Christmas pudding with citrus & spice

Christmas pudding with citrus & spice

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(29 ratings)

Cook: 6 hrs Prep 30 mins plus soaking overnight


Serves 10
A fruity pud, served with orange custard cream, makes the perfect end to the traditional Christmas meal

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal596
  • fat20g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs92g
  • sugars69g
  • fibre0g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.89g
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  • 175g each raisin, currants and sultanas
  • 140g whole glacé cherry
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 50g whole blanched almond
  • zest 1 orange and 1 lemon



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

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 150ml brandy



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

  • 50ml/2fl oz orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier



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

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g fresh white breadcrumb
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 175g butter, frozen



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

  • 2 eggs, beaten



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

  • butter, for greasing



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

  • holly sprig, to decorate


  1. Mix the fruit, almonds, citrus zests and the carrot with the brandy and orange liqueur in a large mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight.

  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add to the soaked fruit mixture. Grate in the butter, then add the eggs and stir. Don’t forget to make a wish!

  3. Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper. Spoon in the mixture, press down well and make a hollow with the back of the spoon in the centre. Cover the surface with a round of greaseproof paper, then cover the bowl with double-thickness greaseproof paper and foil and tie at the rim with string. Lower the pudding into a pan with an upturned saucer in the base, then fill with water until it comes halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam for 6 hrs, topping up with water as necessary.

  4. Alternatively, steam in the oven. Stand the pudding basin in a roasting tin filled with water, then cover with a tent of foil and cook for the same length of time at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Check roasting tin occasionally as the water may need to be topped up.

  5. To store, allow to cool, then store in a cool, dry cupboard. The pudding will keep for up to a year.

  6. On the day, steam for 1 hr before turning out, decorating with holly and serving with extra-thick double cream or vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, try my Orange custard cream (below).

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Comments, questions and tips

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28th Dec, 2017
Lovely pudding - got lots of compliments from the family who said they preferred it to the usual Fortnum and Mason one! I forgot to soak the fruit overnight, so zapped the liquid and dried fruit in the microwave for about 50 seconds to soften it up. I steamed this in the simmering oven of the aga in a large pan, then reheated also in the simmering oven but without steaming, just wrapping the pudding bowl in fowl and popping on the base of the oven for 3 hours or so.
16th Dec, 2017
I’ve made this recipe for the fourth year running. I used half quantities and cooked the pudding in a slow cooker for a few hours. I warm it up the same way on Christmas Day to save space on the hob. It is very light and fruity, the best recipe I’ve ever used
5th Nov, 2017
Have made this pudding every Christmas for years and it's always delicious! We steam it overnight in the slow cooker (the earlier the better as the flavour improves over time), and resteam it in the slow cooker also on Christmas Day as it's easier when the kitchen is busy cooking everything else for lunch. If some years there have only been two adults to eat it, finishing off such a large delicious pudding has never been a problem as it keeps well and we just reheat leftovers in the microwave. This year I'm having to make two - one to share and one just for ourselves!
8th Aug, 2017
Made this recipe for Christmas last year - incredible! Everyone agreed it was the best Christmas pudding they'd ever tasted, and I've been forced to make it again this year ;) Don't be put off by the steaming/soaking overnight etc. This recipe was super easy to make, and even though I screwed up a bit (I let some water get into the pudding while steaming, and I didn't have currents, so I substituted in more raisins), it's a very forgiving recipe.
27th Dec, 2016
Delicious. This was my first attempt at making pudding & it was great. Received rave reviews all around & I'll make it again. I used both the pot & oven steaming options as I split the mixture between three smaller bowls & both methods worked well.
19th Feb, 2015
This was really delicious and easy to make (apart from the grated frozen butter mess...). I only had 1.5 and 2 pt (not 1.5 litre) plastic basins with lids, but luckily I did, because it was enough to make two. I didn't need to do the foil/greaseproof paper lid because I used the basins' lids, but watched the steamed pudding video here on good food to learn how to tie the string handle, which was priceless information. The puds turned out wonderfully (I did them on top of the stove and kept topping up the water regularly) and I cooked them for about an hour less due to the smaller size. I then let them cool completely and put the lids back on and stored them in the larder. I couldn't be bothered to steam the pud again on Christmas Day (I was too frazzled after cooking for 11), so I just bunged one of them in the microwave and it was absolutely delicious. We tipped warmed brandy over it, set it alight, switched off the lights and sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas. We ate it with brandy butter and whipped cream. We will definitely be having the other one next year (if it keeps...I took off the lid and put cling film over the top and replaced the lid in the hope to make it more airtight). I must remember to look in advance of Christmas to see, just in case I have to make another one. If I remember, I'll write a comment here to say if it does or doesn't keep.
4th Oct, 2016
Did it keep? :-)
Esme Puente
2nd Jan, 2015
We made this with a Gluten Free Flour mix and it was delicious, really nice in every way.
3rd Dec, 2014
I made christmas pudding vodka and have a big bath of booze soaked raisins ( including lemon and orange peel, mixed spice, nutmeg, etc). Do you think I could use the mixture to make this christmas pud recipe?
16th Oct, 2014
Has anyone tried making this in a loaf tin/rectangular basin?


19th Nov, 2017
Hi there. This is the first time I've used this receipe and I've just steamed my pud for the 6hrs as stated but it seems a bit moist/soggy. Does this seem right? Thanks in advance.
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. We're sorry to hear your pudding appeared soggy. It should be sufficiently cooked within 6 hours but not be 'soggy'. Did water escape into the pudding? You might find the following helpful:
22nd Nov, 2016
I made two of these at the weekend and they are still sitting in the basins. Can I take them out and store them wrapped in greaseproof paper/foil? I'm worried they may break up or dry out.
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Nov, 2016
Hi there, we'd suggest leaving them in as you'll be steaming them in the basins before serving at Christmas. Wrap in fresh greaseproof or baking parchment, then foil and string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.
10th Nov, 2015
I have made this Christmas pudding about 4 times with fantastic results, steaming on the hob. This year I would like to use my slow cooker. I have noticed varying lengths of time, using this method, anywhere between 8 & 10 hours. Any tips for duration? Thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Nov, 2015
Thank you for your enquiry as this will be useful for other readers too. We suggest cooking on the high setting and starting off with just boiled water, to come halfway up the sides of the basin. You will probably need to top up the level half way through cooking. If you are concerned that your basin might crack when in contact with the base of the slow cooker put it on a folded tea towel or pad of jcloths before adding the water. We estimate that it will take 10 hours, but it will be worth you checking before the time is up, as this is quite a light Christmas pud, and the flavours will get stronger the longer it cooks.
15th Nov, 2013
Instead of steaming a Christmas pudding for an hour on Christmas Day, can it be microwaved and for how long?
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Dec, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes you can microwave it, it will depend on your microwave setting but should take about 3-4 minutes to heat through. Cook for 2 minutes, then stand for 30 seconds. Check the temperature with a skewer and add an extra minute or so if you need to.
24th Nov, 2014
Yes, it can. If you wade through all of the comments, someone mentions a couple of mins in the microwave and the pud was fine :-)
8th Aug, 2017
I split the batter into two 1 litre bowls (I didn't have a pudding basin, so I used pyrex bowls, which worked perfectly) and found it still took the full 6 hours to steam. You can test it with a skewer to see if it's done. I fed it with grand marnier and brandy every few weeks, and I think that improved the flavour. I microwaved them on Christmas day, and they were perfect - in my opinion there's no need to re-steam them.