School Dinners Fudge Tart Recipe

Here we have it, by popular request, the next in the School Dinners Puddings recipe collection. D’you know, I didn’t actually remember this one. Not at all. Thick Fudge Tart? No clue. But then, I obtained the recipe (stolen from the back of an envelope which ‘fell’ out of MIL’s recipe book when she wasn’t looking) for School Dinners Fudge Tart, brought it home and gave it a go.

And as I was standing at the hob, beating away at this creamy coloured mix, it started to thicken… and all of a sudden the synapses fired up. I actually said “yeeeesssssssss!!!” in an excited fashion into the empty kitchen. Because I DO remember it. I do, I do, I DOOOO! Only I didn’t know it as Fudge Tart. I knew it as that yummy-thick-creamy-sweet-vanilla-y-thing-on-pastry.

But as it all came together, it did what every school dinners puddings recipes should do. It made me feel 9 again, and gave me that warm comfortable happy spot.  *happy*

Serve with thick, creamy school dinners yellow custard, naturally… (or maybe chocolate custard – just switch the pink blancmange mix for a chocolate one).

The recipe is an old one, so it’s in Imperial – I’ve converted it, but I always set my digital scales to imperial for this. It just doesn’t feel right making a school dinners pudding in metric, does it? I suppose, if you’re in a hurry a ready made pastry case, or a block of shortcrust pastry would do the job. But… it’s not quite in the spirit of the school dinners canteen, is it?

fudge tart


  • 170g / 6oz plain flour
  • 85g / 3oz butter
    (original recipe states 1 ½oz marg, 1 ½oz lard/ shortening)
  • 45ml / 1½ fl oz water.


  • 285ml / ½ pint milk,
  • 85g / 3oz sugar
  • 115g / 4oz marg (butter!),
  • 60g / 2oz plain flour,
  • 5ml / 1tsp vanilla essence.
  • 15g / ½oz grated chocolate.


  • Make up pastry as normal – new bakers can use the BBC recipe here – then line and grease 8″ flan tin.
  • Bake blind for 15 minutes. Gas 5, 185ºC (180º fan)
  • Pour half the milk into saucepan, add butter and heat till nearly boiling.
  • While you wait, blend the remainder of milk with the flour and beat to a smooth paste.
  • Add the flour/milk paste to the hot the milk mixture, quickly add the sugar and cook thoroughly (stir and stir and stir) until a thick smooth finish is obtained.
  • Add the vanilla essence and beat through.
  • Pour in pastry case and leave to cool.
  • Decorate with the grated chocolate.

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Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. I thought it was only my school that did Fudge Tart, did you go to my school or was it every school in the land that was eating this glorious dessert? Thank you so much for the recipe anyway, I shall definitely be making this!!! Cornflake Tart and Jam & Coconut Sponge Squares were also divine at school, but I don’t remember anything called chocolate concrete. We did have cream buns at break time every day though, can you imagine that now? Jamie would not be impressed, probably get the school closed down!!!

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    • Schools fudge tart is lovely so I decided to make one for me and my little brother because I love baking and cooking.?????

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    • Hi there, is it white or brown sugar?

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      • I used brown, more taste

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    • I had this in my schools in Shropshire too. So it was universally spread out everywhere.

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    • Hi Marion, my heart almost skipped a beat when I found this recipe. I remember 40 years ago when I was enrolled at the age of 5 in a very strict boarding school in Devon. The major highlight from my time there was fudge tart as desert. It was amazing. I have now tried this receipe but something is missing. First of all, it tasted a little “floury”, maybe I have to cook the sauce a little longer to cook ut the flour. For my taste it was also a little bit bland, even though I used brown sugar. For the next attempt I will maybe caramelise some of the sugar first, try a 50/50 condensed/normal milk mixture and a little more vanilla essence.
      My kids loved it and are already asking when it will be made again :o)

      Many thanks and kind regards from Austria!

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  2. i made this and it turned out great,but there wasnt any taste at all….but i think this was not what we had at school. I think the other one was called butter scotch tart, and it was darker…which i would love to make.

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    • I just made Butterscotch tart last week! Was amazing! ?? We did not have B tart at school.

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    • the orginal recipe has no sugar

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      • It has golden syrup doesn’t it? that’s what I use anyway, it tastes exactly like the one I had at school

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    • I cook gypsy tart and that reminds me of school dinners

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  3. I used to be a Home Economics teacher and this was the most requested recipe from pupils in their ‘ free choice’ lesson. I got the recipe from our school dinner ladies and you actually need gravy browning and a butter essence which they kindly supplied to me. Weird to make but yes it tasted like a lovely fudge square.

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    • Would the Browning sauce or gravy be substituted for the 3 oz of sugar in the filling and how much Browning sauce would you use?

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      • Sheila you don’t need the gravy browning if you want a darker colour – just use a brown sugar, something like Muscovado. That’ll do the job perfectly.

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  4. Hi, i am a dinner lady i do this dessert on a regular basis if you use brown sugar instead of white it brings out the dark fudge colour & you will beed to use a little more than one spoon of vanilla essence… I would add as required to taste :) hope this helps

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    • Im.a school cook and to make this you need butter essence.

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      • Hello just wondering do you have the recipe to make this I know it by toffee cream tart I’ve tried 3 different recipes and none are right so far

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    • Brilliant tip on the brown sugar, thank you!

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      • How much and what do u add it too… and where can I buy this.

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  5. We called this tea leaves and dripping ,because that is what it looked like to young eyes.
    I am here because I lost the recipe and the family are coming to lunch tomorrow and requested it…..
    long live fudge tart !!!

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    • Oh. Now you mention it, it DOES look like dripping. Ugh. Thanks for that…

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  6. ive been looing for this recipe for to many years and found it by chace cant thank you enough

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  7. I made this last week it was amazing

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    • We used to have Gypsy tart which is more of a caramel filling – found a recipe in a tesco leaflet then lost it again. Can anyone come up with that recipe?

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      • Pauline there’s a recipe here (I’ve never tried it)
        It uses evaporated milk and soft brown sugar – growing up, my mother used to boil a can of condensed milk for hours to make caramel, put that in a pastry case and called it gypsy tart (I don’t remember it at school). I use the condensed milk method for making banoffee now!

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  8. Can you freeze fudge tart?

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    • I don’t know for sure, I’ve never tried… but I’d be inclined to say yes; I can’t imagine there’s anything in the fudge that would separate on freezing.

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  9. Thankyou so much just made this for my hubby and kids! It went down a treat with some chocolate custard ?

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  10. I’ve been trying to get this recipe for a long while I knew it as Toffee cream tart at school I loved it
    I’m definitely gonna give it a go (although I’m not that good a cook)
    I to have 4 kids I do iron but I do not dust or make beds
    I too work (4 bank jobs)
    Thanks for the recipe

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  11. I came here hoping this is what we used to call bubblegum pie. Sadly not. It was a pink goo on pastry. Anyone got any ideas?

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  12. I use evaporated milk instead and it’s even better. Have tried the recipe with both ?
    I’ll try brown sugar next time

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    • Oh, top tip on the evaporated milk, I bet that makes it amazing! Will def try next time!

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  13. Hi Laura , please do you have the soft Chocolate sponge recipe from the 70’s school dinners please, my neighbour raves about it & as she is poorly i thought i would make it for her

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    • Hi Jane
      I will see if I can dig it out for you, it’s been on my list for a while.

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      • Hi Courtenay

        Thank you so much for that i look forward to it :-)

        Post a Reply


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