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Christmas Pudding

The last Sunday before Advent is traditionally the day for making your Christmas pudding, and known as “Stir-up Sunday”. Why not try our Christmas pudding and get the family together in the kitchen, get everyone to take their turn with mixing and making a wish?


Place all the dried fruit and chopped peel into a bowl and cover in the brandy and stout. Cover with a wax wrap or plate and leave to soak overnight.

Beat the eggs and sugar together and then fold in the flour, baking powder, spices, suet and salt. Add the milk, soaked fruit and almonds to this mix then fold in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and juice.

Place the mixture into a large heat proof pudding basin, covered with a double layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil. Tie securely with string, making a handle over the top for easy manoeuvring.

Steam or boil for around four hours, it is really important not to undercook the pudding as the more you cook it, the darker the pudding you will get.

Once ready, allow the pudding to cool and then remove the greaseproof and foil from the pudding basin and replace with new, making another string handle. Cover and keep in a cupboard, or a cool place away from the light, for a minimum of three weeks. I have one ready and waiting from last year!

For a really grown up version of this, try swapping the sugar for treacle and putting in a good pinch of hot cayenne pepper or chilli powder!

To heat your pudding through on Christmas day, steam or boil for a further 2 hours.

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  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 125g currants
  • 90g candied peel chopped
  • 150ml cider brandy
  • 75ml dark stout
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 70g dark muscovado sugar
  • 70g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon mixed spice
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 250g suet
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75ml milk
  • 70g flaked almonds
  • 250g fresh breadcrumbs
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage HQ