Which Is The Best Christmas Pudding Recipe?

Which recipe makes the best Christmas Pudding? Is there a recipe that will guarantee a beautifully moist and tasty Christmas Pudding? What recipe makes a pudding without a bitter after taste? Whose recipe is best? Read on for some tips on how to make a delicious Christmas Pudding.

Stir-up Sunday - which is the best Christmas pudding recipe?

To be honest, I don’t believe that there is one Xmas pudding recipe that is simply the best! It really depends upon taste and personal choice. If you like a traditional Xmas pudding, then the one I am sharing with you today is certainly a recipe I would recommend. It has never let me down.

Traditional Christmas Pudding

Serves 10


  • 1kg Mixed Dried Fruit
  • 125g Almonds
  • 125g Candied Peel
  • 125g Glace Cherries
  • Grated Rind of 2 Oranges
  • Grated Rind of 2 Lemons
  • 375g Plain Flour
  • 185g Breadcrumbs
  • 375g Suet
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 0.25 tsp Salt
  • 2tsp Cocoa
  • 5 tsp Grated Nutmeg
  • 5 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 5 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 5 Eggs
  • 150ml Brandy
  • Milk to mix
  • 1 tbsp Black Treacle
Which is the best Christmas pudding recipe - ingredients


1.    Grease and flour 2 basins (850 ml)

Which is the best Christmas pudding recipe - floured basin

Put all dried ingredients into a mixing bowl.

3.    Chop the almonds, candied peel & cherries & mix in with the dried ingredients.

4.    Add the grated rind of the oranges & lemons, & mix.

5.    In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly & then add them to the mixture, stirring in well.

6.    Stir in the brandy & add sufficient milk to give a stiff dropping consistency.

7.    Spoon in the treacle to colour the mixture, stirring well.

8.    Three quarters fill the prepared basins

uncooked ingredients in a bowl

& cover with grease-proof paper or foil. (If you fold the grease-proof paper or foil, as shown, this will allow the pudding to have sufficient room to rise).

Folded foil paper for a pudding
Foil topper for a steamed pudding

9.   Steam the puddings for 7-8 hours.

10.Allow the pudding to cool & store in the fridge or larder.

11.Steam the pudding for a further 6 hours on the day it is required..

Stir-up Sunday

Stir-up Sunday is a tradition that goes back to the Victorian times. As a child I remember stirring the Xmas pudding with other family members. I was told to make a wish whilst stirring – I cannot remember if any of my wishes came true! 

The tradition has religious connotations. Christmas pudding traditionally contained thirteen ingredients which represented Jesus and his disciples.

An age-old custom is to put a silver coin in the Christmas pudding. It was meant to bring a year of good luck to whoever found the coin. When my mother in law was newly married she found a silver three-penny bit in her serving of Xmas pudding and she kept the coin and had it made into a ring.  The closest coin nowadays would be the five pence piece – not quite the same!!

Which is the best Christmas Pudding Recipe?

I’d love to be able to say that my recipe is the best but I can’t, even though I strongly recommend it. There are hundreds of recipes for the traditional Christmas pudding and a lot of families have their own recipes handed down over many generations.

Nigella Lawson calls her own recipe the “Ultimate Christmas Pudding” and the “Queen of Christmas Puddings”. She soaks the dried fruit in Pedro Ximénez – a sweet, dark, sticky sherry that has a hint of liquorice, fig and treacle. Delia Smith says that her Traditional Christmas Pudding is “quite definitely the best” and Good Housekeeping claims to have twelve of the best Christmas pudding recipes.

The recipes use different spirits and alcohol to soak the fruit in; different fruits; different nuts; and some don’t use suet. I believe that the best recipe is simply down to personal taste. Steaming plays an essential role in the success of your Xmas pudding. If you don’t steam it long enough the pudding will be pale and bland and if you steam it for too long it will leave a bitter after-taste.

Alternatives to Christmas Pudding

Xmas pudding is not everyone’s favourite. There are plenty of alternatives to serve on Christmas Day. One of my favourites is the Italian Christmas Pudding Cake. As it bears no resemblance to a Christmas pudding it wins hands down as an alternative! Tiramisu is a dessert that is also a worthy alternative to Xmas pudding.

Why not get into the Christmas spirit and make your Christmas pudding this Sunday? You could enjoy family time together stirring up the Xmas pudding mixture and then you can deservedly feel smug with the knowledge that your puddings have been made!

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