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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. margaret

    Hello Jeremy – I don’t use muslin myself. I grease the bowl so that the pudding turns out easily. Then I put two layers of greased greaseproof paper directly on top of the pudding, then tie a cloth over the top. When the pudding has cooled, I take off all the wet coverings and when it is completely cold, I cover again with clean dry coverings as before, ready for re-heating on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas!

  2. Do you wrap the actual puddings with muslin?
    I normally butter the inside of the basin then cover the top of the basin with greaseproof then cover that musin with some flour sprinkled on it.
    However a couple of last year’s batch went moudly – I wondered if wrapping the actual pudding in muslin cloth first would help. or if I dried out the puddings slightly in the bottom of the oven (not turned on) before storing – we used to dry the cloths out but never changed them on the basis that they had been sterilised in the boiling so the cloth was not changed until checking it just before Christmas! any thoughts on this?

    Incidentally the recipe I use makes 4 puddings at a time – we put 3 of them in the fish kettle (we rarely use it for fish!) to boil – so it only needs 1 gas ring to cook 3 of them

    many thanks.

  3. I found this one on the web so your friends should be OK with your muslin-wrapped one.

    A traditional round muslin-wrapped Christmas Pudding that is handmade in Devon. 454 g

    To Reheat: Remove label and place pudding in a colander over a saucepan with boiling water and steam for 45 minutes.

    To Microwave: Remove label. Place pudding on a microwaveable plate and reheat for 3 minutes. Based on 750W microwave. Cooking times may vary.

  4. Help please! I just made a big batch of mini puds in little metal basins. I planned to take them out of the basins and wrap them in parchment & muslin to give as gifts. Now I’m worried my friends won’t be able to re-steam their puds if they don’t have the basin too? Can you do the second steaming without a bowl/basin? Thank you xxx

  5. Has anyone attempted to make these in the microwave. I made this pudding last year and my goodness it was delicious, but I did it in the slow cooker.This worked very well with no problems but this year I don’t have a slow cooker.

    Thanks for any advice, your christmas cake I shall also be doing again this year after the rrave reviews!

  6. bonbonz69

    I made this last weekend very easy however reading the comments am I supposed to be feeding it from now until we have at christmas?? I have wrapped it all up ready and waiting did not realised I would have feed it??

  7. No, you don’t have to feed it.

  8. I wondered if anyone has used Sweet Sherry in place of Brandy, as this is all I had in my cupboard

  9. Plumber John

    Christmas pudding and cream is a must have at Christmas and I’ve never tried to make my own before but this year I will be different. I will print off the recipe and give it my best shot. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Plumber John

      Homemade Christmas pud is a million times better than even the most expensive shop bought one.

      This recipe is for a much lighter pud – better I reckon but if you want the traditional dark pud try Delia.

      • Dave Mitchell

        I agree with your comments Fiona! I am a big traditionalist and as Christmas puddings are traditionally made with beef suet, it drives me to distraction when all the shop bought so called “traditional” puddings are suitable for vegetarians as they simply can’t be both. As a result, I always make my own and they are in demand with my family and friends. I make Delia’s traditional pudding in September and then whenever I have time in December, I make this one – I’ll be doing it tonight in fact and even less than 1 week before Christmas day, it tastes fantastic.

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