Mary Berry’s Christmas pudding recipe

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Mary Berry's Christmas pudding is a rich and decadent classic and this recipe serves 8-10 people.

Mary Berry's Christmas pudding
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Preparation Time1 hours
Cooking Time6 hours Plus, 2-3 on Christmas Day
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories510 Kcal26%
Sugar61 g68%
Fat15 g21%
Salt1.1 gRow 3 - Cell 2
Protein6 g12%
Carbohydrates84 g32%
Salt1.1 gRow 6 - Cell 2

Mary Berry's Christmas pudding can be made three months in advance and then reheated on the day. 

Traditionally people make Christmas pudding on Stir up Sunday. This lands on the last Sunday before Advent but Mary says this recipe can be made three months in advance if you want to get even further ahead. Making it earlier will give the pudding more time to mature in flavour.


  • 90g (3oz) self-raising flour
  • 125g (4oz) shredded vegetable suet or grated chilled butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 30g (1oz) blanched almonds, shredded
  • 125g (4oz) carrot, grated
  • 250g (8 oz) raisins
  • 125g (4oz) currants
  • 125g (4oz) sultanas
  • 125g (4oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 60g (2oz) mixed candied peel, chopped
  • 90g (3oz) light muscovado sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75ml (21/2 fl oz) dark rum or brandy
  • brandy butter, to serve (optional)




  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, suet or butter, almonds, carrot, raisins, currants, sultanas, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, candied peel, sugar and lemon zest.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice and eggs and stir until well combined.
  3. Lightly butter a 1.25litre (2 pint) pudding bowl. Spoon in the pudding mixture and level the surface.
  4. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper then foil, both pleated in the middle. Secure the paper and foil in place by tying string under the rim of the bowl.
  5. Put the bowl into a steamer or saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water comes halfway up the side of the bowl. Cover and steam, topping up with boiling water as needed, for about 6 hours.
  6. Remove the bowl from the steamer or pan and leave to cool. Remove the paper and foil covering. Make a few holes in the pudding with a fine skewer and pour in the rum or brandy.
  7. Cover the pudding with fresh greaseproof paper and foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months.
  8. To reheat for serving, steam the pudding for 2-3 hours. Alternatively, if the pudding basin is microwave safe you can reheat in bursts in the microwave.
  9. Serve at once with brandy butter, if liked.

Top tips for making Mary Berry’s Christmas pudding 

Mary uses a combination of raisins, currants, and sultanas but if you’d prefer to use a larger quantity of currants or sultanas you can adjust it to your preference. She also uses grated carrots but you could use a combination of grated apples or pear if you like. 

Please note nutritional info is per person based on this Christmas pudding serving 8 people.

When should I make my Christmas pudding?

This pud can be made up to three months in advance. Traditionally, a Christmas pudding is made on Stir-Up Sunday which is the final Sunday before the start of Advent. 

Making the pudding ahead gives it an opportunity to mature in flavour. You can also continue to 'feed' it with more booze in the run-up to Christmas if you like.

How do you steam a Mary Berry Christmas pudding?

After tightly wrapping the pudding basin rim with greaseproof paper, tinfoil, and string, steam the pudding for six hours in a lidded pan filled halfway with simmering water.

Top up regularly with hot water to ensure the pan doesn’t run dry, and remember to turn the extractor fan up if you don’t want a very steamy kitchen. The pudding will also need an additional steam to reheat on the big day.

What can I use instead of suet in a Christmas pudding for vegetarians?

Vegetarian suet is an excellent replacement and is available in most supermarkets these days. Vegetable shortening is also a good substitute, though should be frozen overnight for best results.

Can I use butter instead of suet in Christmas pudding?

Yes, butter may be used in place of suet, but should be chilled or frozen before grating. 

Can you over steam Christmas pudding?

Steaming is a gentle form of cooking, so you shouldn’t worry about over-steaming. Unlike baking, steaming will keep the pudding moist. It is very important that you don't let the pan run dry. It can be a good idea to set yourself a couple of timers so you can check on its progress. 

How long should I soak fruit for Christmas pudding?

Is Christmas pudding the same as plum pudding?

Yes. Despite the recipe never calling for plums, the word plum was formerly used to mean dried fruit such as currants, raisins, and sultanas. 

Mary Berry's Traditional Puddings and DessertsView at Amazon

Mary Berry's Traditional Puddings and Desserts by Mary Berry (Dorling Kindersley, £2.89) - View at Amazon

If you like this recipe, Mary has more classic options including an apple Charlotte, a baked rice pudding and for summer months, a strawberry and rhubarb pie. 

For more festive inspiration, check out Mary Berry's Christmas fruit cake. If you prefer chocolatey dessert, try Mary Berry's chocolate roulade. Or
Mary Berry's rum & raisin ice cream
is a great option to have in the freezer. 

Mary Berry
Celebrity baker

Mary Berry CBE is one of the most loved celebrity chefs in the country. In her early 80s, she’s been on our screens showing us how to make the most delicious recipes and sweet treats for over 50 years! Mary is probably most famous for being one of the original judges on The Great British Bake Off, where she put contestants through their paces for nine years before leaving the show when it made its controversial move from the BBC to Channel Four. 

With contributions from