christmas pudding recipe
Pudding Recipe

Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe | Holiday Joy!


Looking for the perfect Christmas pudding recipe to bring some festive cheer to your holiday celebrations? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ll share with you my traditional Christmas pudding recipe that has been passed down through four generations of my family. Get ready to indulge in this classic and easy Christmas pudding that will make your taste buds dance with joy!

The Tradition of Christmas Pudding in the UK

In the UK, Christmas Pudding is still a seriously big deal. It has a long-standing tradition and has been associated with British Christmas celebrations for many years. The classic novel, ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens depicts a flaming pudding being carried proudly to the table, and similar imagery is still used in advertisements today. The flaming and serving of the pudding create a spectacle and add to the festive atmosphere. The tradition of Christmas Pudding holds a special place in British culture and continues to be a cherished part of the holiday season.

Key Points Details
Christmas Pudding Tradition A long-standing tradition associated with British Christmas celebrations
British Christmas Traditions Christmas Pudding is an integral part of British festive customs
History of Christmas Pudding The tradition dates back many years and holds sentimental value for many
Charles Dickens and Christmas Pudding ‘A Christmas Carol’ depicts a flaming pudding, immortalizing the tradition in literature
Flaming Christmas Pudding The flaming and serving of the pudding add to the festive atmosphere

flaming christmas pudding

Ingredients and Preparation

Preparing a traditional Christmas Pudding requires a combination of carefully selected ingredients and precise preparation techniques. Let’s dive into the key elements that make this festive dessert so special.

soaking fruits for christmas pudding

Christmas Pudding Ingredients

Christmas Pudding is traditionally made with a delightful mix of flavorsome ingredients. Here’s a list of the essential components:

Ingredients Quantity
Raisins 200g
Dried fruits (such as currants, sultanas, and mixed peel) 200g
Brandy or stout 150ml
Suet 150g
Brown sugar 150g
Apples (peeled, cored, and grated) 2
Ground spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) 1 teaspoon
Breadcrumbs 100g
Flour 100g

These ingredients come together to create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making every bite of Christmas Pudding a delight.

Soaking the Fruits

One of the crucial steps in preparing a Christmas Pudding is to soak the dried fruits. This process allows the fruits to absorb the flavors of brandy or another alcohol, infusing the pudding with richness and depth. To achieve the best results, place the raisins and other dried fruits in a bowl, pour the brandy or stout over them, cover, and let them soak overnight. This overnight soak enhances the taste profile of the pudding, resulting in a more decadent dessert.

Steaming the Pudding

Steaming is the traditional cooking method for Christmas Pudding, ensuring a moist and tender texture. After soaking the fruits and combining them with the remaining ingredients, transfer the mixture to a greased pudding basin. Cover it securely with a double layer of pleated foil, ensuring no steam can escape. Now, it’s ready for the steaming process.

This long steaming time allows the flavors to meld together and develop a distinctive richness that is synonymous with a perfectly cooked Christmas Pudding.

Place the pudding basin in a large pan filled with boiling water, ensuring the water level reaches halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the pudding to steam for several hours. During this time, the flavors intensify, and the pudding becomes beautifully moist and flavorful.

Family Recipes and Traditions

Many families in the UK have their own cherished family recipes for Christmas Pudding that have been passed down through generations. These recipes often hold sentimental value and are lovingly made year after year. In some families, there is even a Christmas Pudding Contest, where different family members make their own version of the recipe and everyone participates in a blind taste test to determine the best pudding. Another tradition associated with Christmas Pudding is Stir Up Sunday, which falls on the last Sunday before Advent. On this day, families gather together to prepare and stir the pudding mixture, making it a festive and communal activity.

Preparing the family Christmas pudding is an occasion filled with love, tradition, and anticipation. Each family has its own secret recipe that has been handed down through generations. These treasured recipes capture the essence of the festive season and bring families together to create lasting memories. Whether it’s Great Aunt Emma’s boozy pudding or Grandma Maggie’s fruity delight, these recipes hold a special place in the hearts of families across the UK.

For some families, the Christmas Pudding Contest is an annual tradition. It’s a friendly competition where family members take pride in crafting and showcasing their best versions of the beloved dessert. The blind taste test adds an element of excitement and suspense, as everyone eagerly waits to see whose pudding will come out on top. The contest not only brings out the competitive spirit but also strengthens family bonds and creates a sense of togetherness.

Stir Up Sunday, on the other hand, is a time-honored tradition that marks the start of the Christmas preparations. It is a day when families come together to mix the ingredients for the pudding, taking turns and making wishes as they stir the mixture clockwise. This communal activity signifies unity and sets the stage for the festive season ahead.

“Christmas Pudding recipes handed down through generations create a sense of connection and shared heritage within families. It’s a way to preserve tradition and pass on a taste of the past to future generations.” – Sarah Thompson, a passionate Christmas Pudding enthusiast

These family recipes and traditions bring joy and warmth to Christmas celebrations. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and create a sense of belonging. They remind us of the importance of family and the power of cherished memories.

Treasured Family Christmas Pudding Recipes

Family Recipe Ingredients Preparation Steps Special Touch
Mum’s Classic Christmas Pudding Raisins, currants, suet, breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, grated apple, mixed spices, brandy Mix all the ingredients, steam for 6 hours, rest for a week, then steam again for 2 hours Adding a silver sixpence for good luck
The Smith Family Secret Recipe Dates, candied peel, golden syrup, self-raising flour, grated carrot, mixed spices, stout Mix all the ingredients, steam for 4 hours, let it cool, then steam for an additional 2 hours Drizzling with honey before serving
The Johnson Family Gluten-Free Pudding Gluten-free flour, almonds, dried cranberries, dates, brown sugar, coconut oil, mixed spices, orange zest Mix all the ingredients, steam for 5 hours, allow to cool completely Serving with dairy-free ice cream

These treasured family Christmas Pudding recipes combine the nostalgia of tradition with the excitement of innovation. Each recipe carries its own unique story and imparts a special touch that makes it a cherished part of the family celebrations.

