Christmas is one wonderful and wintery time of the year that warps our mood, our tastes, and tendencies. All of a sudden, the weather changes and we crawl under our cosiest blankets with the warmest cups of cocoa in hand, reading fantastic stories of Christmas’ past. In this cold season, it is natural to crave something hearty and scrumptious, sweet and fulfilling. This is the time to whip out the old seasonal Christmas cookbook and craft a delicious Christmas pudding.
No need to rummage through your bookshelves looking for that dusty old recipe book from last year, here’s the Classic Christmas Pudding Recipe you have been looking for:
The Quintessential Christmas Pudding Recipe
Originating in England in the 14th Century, Christmas pudding used to be known as ‘Frumenty’. Today, after years of evolution and tweaking, we have reached the following classic and best Christmas pudding recipe:
- 1 cup mixed dried fruits (raisins, currants, sultanas)
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 cup candied peel
- 1/4 cup chopped candied cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup brandy or rum (for soaking the fruits)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup suet (vegetarian suet can be used for a meat-free version)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp mixed spice (or a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
- 1 small apple, grated
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 large eggs
- Butter or vegetable oil for greasing
- Brandy or rum, for flaming (optional)
- Hard sauce or custard, for serving
- A day or two before making the pudding, place the mixed dried fruits, dates, candied peel, candied cherries, and almonds in a bowl. Pour the brandy or rum over them, mix well, cover, and let them soak.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the soaked fruits and all the remaining ingredients: flour, breadcrumbs, suet, brown sugar, mixed spice, grated apple, lemon zest, orange zest, lemon juice, and orange juice.
- Mix everything together until it forms a thick, moist batter. If the mixture seems too dry, you can add a little more juice from the soaked fruits.
- Grease a 1.5-liter (2.5-pint) pudding basin with butter or vegetable oil. Make a parchment paper lid by folding a square of parchment paper in half and then pleating it to allow for expansion.
- Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin. Press it down well, leaving about a 1-inch gap at the top to allow for rising.
Place the parchment paper lid on top and secure it with a string, tying it tightly around the rim of the basin.
- Place the pudding basin in a large, deep saucepan. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover the saucepan with a lid and steam the pudding for about 6 hours. Check the water level occasionally and top it up as needed to keep it from drying out.
- After steaming, remove the pudding basin from the saucepan and let it cool. Then store it in a cool, dark place until Christmas.
On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming it for 2-3 hours. You can do this by placing the basin back into a saucepan with simmering water.
- To serve, you can flame the pudding by warming a small amount of brandy or rum, pouring it over the pudding, and carefully lighting it. Allow the flames to die down before serving.
- Serve the Christmas pudding recipe with hard sauce or custard.
Christmas Pudding Recipes: Vibrant Variations
Just like the Frumenty evolved over the years to Christmas Pudding after undergoing centuries of trials and experiments, this modern-day Christmas recipe is bound to be elevated further into culinary heaven. Here are some of its possible variations to try this Christmas season:
1. Citrus and Spice Christmas Pudding: The zesty and warm combination of citrus and spices adds a refreshing twist to the classic christmas pudding recipe, making it bright and flavorful. Add orange and lemon zest along with ground spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the original recipe.
2. Chocolate & Cherry Christmas Pudding: Sweet and decadent treat, this version of the Christmas pudding recipe combines rich chocolate with the sweet-tartness of cherries. Mix in cocoa powder and add dried or candied cherries to the pudding.
3. Ginger Pear Christmas Pudding: The gentle spiciness of ginger and the sweetness of pears create a harmonious flavour profile. In this xmas pudding recipe, make sure to incorporate grated ginger and fresh pear into the pudding mix to enhance the flavour to the next level.
4. Sticky Toffee Christmas Pudding: A delightful play on a classic British Christmas pudding recipe, this pudding incorporates the flavours of toffee, dates, and caramel. An instant among the younger members of the family, this sweet treat will make your toes curl with decadence.
5. Matcha and Cherry Christmas Pudding: A modern twist with Japanese influence, this version of the easy Christmas pudding recipe features matcha green tea powder and cherries a unique new flavour. Complementing the Christmas theme, the green matcha, topped with vibrant red cherries perfectly captures the spirit of the season.
6. Orange Marsala Christmas Pudding: The warmth of Marsala wine and the citrusy zing of orange zest make this Christmas pudding recipe rich and aromatic. Replace part of the brandy with Marsala wine and add orange zest to enjoy a high brow Christmas party in your mouth.
7. Fruit and Nut Christmas Pudding: This variation of the Christmas pudding recipe is a classic blend of mixed dried fruits and assorted nuts, offering a wholesome and traditional taste. The combination of raisins, currants, sultanas, and candied peel adds a rich and fruity sweetness. Almonds and other nuts bring a delightful crunch and an extra layer of flavour to the pudding.
8. Ice Cream Christmas Pudding: A cool and creamy twist to the traditional Christmas pudding recipe, served with a scoop of your favourite ice cream. From vanilla to Cherry Garcia, you can use any ice cream of your liking to enjoy a chilly little Christmas treat.
9. Gluten-free Christmas Pudding: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour in place of regular breadcrumbs for a gluten-free Christmas pudding recipe. This gluten-free version of the classic Christmas pudding can be perfect for the diet-conscious and gluten intolerant.
