Rich Christmas Pudding

Here is a fantastically festive Christmas pudding recipe that you can use for boiled pudding, steamed pudding or even individual mini puddings.  The puddings can be made up to three (3) months ahead of time and kept in the fridge, or can be made up to twelve (12) months ahead of time and frozen.  Merry Christmas!

Another Christmas classic in our house is a delicious eggnog smoothie recipe made with frozen bananas.  Another great banana recipe is this self rising flour banana bread that everybody loves. This one won’t keep long, especially compared to this pudding, but it never hangs around long in our house

Christmas Pudding Ingredients

1½ cups (250g) raisins
1½ cups (250g) sultanas
12/3 cups (250g) currants
2 tablespoons sweet sherry
1 medium (170g) apple, peeled, grated
1 medium (120g) carrot, peeled, grated
½ cup (60g) ground almonds
1½ cups (300g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
250g butter, grated
4 cups (280g) stale breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (150g) plain flour
4 eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
2 tablespoons orange juice

Christmas Pudding Directions

Combine raisins, sultanas and currants with sherry in a large bowl; mix well. Cover and stand overnight, or for several days, stirring occasionally.

Add apple, carrot, almonds, sugar, butter, breadcrumbs, spices, salt and flour; mix well.

Beat the eggs with rind and juice, stir into the mixture.

Steamed Pudding:

Grease pudding steamer (2 litre/8 cup capacity), line base with baking paper. Spoon pudding mixture into prepared steamer.  Place a 30cm x 40cm sheet of foil on bench, grease foil; top with a sheet of baking paper. Fold a 5cm pleat crossways through the centre of both sheets. Place sheets, baking-paper-side-down over steamer, secure firmly with string or lid. (tying string around steamer shot) Crush surplus foil and baking paper firmly around rim to help form a good seal; trim any excess.

Place the pudding in a large boiler with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of steamer. Cover boiler with a tight-fitting lid; steam for 6 hours. Replenish with boiling water as necessary to maintain boil and water level during cooking. Stand pudding for 15 minutes before turning out.

Mini Steamed Puddings:

Grease 12 dariole moulds or heatproof dishes (3/4 cup/ 180ml capacity).

Divide the mixture among the moulds, top with pleated baking paper and foil; secure each with a rubber band.

Place the moulds in a large shallow frying pan or electric frying pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds.  Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and boil for 2 hours.  Replenish with boiling water as needed to maintain the water level.

Boiled Pudding:

First prepare pudding cloth. Use a 60cm square of unbleached calico; if calico is new, soak in cold water overnight.  Next day, boil calico for 20 minutes, rinse.  Have a large boiler ¾ full of rapidly boiling water, 2.5 metres of sting and ½ cup (75g) of plain flour close by.

Wearing rubber gloves, dip the prepared pudding cloth into boiling water; boil 1 minute.  Remove cloth from water, squeeze excess water from cloth. Working quickly, spread hot cloth on bench, rub flour into the centre of the cloth to cover an area about 40cm in diameter; leave flour a little thicker in the centre of cloth where the ‘skin’ on the pudding will need to be thickest. (preparing pudding cloth)

Place pudding mixture in centre of cloth, gather cloth evenly around pudding, avoiding any deep pleats. Pat into round shape with hand. Place pudding in bowl; tie cloth tightly with string as close to mixture as possible.  Tie loop in string (tying shot) to make pudding easier to lift from the water, leave long ends of string free.  Pull ends of cloth tightly to make sure pudding is as round and firm as possible.

Gently lower pudding into boiling water.  You may wish to tie free ends of string to handles of boiler to suspend pudding. (If the pan is not large enough to suspend the pudding, place a heatproof saucer in the base of the pan.) Cover with tight-fitting lid, boil rapidly for 8 hours.  Replenish boiling water as necessary to maintain boil and water level.  There must be enough water in the boiler for the pudding to be immersed at all times.

Untie pudding from handles.  Place handle of wooden spoon through loop in string to lift pudding from the water.  Place the pudding into a bowl or colander.  Cut the string and gently begin to peel away the cloth, scraping the skin back onto the pudding with a palette knife if necessary.  Invert the pudding onto a plate and continue to peel back the cloth completely.  Cool. The skin will darken on standing. (I prefer to remove a boiled pudding from its cloth before refrigerating or freezing. This prevents mould from forming on the pudding, which often occurs when a pudding is hung at room temperature in humid weather).

Soak cloth in cold water overnight, wash and rinse well; avoid using detergents.

Little Boiled Puddings:

To make 4 smaller puddings, cut four 40cm squares or unbleached calico. Prepare one cloth at a time as for large pudding.  Use ¼ cup (35g) plain flour for each cloth.

Divide the mixture evenly between cloths.  Tie the puddings as for large pudding.  Boil rapidly for 4 hours.

Storing Puddings:

Wrap the pudding thoroughly in plastic wrap then place into an airtight container or freezer bag. Refrigerate puddings for up to three months or freeze for one year.

Reheating Puddings:

Thaw frozen puddings for 2 days in the refrigerator and remove them from the refrigerator 12 hours before reheating.

STEAMED: Remove the plastic wrap and return to the steamer.  Steam for 2 hours following the cooking instructions.

BOILED: Remove the plastic wrap and tie a clean, dry unfloured cloth on the pudding.  Boil for 2 hours following the cooking instructions.

To Microwave:

To reheat the whole large pudding, cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap, microwave on medium (50%) for about 15 minutes.  To reheat 4 single serves at once, cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap; microwave on high (100%) for about 3 minutes.


One of the Christmas traditions in our house is for my Dad to make his famous Canadian pancake recipe for the whole family.  The kids go crazy, give it a try if you are looking for some more Christmas cheer.

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