Family Christmas Pudding Recipe

With family recipes and traditions, Christmas Pudding becomes more than just a dessert. It becomes a symbol of unity, love, and connection. It’s a way for families to come together, create memories, and celebrate the joy of the festive season. So this year, why not honor your family’s tradition or start a new one by preparing a delicious Christmas Pudding together?

Tips and Variations

Making Christmas Pudding can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are some tips to ensure success:

  1. Soak the fruits overnight: To achieve optimum flavor, soak the fruits in brandy or other alcohol overnight. This allows the fruits to absorb the flavors and become plump and juicy.
  2. Use authentic ingredients: For a traditional taste, use authentic ingredients like suet. Suet adds richness and moisture to the pudding, creating a classic texture and flavor.
  3. Steam for the recommended time: Steaming the pudding for the recommended time is crucial to achieving the desired texture. This ensures that the pudding is cooked through and has a moist, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

Additionally, there are variations of Christmas Pudding that cater to different dietary preferences and offer unique flavor profiles. Here are a few ideas:

  • Vegetarian Christmas Pudding: For those following a vegetarian diet, you can replace suet with grated frozen butter or vegetable shortening. This alternative provides a similar richness and texture to the traditional pudding.
  • Alternative Christmas Pudding Recipes: Get creative with your Christmas Pudding by experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. Consider adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for a festive twist. You can also incorporate ingredients like chocolate, nuts, or dried cranberries to add extra layers of flavor.

Christmas Pudding Variations

Variation Description
Vegetarian Christmas Pudding A meat-free version using grated frozen butter or vegetable shortening instead of suet.
Chocolate Orange Christmas Pudding A decadent variation that combines the rich flavors of chocolate and orange.
Spiced Apple Christmas Pudding An apple-infused pudding with warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Sticky Toffee Christmas Pudding A delightful twist on the classic pudding, incorporating the flavors of sticky toffee.

Get creative and tailor your Christmas Pudding to suit your preferences. Whether you’re catering to dietary restrictions or looking to add a unique twist, there are plenty of options to explore. The key is to have fun and enjoy the process of creating a delicious and memorable dessert.

Serving and Storage

Christmas Pudding is a delightful dessert that brings warmth and joy to festive gatherings. To fully enjoy this traditional treat, it’s important to serve it with the right accompaniments and store it properly for later indulgence.

Serving Christmas Pudding

When serving Christmas Pudding, it’s common to pair it with brandy custard, brandy butter, or cream. These accompaniments complement the rich flavors of the pudding and provide a creamy and indulgent contrast.

For a visually stunning presentation, consider flambéing the pudding. To do this, pour a small amount of brandy or vodka over the pudding and carefully light it with a match. The flaming display adds an enchanting touch to the festivities and imparts a subtle hint of alcohol to the pudding.

“The flaming Christmas Pudding is a showstopper, captivating everyone at the table with its mesmerizing glow.”

Before serving, remember to remove any holly garnish from the pudding. Holly is toxic and should not be consumed.

Storing Christmas Pudding

After the meal, if there’s any leftover Christmas Pudding, you can store it for future enjoyment. Simply wrap the pudding in cling film or place it in an airtight container and store it in a cool place, such as a pantry or refrigerator.

Storing the pudding allows the flavors to mature and intensify over time, resulting in an even richer and more delicious dessert. To savor the full festive experience, it’s best to enjoy the leftover Christmas Pudding throughout the holiday season.

When you’re ready to enjoy the stored pudding, you can gently reheat it by steaming or microwaving. Serve it with a dollop of brandy butter or a drizzle of custard to enhance its decadent taste.


Christmas Pudding is more than just a festive dessert. It is a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations in the UK. The combination of rich, decadent flavors, the spectacle of flaming and serving, and the communal act of preparing and enjoying the pudding make it a truly special part of the holiday season.

Whether you follow a family recipe that holds sentimental value or experiment with new variations, making and savoring Christmas Pudding is a delightful experience that brings joy and warmth to holiday celebrations. The complex flavors and indulgent texture of this classic dessert perfectly capture the essence of Christmas.

So this holiday season, why not indulge in the Christmas Pudding tradition and create lasting memories with your loved ones? From soaking the fruits to steaming the pudding, every step of the process is an opportunity to embrace the festive spirit. Let the delightful aromas fill your home and the flavors dance on your taste buds as you relish this iconic dessert.


What is Christmas Pudding?

Christmas Pudding is a traditional British dessert that is often served during the holiday season. It is a dark, sticky, dried fruit studded pudding with a complex, warming flavor.

How long does it take to steam a Christmas Pudding?

Christmas Pudding needs to be steamed for several hours to ensure that it is moist and rich in flavor. The exact steaming time can vary, but it is typically around 6 hours.

Can I make a vegetarian version of Christmas Pudding?

Yes, there are vegetarian versions of Christmas Pudding that use grated frozen butter or shortening instead of suet. These alternatives provide a similar texture and taste.

How should I serve Christmas Pudding?

Christmas Pudding is typically served with brandy custard, brandy butter, or cream. It can be flamed by pouring a small amount of brandy or vodka over it and lighting it for added spectacle.

How long can I store Christmas Pudding?

Christmas Pudding can be stored in a cool place for several weeks, allowing the flavors to mature and intensify. Leftover pudding can be reheated and enjoyed throughout the holiday season.

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