Jam Roly Poly with Vegan Custard

I have never experienced the joy (or pain) of school dinners. I was a packed-lunch kid. Peanut butter and wholemeal bread sandwiches with an apple and a little box of sunmaid raisins.

I desperately wanted to try school dinners, especially on days where platefuls of chips came as standard and desserts were served piping hot with bowls full of custard. I’m not sure the reality would ever have lived up to what I envisaged in my mind though.

Jam roly-poly is a very British school dinner. It’s a flat-rolled pudding, which is spread with jam and rolled up, similar to a Swiss roll, then steam-baked. It’s made using suet, which is the reason I decided to give it a try.

Having recently ordered Suma vegan suet on Amazon for my stew and dumplings recipe, I wanted some other recipe ideas to try. Vegan suet comes from palm trees, so it’s important to buy from a sustainable source. Suma uses only sustainable palm oil


200g gluten-free self raising flour

Half a teaspoon of xanthan gum

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

100 to 125ml milk (I used almond)

Pinch of salt

100g jam (use one without refined sugar or make your own)

20g coconut oil

Here's How

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
  2. Boil a kettle and fill a deep roasting tin or ceramic dish with hot water placed this in the bottom of the oven and then slide a wire rack above it
  3. Cut a sheet of baking paper approximately 40 cm long, grease one side with coconut oil. Cut a sheet of foil slightly larger and set to one side
  4. Add the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, suet and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix well
  5. Slowly pour in the milk and use a spoon to mix well creating a dough. If it’s too sticky just add a little more flour. You should be able to knead the dough without it sticking to your fingers - do so for five minutes
  6. Use a rolling pin to make a rectangle with the dough approximately 30 cm x 20 cm
  7. Spread the jam evenly on top of the dough leaving a 1cm border. Brush the border with milk and then roll the dough from the short end - like a Swiss roll. Pinch the two ends together to seal in the jam
  8. Carefully place the jam roly-poly onto the greased side of the baking sheet and wrap the sheet twisting the ends. Then roll this inside the foil, not too tightly as you want to leave some room for the roly-poly to expand
  9. Place onto the wire rack above the water filled dish and steam-bake for around 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve hot with custard or cold ice cream


200ml vegan milk

1 tbsp coconut sugar

Pinch of turmeric

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cornflour

pinch of salt

  1. Pour 150ml milk into a saucepan, add the sugar, turmeric and vanilla. Heat the pan, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved
  2. Add the cornflour to 50ml milk in a jug and stir until smooth. Stir in the salt.
  3. Pour this into the warm milk into the jug, stirring continually
  4. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally as the custard thickens
  5. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat
  6. Return custard to the jug and serve
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