- Warning -making this makes your house smell of Christmas......

Lancashire Wet Nelly Recipe

This recipe used to cause big controversy in my family. My great grandma and my grandma made it in two different ways. How wet do you like your Nelly?

1y ago

So here's the thing – Wet Nelly aka Nelson cake (I'm from Nelson by the way) is reputed to be a kind of Lancashire bread and butter pudding made with stale breadcrumbs, milk, eggs and dried fruit. However, my granny disagreed with her mother on this and always made a version without eggs and dried fruit which I love.

A Wet Nelly smells of Christmas, it's crunchy, biscuit-like and goes perfectly with a cup of tea.

If you add eggs and dried fruit it's moist and more like bread and butter pudding, so here's the recipe both ways and the choice is yours...

Personally and technically I think great grandma is right (but I prefer granny's version).

Lancashire Wet Nelly Recipe

You can make this two ways – without the eggs you get a crispy, crunchy cake, but with the eggs and you get a traditional moist version.


  • 115g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spices
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • 60g of shredded suet
  • 60g shredded suet
  • a tablespoon of butter
  • a little brown sugar for dusting


If making the wetter version, double all the above ingredients and add 2 beaten eggs and a handful of dried fruit:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 30 minutes.
  3. Grease an 8-inch roasting tin.
  4. After 30 minutes, stir the spices, zest, suet and brown sugar into the breadcrumbs and combine well.
  5. (If you are making the wet version, stir in the eggs and fruit – if not skip this step)
  6. Put the mixture in the tin and flatten the surface.
  7. Sprinkle with sugar and top with blobs of butter.
  8. Bake until golden brown which will be about 50 minutes for the dry version or 80 minutes for the double sized wet version.

Recipe by

Carole Mason

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Bake till golden brown

Bake till golden brown

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Comments (2)

  • I cannot eat something that sounds like you need antibiotics for........sorry 😟

      1 year ago