard or beef dripping to each hole in the tin.
Continuing on with the Perfect Yorkshire puddings, Place the tin in the oven for 10 minutes, you want to get the fat or oil nice and hot.
Take the mixture out of the fridge and stir in the salt and pepper.
Once the fat is really hot, you need to get the Yorkshire pudding mixture into the tin and back in the oven as quickly (and safely!) as possible. If your oven loses heat quickly, then use a hob-safe Yorkshire pudding tin. Take the preheated tin out of the oven, close the oven door and place the tray over a high hob heat whilst filling the holes with the Yorkshire pudding mix from a jug. Then get it back into the oven as quickly as possible (please be careful though, you don’t want to get burned by the hot oil).
If your oven retains heat well whilst the door is open, then it’s a good idea to slide the rack out with the Yorkshire pudding tin on, and use a jug to pour the mixture into the Yorkshire holes.
Place the tin back in the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the Yorkshires are risen and crisp.
I’ve included instructions for making 6 larger Yorkshire puddings (rather than 12 small ones) at the bottom of the recipe card and in the video. The ingredients are the same, it’s just an increased cooking time (25-30 minutes). It’s also worth turning the Yorkshires over for the final 5 minutes to ensure a lovely crisp base.
The recipe itself is easy. Plain (all-purpose) flour, milk, eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cooked in very hot beef dripping or lard (I find beef dripping or lard works best as they can get to a really hot temperature without burning).
Use vegetable oil if you’re cooking for vegetarians – it will still do a great job.
Bonus pro tip: If you’re wondering ‘Can I use self-raising flour for my Yorkshire pudding batter?’ then stop! Don’t try using self raising flour or baking powder. I’ve tried these – hoping that the raising agents would result in bigger Yorkshires, but it doesn’t. They end up flatter for some strange reason.
Why are my Yorkshire puddings not rising?
Here are my top tips for troubleshooting if your Yorkshires are not rising.
- The fat isn’t hot enough (it should be smoking hot).
- The oven isn’t getting hot enough (needs to maintain a 220C/425F temperature).
- Your oven loses heat too quickly when you open the oven door and/or you leave the oven door open for too long whilst you’re filling up the Yorkshire pudding tins with batter.
- Too much batter or not enough fat in the tin.
- You’re not letting the batter rest and cool in the refrigerator.
- Using incorrect ingredients (e.g self raising/cake-flour instead of plain/all-purpose flour) and/or quantities.
Step by Step video of the process:
The Perfect Yorkshire Puddings Recipe:
Perfect Yorkshire Puddings!
- 140 g (1cup+1tbsp) plain (all purpose) flour
- 4 medium eggs
- 200 ml (3/4cup+1tbsp) Semi Skimmed milk (I prefer to use semi-skimmed or half fat milk)
- 6 tsp beef dripping or lard (replace with vegetable oil for a vegetarian version)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Place the flour in a jug and make a well in the centre.
- Add the eggs and stir together with a balloon whisk, bringing the flour into the centre with the eggs bit-by-bit.
- Add in the milk and whisk again until combined. It’s fine if it’s a little bit lumpy.
- Place the jug in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight) to chill. This is important to allow the flour granules to swell (also, cold batter hitting a very hot pan should result in a good rise).
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.
- Add ½ tsp of lard to each hole of a 12-hole metal bun tin(*see recipe note 1 below for larger Yorkshire puddings). Place in the oven to heat for 10 minutes.
- Take the jug of Yorkshire pudding batter of the fridge, add in the salt and pepper and stir once more with the whisk.
- Open the oven door, and if safe to do so(* note 2), pull out the tray and quickly (be careful, the melted lard will be very hot!), pour the batter into each of the prepared muffin holes. Close the door immediately and cook for 15-18 minutes until risen and golden.
Note 1 - Larger Yorkshire puddings:You can make 6 large Yorkshire puddings - rather than 12 small Yorkshire puddings with the Yorkshire pudding batter.
Use a large, deep Yorkshire pudding tin (<--affiliate link). Place 1 tsp of lard/dripping in each hole and heat in the oven at 220C/425F for 10 minutes. Divide the batter between the holes and cook for 25-30 minutes. Turn each Yorkshire pudding over in the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking to ensure the base is lovely and crisp.
Note 2 - If you need to remove the tray from the oven:If it’s not safe for you to pour the batter into the trays on the pulled-out rail, then carefully remove the muffin tray from the oven and place onto a heat-proof surface. Close the oven door to keep the high heat in, and working quickly (be careful, the melted lard will be very hot!), pour the batter into the muffin holes. Place back into the oven immediately and close the door.
Can you make them in advance and reheat?Yes! Make the Yorkshire puddings, then cool quickly and freeze (I place mine in a sealed freezer bag). Place in the oven (from frozen) at 200C/400F for 5-7 minutes for small ones and 9-12 minutes for large ones, until crispy and fully hot throughout. . Nutritional info is per Yorkshire pudding.
This Yorkshire pudding recipe post was first published in June 2017. Updated in May 2019 with new photos, step-by-step photos, tips and recipe video. Update in Nov 2019 with new tips and for housekeeping.
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