Festive date & pecan pudding

Festive date & pecan pudding

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins


Serves 8
Not your traditional Christmas pud, but a winner with our food team. A cross between sticky toffee and Christmas pud with a lighter feel

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal526
  • fat22g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs69g
  • sugars54g
  • fibre3g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.73g
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  • 250g block dried, stoned date, chopped



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 125g butter, at room temperature



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

  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 large egg



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

  • 50g raisin
  • 50g chopped candied peel
  • 85g pecan, chopped
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 2 pieces stem ginger, cut into thin shreds

For the brandy syrup

  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 150ml brandy



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

To serve

  • 25g toasted pecan, chopped
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 1 holly sprig
  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Pour 300ml boiling water over the chopped dates and set aside. Butter a 1.4-litre pudding basin and put a disc of baking parchment in the base. Put the butter, sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs into a large bowl, then beat with an electric hand whisk until really well blended. Add the cooled date mixture, then beat again to make a sloppy batter.

  2. Stir in the fruits, nuts and ginger, then pour into the pudding basin and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 1 hr, cover the top lightly with foil, then return to the oven for 25 mins more until a skewer inserted into the pudding comes out clean.

  3. Meanwhile, make the brandy syrup. Put the sugar and 50ml water in a pan and stir over the heat until syrupy. Stir in the brandy and remove from the heat. When the pudding is ready, remove from the oven and push a skewer into it in several places. Pour over the brandy syrup so it soaks into the pudding, then cover until ready to serve.

  4. Turn out onto a plate, scatter with the pecans and top with the holly sprig, dusted with icing sugar. Serve with good-quality vanilla ice cream.

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Comments (15)

nhh1976's picture

I have never liked Christmas pudding but THIS recipe is gorgeous. It's so moist and easy to make and eat! I really look forward to cooking it, this is the 3rd Christmas I've cooked it and now family who have tried it have asked if I will make one for them and drop it off before Christmas!! Great recipe, thank you!

chelsea13's picture

I've made this pudding a few times and everyone loved it. I took out the candied peel and it was still amazing. So much lighter than traditional Christmas puddings.

swetmanje's picture

Yummy! Really moist, beautiful flavour, served with clementine custard. It did need almost two hours in the oven though.

clancarr's picture

I have been making this recipe for the last five years at Christmas. It is so easy I even make them as gifts for busy working friends. It always goes down a treat and I often get asked for the recipe. You would be surprised how many people I talk to who don't like traditional puddings but when I tell them about this one and give them the recipe, they are converted.

benminx's picture

Nicely flavoured and light (therefore easier to eat) but it didn't quite have the wow factor I was hoping for. Nevertheless it made a nicer alternative and neither of us felt that stuffed bloated feeling you often get after a traditional rich Christmas Pudding. Needs a little 'zing' - maybe a touch more brandy than I added? Cautiously recommended.

ellenpowell's picture

Third year I plan to make this! It is a winner and I think it will be a family favourite for years to come!

maggie_b's picture

Really delicious pudding - tastes very Christmassy but much lighter in density and non-cloying that traditional puddings often are.
I made and froze it - and then defrosted overnight and put in microwave as suggested - stabbed and fed it with the brandy syrup - and then left it in warm oven until needed - it turned out beautifully.

pal_matchett's picture

If you're pondering about making this instead of your usual Christmas pud then hesitate no longer! I had an opportunity to put it to the test last weekend when we had an 'early' Christmas day (for loved ones who can't be with us at Christmas) with full-on Christmas lunch. Everyone gave it 10 out of 10 and said it was the perfect Christmas pudding - still very Christmassy but lighter and lovely and moist. I think someone else has said that it's like Christmas pudding and sticky toffee pudding all rolled into one, and they're right. I'll definitely be making this again in 3 weeks time - and for many years to come. Incidentally, it keeps really well so don't hestitate to make it a few days ahead. I made mine on Monday, it's Wednesday today - and I've just enjoyed a slice of the leftovers (there were only five of us for the lunch) with a cup of tea - loverly!

strongmansj's picture

Made this 2 years ago as two puds and froze one. We had a different pudding last year so I defrosted it a month ago as I needed room in the freezer and guess what, it was perfect. A lovely light and sticky pudding, went down a treat with some cornish clotted cream. yum yum

nakedchef's picture

I've made this a couple of Christmases and everyone adores it. After my huge Good Food recipe Christmas lunches everyone is feeling a little on the big side, so this lighter version Christmas pud is perfect. I even make them in individual pudding pudding basins, with holly sprigs, to give that extra touch - and I cannot even cook/bake! Going round friends for dinner at the weekend, for a Christmas dinner-type meal and I'm doing dessert, guess what I'm making!

anniegreene_1's picture

Absolutely brilliant. None of my family are huge Xmas pud fans although we always have it - but we all had two helpings of this one!
Usually the birds get the leftovers, but not this time.

cheryl654's picture

I made one of these alongside two traditional christmas puds on christmas day and was preferred by almost everyone so will now be using it in future. I used half the stated amount of ginger when I made it on New Years Day and found it preferable. Much easier than steaming a chrimbo pud for hours!

katewhite's picture

everyone loved it

n0rb3rt's picture

since finding this in the magazine I have made it several times. It is brilliant. The last time I put it into two smaller pyrex bowls with the hope that it would last longer. I added a mix of candied peel with Angelica.

mimi204's picture

Lovely! Christmassy flavour and very light which is very welcome after a big meal. More of a sponge than traditional pudding which I prefer as I'm not keen on lots of dried fruit. Will be our pudding this year!

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