Mary Berry’s Christmas pudding recipe

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serves: 8 - 10
Skill: medium
Cost: mid
Prep: 1 hr
Cooking: 6 hr
Plus, 2-3 on Christmas Day

Nutrition per portion

Calories 510 kCal 26%
Fat 15g 21%
Carbohydrates 84g 26%
  -  of which Sugars 61g 68%
Protein 6g 12%
Salt 1.1g 18%
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  • Bursting with currants, carrot, almonds, rum, and candied peel, Mary Berry’s Christmas pudding recipe is utterly unbeatable.

    The prep time for this traditional pudding is just one hour. It’s really just a case of mixing all the ingredients together and adding the mixture into a pudding basin. But, of course, all Christmas puds require a lengthy steaming in advance, plus additional heating up on Christmas Day. This Christmas pudding recipe from the queen of baking will take a total of 8-9 hours in the steamer. Christmas pudding is traditionally made on Stir-Up Sunday but Mary points out this pud can be made up to three months in advance.


    • 90g (3oz) self-raising flour
    • 125g (4oz) shredded vegetable suet or grated chilled butter
    • 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
    • butter for greasing
    • 75ml (21/2 fl oz) dark rum or brandy
    • brandy butter, to serve
    • You will also need:
    • 1.25litre (2 pint) pudding bowl


    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, suet or butter, almonds, carrot, raisins, currants, sultanas, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, candied peel, sugar and lemon zest. Add the lemon juice and eggs and stir until well combined.

    • Lightly butter the pudding bowl. Spoon in the pudding mixture and level the surface.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Cover the pudding with fresh greaseproof paper and foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months.

    • To reheat for serving, steam the pudding for 2-3 hours. Serve at once with brandy butter.

    Top tips for making Mary Berry’s Christmas pudding... 

    When should I make my Christmas pudding?

    Christmas pudding is often made on Stir-Up Sunday, which is the final Sunday before the start of Advent. Traditionally, the whole family will stir the Christmas pud and make a wish. A silver coin was also stirred into the mixture – whoever found the coin on Christmas Day was thought to gain some extra luck.

    Allowing the pudding five weeks to mature ensures that there is plenty of time for a rich flavour to develop. This pud can be made up to three months in advance.

    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.

    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. 

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

    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 you over steam Christmas pudding?

    Steaming is a gentle form of cooking, so you shouldn’t worry about oversteaming. Unlike baking, steaming will keep the pudding moist.

    How long should I soak fruit for Christmas pudding?

    Unlike Mary Berry’s Christmas cake, the fruit in this recipe requires no soaking.

    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. 

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

    This recipe is from the Mary Berry Winter Cookbook eBook, published by DK, available from Amazon for £3.49
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