Recipe: Christmas Pudding

Rating: 4.2 stars based on 1126 reviews

Prep Time 20 minutes, plus overnight for fruit to soak. Steaming time 4 hours, plus 1 ½ on the day of eating. Serves 8 – 10

Christmas puddings are traditionally prepared on the Sunday before Advent, which, this year, is the 22 November. The pudding is made in advance in order to allow the flavours of the fruit, sugar and alcohol to fully develop. The name, Stir-Up Sunday, is taken from the Collect for the Sunday before Advent in the Book of Common Prayer: “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people”. The custom is for the whole family to take a turn to stir the pudding mixture, make a wish and add coins or charms - though being extremely careful not to swallow them when you do eventually eat the pudding - along with dried figs, stem ginger and brandy.


  • 100g Raisins
  • 150g Sultanas
  • 150g Figs, chopped
  • 75g Candied peel, chopped
  • 100g Glace Cherries, halved
  • 80ml Brandy
  • 1 Orange juice and zest
  • 100g Butter, unsalted, softened and beaten
  • A little extra butter for greasing the bowl
  • 165g Dark sugar
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 100g SR Flour
  • 100g Breadcrumbs
  • 30g Almonds, ground
  • 1 Eating Apple, grated
  • You will need a 1.25Lt Pudding basin


    • Put the dried fruit into a non- metallic bowl with the brandy and juice and zest of the orange. Cover and soak overnight.
    • Add remaining ingredients and mix.
    • Grease a 1.25 litre pudding basin and line the base with non-stick baking parchment.
    • Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin, ensuring that the mixture does not completely fill the basin (this allows for expansion during cooking) and press down well.
    • Cover with a pleated piece of buttered foil (the fold allows for expansion), with the buttered side towards the pudding. Fold the foil over the edge of the basin and tie with kitchen string so no steam can escape. Make a string handle to lift the hot basin out of the pan.
    • Put the basin in a large pan. Pour in boiling water to come half way up the basin. Cover, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 hours, topping up regularly with more boiling water.
    • Leave the pudding to cool then lift from the pan.
    • Discard the foil and replace with a new piece. Store in a cool dark place until Christmas.
    • Before serving on Christmas Day, steam in exactly the same way for 1½ hours until piping hot. Turn out on to a plate and serve.


      This template modified by (c) Adrian Teakdesk.