What to make on Stir-up Sunday

Prepare for Christmas in the traditional way by making your Christmas pudding, cake, or mincemeat before the start of Advent and allowing flavours to mature.

Bowl with stirring spoon and cake mixture

Stir-up Sunday is a centuries-old annual tradition where home cooks spend the last Sunday before Advent 'stirring up' their Christmas pudding. Always landing at the end of November, it's an opportunity to spend a day getting festive in the kitchen, preparing for the imminent feast. In years since, keen cooks have not only used the occasion to make the pudding, but a whole host of other stashable Yuletide classics, too, notably Christmas cake and the mincemeat for mince pies.

So, put on your best Christmas playlist, pop some mulled wine on to simmer and get mixing with our beautiful make-ahead recipes…

Chocolate & cherry Christmas pudding

Chocolate & cherry Christmas pudding

This is a twist on the classic Christmas pud, served with its own silky chocolate sauce. The recipe has been created using cup measurements, so it's great for beginners or young chefs. Planning on making extra as a gift? Wrap the pudding in a festive tea towel tied with string or ribbon, then write the instructions for the sauce on a pretty tag. You can make the pudding up to two months before eating.

Chocolate & cherry Christmas pudding
More Christmas pudding recipes

Make & mature Christmas cake

Christmas pudding

Looking to keep things traditional this Stir-up Sunday? Prepare this fruit cake in advance and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build up the flavour and keep the cake moist. The preparation only takes 25 minutes so you should have plenty of time for a few more Christmassy recipes too…

Make & mature Christmas cake
More Christmas cake inspiration

Golden amaretti Christmas cake

Golden Amaretti Christmas cake on plate

A good mix of trend and tradition, this is one of the easiest Christmas cakes we’ve created thanks to a virtual all-in-one method. Again, the whole thing is measured in cups, so it's a great one for the kids to get involved with making, too. The results will leave your Christmas dinner guests feeling giddy!

Golden amaretti Christmas cake

Mincemeat for mince pies

Mince pies

Mince pies are great to have in the house throughout the holiday season and they're easily whipped up if you make the mincemeat ahead of time. We have boozy mincemeat, a traditional mincemeat recipe and even tropical mincemeat. When it comes time to bake, how about a custard and crumble topping...

Custard & crumble mince pies
Our best ever mince pie recipes

More than just puddings…

Three pots of sauce

If you want to feel super smug come the holiday season, don’t just stop at the Christmas puddings. You can make everything ahead of time from roast potatoes to Yorkshire pudding, sauces and stuffing then just pop them in the freezer until the big day. It’s quite literally Christmas on ice…

Make-ahead Christmas recipes
Freezable Christmas recipes
10 Christmas classics you can make ahead 

See our Stir-up Sunday recipe collection for more ideas.

Like this? Check out more festive tips...

Christmas projects for kids 
Christmas baking recipes
How to steam a pudding
Christmas planning tips

Do you have any tips for getting ahead of the Christmas rush? Leave a comment below...


Comments, questions and tips

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Nigel Thompson's picture
Nigel Thompson
3rd Dec, 2017
Shame on you for not mentioning why it is called Stir Up Sunday. The Church of England’s Collect (prayer) for the day was in the traditional version, “ Stir up Dear Lord........” or something like that
caroline thompson
19th Nov, 2016
Interesting as the recipes undoubtedly are and accepting that church attendance figures are in freefall it seems unfortunate the you don't give at least some detail concerning 'stir-up' Sunday. Its occurence is fixed, as you say, but perhaps you might go on to explain that the expression itself comes the collect for today from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.
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