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The Best Traditional British Christmas Pudding Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


Christmas pudding
Andrew Dernie/Photodisc/Getty Images

Watch My How to Make a Christmas Pudding Video


No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas Pudding. Everyone needs a great recipe, and this is my favourite  Recipe. have been making for many, many years.

Despite reports that the traditional Christmas pudding has fallen out of favour for lighter desserts, it is as popular as ever. Christmas pudding is best made well in advance to allow it to mature which traditionally is made on 'Stir it up Sunday' the Sunday before Advent around the end of November... read more.

Don't be put off by the number of ingredients in this recipe, although it may seem daunting, simply assemble all your ingredients in advance, and the rest is easy. All that is left then, is to make a wish.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Marinating Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 20 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 8


  • Serves 8 - 10
  • 1lb /450g dried mixed fruit (use golden raisins/sultanas* , raisins, currants)
  • 1 oz /25 g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice
  • ½ large orange and
  • ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp brandy, plus a little extra for soaking at the end
  • 2 oz /55 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 level tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz /110 g shredded suet, beef or vegetarian
  • 4oz /110g soft, dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz /110 g white fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 oz /25 g whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 large, fresh eggs


  • Lightly butter a 2½ pint/1.4 litre pudding basin/17cm
  • Place the dried fruits, candied peel, apple, orange and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
  • Stir together the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon in a very large mixing bowl. Add the suet, sugar, lemon and orange zest, bread crumbs, nuts and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Finally add the marinaded dried fruits and stir again.
  • Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
  • Now is the time to gather the family for Christmas Pudding tradition of taking turns in stirring, making a wish and adding a few coins.
  • Spoon the mixture in to the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil and tie securely with string.
  • Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a deep brown color when cooked. The pudding is not a light cake but instead is a dark, sticky and dense sponge.
  • Remove the pudding from the steamer, cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer and pour in a little extra brandy. Cover with fresh greaseproof paper and retie with string. Store in a cool dry place until Christmas day. Note: The pudding cannot be eaten immediately, it really does need to be stored and rested then reheated on Christmas Day. Eating the pudding immediately after cooking will cause it to collapse and the flavours will not have had time to mature.
  • On Christmas day reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour. Serve with anyone of these lovely accompaniments. Brandy or Rum Sauce, Brandy Butter or Custard.

    Left over Christmas pudding can be reheated by wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and heating through in a hot oven.

* Sultanas are different to raisins, see the difference in the glossary
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Orange Christmass pudding, Member GarethAndrew

I'm not very good at sticking to recipes, and find myself ""improving "" them as I go. Sometimes this backfires, but my ""improvements"" to this recipe really made a delicious pud. I love orange, and I didn't have candied orange, so I put Marmalade in, 2 big tablespoons of it. I used a good coarse marmalade and chopped the peel quite fine, and put the syrup in as well. I also used sherry instead of brandy (and put extra on as it cooked), and changed the fruit to 250g ""cake mix"" dried fruit and 200g finely chopped dates. The orange flavour from the marmalade is quite strong, a little bitter, and just delicious. The chopped dates made it a bit sweeter and sort of diffuse into the pudding really well, making it more homogenous. I then served it with my delicious homemade vanilla ice cream (with extra vanilla paste so its got a really strong and vanilla flavor). Combination was just superbe!

2 out of 3 people found this helpful.

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