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Christmas plum pudding

A plum pudding on a white plate with a slice removed

Why do we only eat Christmas pudding at Christmas?

This pudding can be made and eaten straight away, however the flavours will develop further if left for a few months.  Tradition is to make them in November to eat on Christmas day, but who’s got time for that these days?  We love this pudding so much at our house, sometimes I make it just because I can.  After all, winter is the best time to eat a warm Christmas Pudding, not in the heat of our Australian Summer.

How to steaming Christmas puddings

5 Christmas puddings being steamed in a steam oven.
Christmas puddings steaming in the oven

The puddings photographed above were steamed off in my oven. I think I could probably fit 10 x 1 litre puddings in there at once (on 2 shelves).  Before I got this oven, I use to make them one at a time in a steamer pot over the stove.  The Thermomix is also a great tool for steaming, but my pudding dishes are too big to fit in the Varoma or the steamer basket.  Of course, you could make individual ones and use your TM Varoma.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

Here’s my recipe for a 1 litre mix.  Multiply it by as many puddings as you want to make.  I made 5 x 1 litre puddings when writing this recipe.

A plum pudding on a white plate with a slice removed

Christmas plum pudding

4.62 from 18 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

A beautiful, soft, not cloyingly sweet Christmas plum pudding. This recipe can be made and eaten straight away, or can be made a few months in advance.
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 1 day 4 hours
Difficulty Medium
Course Dessert
Cuisine Christmas, English
Servings 6
Method Conventional


  • This recipe needs to be steamed so you'll need a steaming bowl and something to steam it in. See my tips.


  • 35 g glace cherries
  • 70 g dates
  • 130 g currants
  • 130 g sultanas
  • 70 g raisins
  • 35 g mixed peel
  • 5 g orange rind
  • 5 ml orange juice
  • ½ Granny Smith apple grated
  • 15 g Grand Marnier
  • 5 – 20 g brandy
  • 60 g golden syrup
  • 130 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 10 g soft brown sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 65 g soft breadcrumbs
  • 95 g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch mixed spice
  • Pinch nutmeg


  • Wash all dried fruit and drain well
  • Mix together all the dried fruit with the rind, juice, Grand Marnier, brandy, golden syrup and grated apple and set aside best if you can leave this overnight for the fruit to absorb the wonderful flavours
  • Cream the butter, caster and soft brown sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time (don’t panic if this seems to curdle it’s the number of eggs used)
  • In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and breadcrumbs
  • Blend the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mix till fully incorporated.
  • Add this mix to the dried fruit and stir to fully combine.
  • Grease a pudding basin with melted butter
  • Place a round of baking paper in the bottom of the mould to prevent sticking when turning out.
  • Place the mix into a 1-litre pudding basin and seal.
  • In a large pot pour enough water to come halfway up the sides of the basin and cover tightly.
  • Bring to a rolling boil for around 4 hours.
  • This is now ready to set aside for Christmas. Best practice is that on the day, you put the pudding back on to boil for 1 to 2 hours, serve with brandy custard, brandy butter, warming spice ice-cream whatever you like really.
  • But if you’re desperate for a little rest, as I’ve been known to do by the time dessert needs to be dished up, warm it whatever way you wish. It’s been cooked through and it’ll be fine.
  • And remember, it can be eaten any time of year 🙂


Steaming trick from my Nan.  
Place a clean 10c coin in the bottom of your large pot, add your pudding to the steamer section, pop the lid on, then start the steaming process.  When the water starts to boil you’ll hear the coin bouncing on the bottom of the pot.  When you can no longer hear the coin bouncing you know the water has run out and you need to top up.

Want to know more?

Here a are few more Christmas favourites. Christmas Cherry Stollen Slice and Honey Jumbles

Or, maybe you’d like to know more about our popular Bake Club Online. We even a Bake Club that is themed for Christmas Bake Club Online Season 4 (Xmas edition)

Bake club online


    1. Yes, Robyn that’s right, something like that. 😉

      They’re fine in a steamer of any kind and in boiling water. They’re a kind of silicone, that can take the heat. Boiling water is 100C, they’re not good in an oven at higher temperatures. They’re made out of the same material that dariole moulds are made from.

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Bec, I’m interested to know what containers you used in your oven. Are they traditional pudding steamers? Thanks Robyn

  2. I have a glass bowl that doesn’t have a lid. What do I cover it with?
    I also wondered if I steam it in the oven – what temperature do I put the oven on and do I put water in the roasting tray and in the oven tube?
    Could I use the slowcooker?

    1. All great questions Robyn,
      The glass bowl you have is it ok in the oven? It would have to be oven safe. Something like pyrex?
      Cover the bowl with a double sheet of foil that has a sheet of baking paper on the inside. Like what I’ve used on this loaf You would put it on at the start though.
      I would set my oven to steam at 100°C
      If it’s a proper steam oven, you don’t need to add water to a tray, and just make sure the water is being topped up in the water tube when it needs it.
      I’ve not used a slow cooker for making Christmas puddings, but I can’t see why not. The temperature is usually set lower, but it’s on for a longer time. I would add water to its base after I’ve popped in the pudding. However, it would be a test; I’ve not done it.

  3. Hi just wanting to confirm if using a steam oven the cooking time matches if you were boiling on stove? I also have a metal basin and presume lid on top shouldn’t be too different to plastic?

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