Festive date & pecan pudding

Festive date & pecan pudding

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(16 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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 eggs



    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, questions and tips

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26th Dec, 2019
I have never liked Christmas pudding but now being well into my 30s I thought I'd look for a "gateway" festive pudding that would give the impression I had more mature tastes! I made this at the start of December, it was so easy to mix it all together, bung in the oven and prepare the sauce. I particularly enjoyed pouring the brandy into the holes and eating some cake mix. We froze this after cooking then 4 weeks later transported it on a 7 hour journey to the in laws where it was refrigerated for 2 days. On Christmas day we reheated it in the microwave and it turned out of its bowl perfectly. After pouring over some extra brandy and lighting it, we devoured the pud. It had a lovely cakey texture but with the christmassy flavours of spices, dried fruits and alcohol. It went down very well and I think I'll be making it every Christmas from now on.
14th Nov, 2018
Could I make this with gluten free flour?
4th Dec, 2014
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!
18th Sep, 2013
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.
18th Dec, 2012
Yummy! Really moist, beautiful flavour, served with clementine custard. It did need almost two hours in the oven though.
16th Jan, 2012
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.
7th Jan, 2012
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.
29th Nov, 2011
Third year I plan to make this! It is a winner and I think it will be a family favourite for years to come!
27th Dec, 2010
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.
Nana_Lu's picture
8th Dec, 2010
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!


18th Dec, 2017
I have just made this ahead for Christmas Day, I have added the brandy syrup and frozen it, was that the right thing to do? Add the syrup before freezing?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question, yes that is correct. Enjoy!
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