Classic Christmas pudding

Classic Christmas pudding

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 8 hrs Plus 1 hour cooking on the day

Moderately easy

Makes two 1.2 litre/2 pint puds (each serves 8)
What's Christmas without the pud? This is a plump pudding with history...

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (with brandy and ginger butter)

  • kcal550
  • fat25g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs77g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.92g
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For the pudding

  • 50g blanched almond


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 2 large Bramley cooking apple



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 200g box candied peel (in large pieces) or all citron if you can find it
  • 1 whole nutmeg (you'll use three quarters of it)
  • 1kg raisin
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g soft fresh white breadcrumb
  • 100g light muscovado sugar, crumbled if it looks lumpy
  • 3 large egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 2 tbsp brandy or cognac, plus extra to flame



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 250g packet butter, taken straight from the fridge



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

For the brandy and ginger butter

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • grated zest of half an orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp brandy or cognac



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped


  1. Get everything prepared. Chop the almonds coarsely. Peel, core and chop the apples. Sharpen your knife and chop the candied peel. (You can chop the almonds and apples in a food processor, but the peel must be done by hand.) Grate three quarters of the nutmeg (sounds a lot but it's correct). Mix all the ingredients for the pudding, except the butter, in a large bowl.

  2. Holding the butter in its wrapper, grate a quarter of it into the bowl, then stir everything together.Repeat until all the butter is grated, then stir for 3-4 minutes - the mixture is ready when it subsides slightly after each stir. Ask the family to stir too, and get everyone to make a wish.

  3. Generously butter two 1.2 litre/ 2 pint bowls and put a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each. Pack in the pudding mixture. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, pleating it to allow for expansion, then tie with string (keep the paper in place with a rubber band while tying). Trim off any excess paper.

  4. Now stand each bowl on a large sheet of foil and bring the edges up over the top, then put another sheet of foil over the top and bring it down underneath to make a double package (this makes the puddings watertight). Tie with more string, and make a handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan. Watch our video to see how to tie up a pudding correctly.

  5. Boil or oven steam the puddings for 8 hours, topping up with water as necessary. Remove from the pans and leave to cool overnight. When cold, discard the messy wrappings and re-wrap in spanking new greaseproof or baking parchment, foil and string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.

  6. To make the brandy butter, cream the butter with the orange zest and sugar. Gradually beat in the brandy or cognac and chopped ginger. Put in a small bowl, fork the top attractively and put in the fridge to set. The butter will keep for a week in the fridge, or it can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

  7. On Christmas Day, boil or oven steam for 1 hour. Unwrap and turn out. To flame, warm 3-4 tbsp brandy in a small pan, pour it over the pudding and set light to it.

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Comments (24)

Skinni Malinki's picture

How long will Pud last after the 8 hour bake ?

freckles86's picture

I'm a bit dubious!

I made this yesterday and it's not as dark as in the picture. It also doesn't have that rich, wonderful smell that Xmas pudding has (although it may just be a lighter, just as tasty version!). I'll rate/review once Xmas has been and gone.

Put it this way, I only made one small one as I don't have the room to steam several puddings at once, figuring if it was a success, I could make more. I'm sticking to the one! (Plus the backup shop bought one in the cupboard from last year).

AlexisSoyer's picture

hardly "classic" if made without suet!

Setapak100's picture

I have made this delicious 5 star pud many times. Has anyone successfully warmed it up in a microwave oven? I am aware that many shop puddings are warmed this way but I don't want to spoil the taste of this pudding in any way. It will just make life easier on Chrismas Day when heating 2 puddings ☺️

Setapak100's picture

I have been making Christmas puddings for about 20 years and this is the most delicious recipe so far. Don't let the amount of butter put you off. This year I bought the peel from a speacialist shop in Provence so it will be interesting to see if it tastes any different. I steam them in the oven and it works really well. For those who don't care for candied peel, this tastes quite different IF you use good quality whole peel, as the recipe says. I find I usually have to buy it online. We had our leftover second pud last week. I kept in fridge and it was absolutely gorgeous after a year!!

pepperpotty1981's picture

What a wonderful pudding! I made it up about 6 weeks before Christmas and we all agreed that it's the best Christmas pudding we had ever had. Moist and light with a subtle taste. We made our own brandy butter rather than follow the recipe here. We actually bought a stand by pudding as when this was cooked initially it looked really greasy. But we needn't have bothered. We will definitely be making this again.

Edit - we saved the second pudding to eat in the year but we never got around to it so we thought we'd try it this year. Being over a year old we had a shop pudding on standby but we didn't need it. This pudding was still beautifully moist and full of flavour over a year after it was made.

dzandzamk's picture

What can I use instead of the candied peel

midnight12383's picture

I made this last year and gave a couple away as a gift, I had a phone call from my mum on Christmas Day saying it was the best christmas pudding she ever tasted, I am going to make some half pint puddings this year, I believe you still steam them for the same amount if anyone knows any different it would be good to know :0)

timdsimpson's picture

This was the first year I have made the family Christmas pud and this was a resounding success!I decided to use amaretto instead of brandy and also topped up the booze a few times between making the pudding, at the end of October, and Christmas day.
I made it in two pudding bowls and I'm glad I did because now I have one to eat on my own when the rest of the family aren't there. Yum!

charlotte1's picture

I have made this recipe for several years now and it is always fantastic.

