Mary Berry’s Christmas pudding recipe

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Mary Berry's Christmas Pudding recipe is a timeless classic guaranteed to please the whole family. What better way to finish your festive feast than with a decadent and rich dessert?

Mary Berry’s Christmas Pudding recipe
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

Bursting with currants, 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 (opens in new tab) 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




  1. 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.
  2. Lightly butter a 1.25litre (2 pint) pudding bowl. Spoon in the pudding mixture and level the surface.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Cover the pudding with fresh greaseproof paper and foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months.
  7. 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.

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 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. 

This recipe is from the Mary Berry Winter Cookbook (opens in new tab) eBook, published by DK, available from Amazon for £3.49

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

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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.