The Cottage Smallholder

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Christmas Pudding Recipe

Christmas candleEveryone wants to make the perfect Christmas pudding. The pressure is on from November 1st. Even if you make yours then, you are bound to hear of someone’s cousin’s friend who makes the pudding to die for, just after Easter.

Don’t worry. We have the recipe for a perfect pud. We’ve made this the week before Christmas and it still tasted great. It is better if it has a few weeks to mature.

Our recipe was initially inspired by Myrtle Allen’s recipe from The Ballymaloe Cookbook and we have tweaked it for the last seven years. I stayed at Ballymaloe House for a weekend, about ten years ago and the food was unbelievably good. In fact the breakfast and the hors d’oeuvre were the best that I have tasted anywhere in the world.

A bit lighter than the traditional English Plum Pudding, this pud is always a hugely enjoyable finale to any Christmas feast.

Christmas Pudding Recipe


  • 170g beef suet
  • 2 tablespoon of self raising flour
  • 170g of soft brown sugar
  • 200g of soft, fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 150g of currants
  • 150g of raisins
  • 150g of sultanas
  • 110g of crystallised cherries chopped in half
  • 2 flat teaspoon mixed spice
  • half teaspoon of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml of the baked flesh of a cooking apple
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 75ml of Irish whiskey


  1. Take a large bowl and add all the dry ingredients, one at a time and mixing well before adding another.
  2. In a separate bowl beat the eggs together and add the apple flesh and the whisky.
  3. Stir this into the dry ingredients and stir very well. Remember to make a wish.
  4. Grease a couple of 1.5 pint pudding bowls and divide the mixture between them.
  5. Cover the top of each pudding with a round of greaseproof paper tying it under the rim with string and making a handle across the top of the bowl.
  6. Steam the puddings for eight hours, a large saucepan of water (the water level half the depth of the bowls).
  7. Be careful not to let the water boil over the top of the bowls or boil dry. After the first half hour, I check the puddings every hour or so and top up with boiling water if necessary.
  8. Store the puddings somewhere cool and dry. Steam for a further couple of hours before you want to eat them.

Serve with Brandy butter, fresh cream or home made egg custard (or all three).

Tips and Tricks:

  • I make the puddings first thing in the morning, on a weekend, so that they can bubble away all day whilst I am around to keep an eye on them.

  Leave a reply


  1. Hello! I decided to make my christmas puds this coming weekend and decided to check if you had a nice recipe Fi . . . yes!! And thank you, it looks delicious and straightforward.
    I am so pleased I found your Blog!!
    We will let you know what the puds are like on December 25th! Happy Christmas – soon 😉

  2. I wonder if anyone can advise me on making round puds! I only have one round mould, is it possible to make shape the mixture into a ball and wrap it in greaseproof and muslin do you think? I thought I may make 3 or 4 smaller puds this way. Also I can steam them all at once (I can only get one pudding basin in the steamer at a time).
    I would be pleased of any advice!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred,

    I am glad that you are going to try our Christmas pud! It is much lighter than the traditional one but gets darker as it matures.

    I have never made a round pudding but I think your idea of muslin and greaseproof paper would work. A circle of each tied at the top. I’d love to hear how you get on!

  4. Hi Fi, thanks!! I was drawn to your pud because it IS lighter . . . . our ‘Christmas’ cake is a lighter kind of cake too. I use the same cake recipe for Simnel / Easter cakes. I am a big marzipan fan! Just made some ready to wrap around a Battenburg cake, baking as I type! I use the egg whites left over from the marzipan for meringues . . . gosh, it is a wonder we are not tubby!
    Thanks again! I will let you know how the round puds work out.

  5. I just wanted to add the puds turned out really well. I lined a big teacup with a large piece of greaseproof paper, filled it with the pud mix, and tied the ends of the paper up. Then I put that into one of those roasting type poly bags and tied that up. It made 3 nice sized puddings which fitted into the steamer nicely.
    They are now re wrapped in clean greaseproof and a piece of muslin, safely hidden away for Christmas!

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred,

    Thanks for the update and the method. Very canny using roasting bags!

  7. Hi Mildred,

    I was delighted to find yor site and all the beautiful recipes. I hadn’t made Christmas Pudding for some years so I was looking for guidance. I followed your recipe for the Christmas Pudding and they turned out absolutely beautiful. I used my electric steamer to cook these and it was a great success. I am now preparing to start my Christmas Cake, will let you know how it turns out.
    Once again, Many thanks

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mary,

    Glad that you are enjoying the site.

    I’m delighted that the pudding cooked well in your electric steamer. Thanks for dropping by and leaving this tip.

  9. Mary, what a Good Idea using an electric steamer for your puds. It is something we keep thinking we should buy. It always feels wasteful having the lid up on the range for ages when steaming, and also in summer when the range is off a steamer would be so useful. I am going to look out for one now! I need to make sure the steamer sections are deep enough for pudding basins, I would be grateful if anyone can recommend a particular make.

  10. Hi Fiona,
    Glad you liked my idea. The one I have is a Kenwood and it has three stackable compartments. I was able to put two small pudding basins in each compartment, so you could cook six puds at a time, if you wish, or 1 lge pud bowl in one compartment & two small in the other. This is what I done. Hope this is of some help to you.

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