sheepcat's picture

Really simple fun to make and popular with all guests, no other Christmas pub required!

janet66's picture

Can anyone tell me if the pudding can be frozen? I have one left over, I did notice that someone said that they left one in the cupboard and it was fine the following year. Thanks.

divadesfeuers's picture

This was a very delicious christmas pudding and so easy to prepare! I replaced half of the raisins with cranberries mainly, some plums and used mixed candied peels.
The flavour was great but I must have done something wrong because the cake didn't hold together but broke while taking it out of the form. I could put it back together because it was so sticky, so nobody really found out.

sineadtp's picture

made a smaller version of this pudding and has turned out great! very easy to make and smells delicious! can't wait to eat it!!

masonjnr's picture

Does anybody have a replacement for candied peel? I love Christmas pudding but get put off when I bite into a bit of candied peel. Do I actually need to put it in?

sailorgirl700's picture

Does anyone know how long I would need to cook a 0.5 litre pudding for please? I am looking to steam it in the oven. Thanks

suewilletts's picture

This is fabulous. We all love this pudding. I have made this each year since first published in 2002. Sometimes we eat all the puddings. Sometimes I forget one & find it in the cupboard the following year & its still great & once I deliberately saved one for Easter. Steaming in the oven has to be the easiest cooking method, I just leave it to simmer for hours & for the time given for 2 * 2pint puddings, yet I split the mixture between 3 * 1 and half pint basins

michaelawindsor's picture

Anyone know if this will work with Gluten Free flour?
Any chefs reading this a GF Christmas baking book would be great!

helencherry's picture

OK. This recipe makes around four pints of pudding mixture(enough for two two pint pudding basins). So if I make four one pint puddings, how should I alter the cooking time (if at all)? Help please!!


Questions (13)

JeanHM's picture

I made this recipe last year and got rave reviews. Today I thought I would start early and make one batch (3 smaller puddings). However, I realized too late that I left out the apples. Do you think this will make a huge difference?

Claire Dowling's picture

I've been making lovely xmas puds for 30 years and never a problem. This year, I had a senior moment and forgot to put in any nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon. The puddings didn't have a xmas smell whilst cooking, which was when I realised what I'd done!
I cooked one up the other day, it tastes fruity, but not like a xmas pud.
Is there a remedy, or anything I can do please?

goodfoodteam's picture

What a shame, but we think this will help, so no one will guess! Melt about 25 - 40g butter and add the spices, but don’t be too heavy handed – you will have to judge this – we would start off with about a third of the amount and work up. Remove the pudding from the basin then brush the inside of it generously with the spicy butter. Return the pudding to the basin, get a skewer, and press it into the pudding a few times all the way through. Add a few tablespoon of brandy to the remaining spicy butter, gently warm it then spoon it over the pudding. Now, recover ready to steam on the day.

RoseTM's picture

This is my first time making a christmas pud, and I'm planning on using 4 x 1pint pudding basins as I'm making them for a few friends as well as my parents; do I need to adjust the cooking time at all? Or is it at all possible to cook it in time batches? E.g 4 hours one day, then 4 again the next? I'm running out of time to make them, and I don't have a day off to watch a pan for 8 hours! If anyone had any advice, it would be wonderful; thanks!

goodfoodteam's picture

As you are making smaller ones, you can reduce the cooking time by 2-3 hours, but don't forget if you are oven steaming you can cook several in the oven at the same time and it requires much less attention than cooking puddings on the hob. Stand the filled and covered bowls in a deep roasting tin and two thirds fill with boiling water. Tightly cover the entire tin with foil and put in the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Check to see if they are the colour you want as this is a dark pudding created by the cooking time rather than the ingredients. As you suggested they can also be cooked on one day then cooked a bit longer the next if you are short of time.

Cymraes1's picture

I'm thinking of making this pudding after the positive reviews. Can anyone advise me please as I only have one steamer, would it be okay if I leave the one bowl in the fridge, whilst the other is steamed, and later when that's cooked, cook the other pudding that has been in the refrigerator? I don't really want to buy another steamer! Any advice/tips would be very welcome. :-)

RoseTM's picture

Maybe you can steam the other in a pan on the hob while one is in the steamer? Place a saucer upside down in the pan so your pudding basin doesn't touch the bottom, and fill the pan to about 3/4 the way up your pudding basin. When the water is simmering, add your pudding in ontop of the saucer and cook for the same time as you would in a steamer... :)

myaclarke's picture

How do you "oven steam" a pudding? Is it similar to a bain marie as for baking custards?
Also someone mentioned having steamed their pudding in a slow cooker-- again how would that work?

Loz.H's picture

Hello. Can you save time by using a pressure cooker for this recipe?

88kitty88cat88's picture

Help Please!
Hi there!
What I want to know is ... for the different pudding bowls/basins, what weight pudding do you end up with (generally)?
For example : I see in the shops that most puddings are 450g and 900g
what size pint bowls are used there?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi, volumes for pudding basins are usually given in litres (or pints) if you're following a recipe. It's advisable to get the right sized basin to fit the recipe. If you're buying your pudding a 450g pudding will serve 3 - 5 people and a 900g will serve 7 - 9. Hope that helps!

Loz.H's picture

Hi I'm wanting to make a Chrissy pudd for the first time and I'm wondering do you have to make it much in advance?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, no you don't have to make it in advance - there's still time now!

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