10. Sugar-free Christmas Pudding: Utilise sugar substitutes like erythritol or stevia to reduce the sugar content while maintaining the sweetness. Go ahead and enjoy your Christmas pudding recipe without a teaspoon of guilt.
11. Vegan Christmas Pudding: Suet, a commonly used ingredient in Christmas pudding recipes, is made of hard fat extracted from lamb or beef. You can replace suet with vegetable suet or coconut oil, use plant-based milk and egg alternatives to create a vegan-friendly Christmas Pudding.
12. Passion Fruit and Cointreau Christmas Pudding: A touch of the exotic, this Christmas pudding recipe features passion fruit for its tropical, tangy notes. The addition of Cointreau, a delightful orange liqueur, infuses the pudding with a warm and zesty twist. The blend of passion fruit and Cointreau creates a symphony of flavours that's both refreshing and indulgent, making it a must-try for those who seek a unique and vibrant holiday dessert.
13. White Chocolate and Berry Christmas Pudding: The creaminess of white chocolate and the burst of berry flavours create a luscious and fruity dessert. If you prefer white over dark or milk chocolate, then you must explore this berrylicious alternative this pudding season!
14. Grape and Cinnamon Christmas Pudding: This delightful variation of the Christmas pudding recipe infuses your Christmas pudding with the natural sweetness of grapes and the warm, comforting aroma of cinnamon. The grapes, which can be red or green, add a fruity and juicy dimension to the pudding, providing little bursts of sweetness as you enjoy each bite. The addition of ground cinnamon contributes a cosy and familiar spice that evokes feelings of home and holiday warmth.
15. Gingerbread Christmas Pudding: The gingerbread Christmas pudding recipe is all about embracing the cosy and spicy spirit of gingerbread. Ground ginger, cloves, and molasses give this variation a warming and aromatic character. It's reminiscent of gingerbread cookies but with the rich and moist texture of a Christmas pudding. If you adore the comforting flavours of gingerbread, this is a must-try.
16. Pumpkin Spice Christmas Pudding: Embrace the seasonal flavours of pumpkin spice by adding pumpkin puree and a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to your Christmas pudding recipe. Blend the mixture well with the batter before you put the pudding in the steamer.
17. Rum Raisin Christmas Pudding: This easy Christmas pudding recipe is for the more refined and old-fashioned tastes. Soak the raisins in rum or spiced rum before adding them to the pudding for a boozy and indulgent touch.
18. Spiced Apple Christmas Pudding: Winter brings along with the ripest and juiciest apples. Combine some grated apples with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for a fruity and warmly spiced variation of the basic Christmas pudding recipe.
19. Mint Chocolate Christmas Pudding: The mint chocolate Christmas pudding recipe offers a refreshing and indulgent twist on the classic. It combines the invigorating taste of peppermint with the luxurious richness of dark chocolate. The result is a dessert that is both cooling and deeply satisfying. The marriage of mint and chocolate in this variation creates a delightful contrast to the traditional flavours.
20. Lavender and Lemon Christmas Pudding: This unique Christmas pudding recipe infuses the dessert with the delicate fragrance of lavender and the zesty brightness of lemon. Lavender brings an aromatic and soothing quality, while lemon zest and juice add a crisp and citrusy dimension. The Lavender Lemon pudding offers a refreshing and aromatic experience for those who appreciate a more delicate flavour profile.
21. Mocha Christmas Pudding: The mocha Christmas pudding recipe provides a delightful blend of coffee and chocolate flavours. By incorporating cocoa powder and instant coffee into the mix, this variation creates a mocha-flavoured delight. It's the perfect choice for coffee enthusiasts who wish to combine their love for coffee and dessert into a single, memorable Christmas treat.
22. Honey and Walnut Christmas Pudding: The honey and walnut Christmas pudding recipe marries the sweet notes of honey with the nutty crunch of walnuts. The honey infuses the pudding with a warm and soothing sweetness, while the walnuts provide a delightful textural contrast. It's a harmonious pairing that adds depth and character to the traditional recipe.
23. Irish Cream Christmas Pudding: This variation of the Christmas pudding recipe captures the rich and creamy essence of Irish cream liqueur. By incorporating Irish cream into the pudding mix, it introduces a luxurious and indulgent quality. The creamy notes of Irish cream are a perfect complement to the fruity and spiced elements of the Christmas pudding, making it an opulent choice for the holiday season.
24. Brownie Fudge Christmas Pudding: For those who crave the flavours of brownies, the brownie fudge Christmas pudding recipe is an ideal pick. It blends cocoa powder with chunks of fudge to create a dessert that mirrors the richness and sweetness of brownies. The result is a delectable and fudgy delight that is sure to please chocolate lovers.
25. Apricot and Cardamom Christmas Pudding: This christmas pudding variation brings together the sweet-tartness of dried apricots and the warm, citrusy notes of cardamom. The combination creates a unique and aromatic Christmas pudding that balances fruity and spiced elements. The inclusion of cardamom adds an exotic twist to the traditional recipe, making it a compelling choice for those who seek a distinctive and flavorful dessert.
Celebrating 25 Pudding Recipes for Christmas
There are 25 days of Christmas, beginning from the 1st of December and ending on the 25th. If you are a Christmas Pudding connoisseur, then you can try one of the Christmas Pudding recipes given above every day of Christmas to make this festive season even more special and scrumptious. Conclude your Santa season with a sweet sugar rush that will last till the New Year’s!