Traditional British Christmas Pudding

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Traditional British Christmas Pudding

Henry Hunter
A classic festive dessert, this Traditional British Christmas Pudding is a rich, dense, and fruit-laden treat, steeped in tradition and holiday cheer. It involves a combination of dried fruits, citrus, and spices, all bound together in a suet-based mixture. The pudding is traditionally made on “Stir It Up Sunday,” the last Sunday before Advent, and is a staple in British Christmas celebrations.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 9 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Two 1.2-liter pudding basins
  • Steamer or large pot
  • Greaseproof paper and foil
  • String


  • Dried mixed fruit raisins, currants, sultanas, candied peel – 500g
  • Cooking apple peeled, cored, finely chopped – 1
  • Orange zest and juice – 1
  • Lemon zest and juice – 1
  • Brandy – 4 tbsp extra for soaking
  • Suet – 150g
  • Dark brown sugar – 150g
  • Fresh white breadcrumbs – 125g
  • Self-raising flour – 125g
  • Mixed spice – 1 tsp
  • Large eggs – 2
  • Chopped almonds – 50g
  • Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting Optional:
  • Cream cheese – 200g softened
  • Unsalted butter – 50g softened
  • Icing sugar – 150g sifted
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Orange zest optional – from 1 orange


  • Soak the dried fruit, apple, citrus zest and juice, and brandy overnight.
  • Stir in suet, sugar, breadcrumbs, flour, mixed spice, and almonds to the soaked fruit.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Fill greased pudding basins with the mixture, cover with greaseproof paper and foil, and tie with string.
  • Steam for 8 hours, then cool and store until Christmas.
  • On Christmas Day, steam for 2 more hours before serving.
  • Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • Beat the softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  • Gradually add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract, beating until light and fluffy.
  • If using, fold in the orange zest.
  • Chill in the refrigerator if the frosting is too soft.
  • Spread the frosting over the slightly cooled pudding just before serving.


Fruit Mixture: Feel free to adjust the types of dried fruits based on your preference. Some like to include dried figs or cherries.
Alcohol-Free Version: If you prefer a non-alcoholic pudding, replace brandy with orange juice or a non-alcoholic alternative.
Aging the Pudding: This pudding can be made up to two months in advance. The aging process helps deepen the flavors.
Steaming: Ensure the water in the steamer doesn’t run dry. Check occasionally and top up with boiling water if needed.
Suet Substitute: Vegetarian suet can be used as a substitute for traditional suet to cater to vegetarians.
Serving Tip: For a dramatic presentation, heat a little brandy, pour it over the pudding, and light it just before serving.
This Traditional British Christmas Pudding is not just a dessert; it’s a festive ritual, bringing together family and friends in the kitchen. The recipe, rich with dried fruits and spices, is a delightful nod to the traditions of yesteryear. Whether you make it as a nod to your heritage or to try something new, this pudding is sure to bring warmth and joy to your holiday table. The process of preparing, steaming, and aging the pudding is a labor of love, one that encapsulates the spirit of the holiday season. So gather your loved ones, stir up this delightful pudding, and make a wish for the season – for a pudding made with love is the sweetest of all. 🌟🎅🍮
Keyword Banana Bread, Cream Cheese, Orange Glaze, Holiday Baking, Comfort Food

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