Classic Christmas Pudding

A gloriously fruity, rich, homemade Christmas pudding is easier to make than you might think! Serve with the accompanying recipe for brandy and ginger butter for a Christmas dessert your whole family will love.


For the Christmas pudding

  • 50g blanched almonds, chopped
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 200g candied peel, chopped
  • 1 whole nutmeg (3/4 grated)
  • 1kg raisins
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g soft, white breadcrumbs
  • 100g light muscavado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp brandy or cognac
  • 250g butter, fridge cold

For the brandy & ginger butter

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • Zest of half an orange, grated
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp brandy or cognac
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped


  1. Mix together the almonds, apples, candied peel, nutmeg, raisins, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar and brandy (or cognac) in a large bowl. Grate a quarter of the butter into the bowl, then stir everything together. Repeat until all the butter is grated, then mix everything for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Now, generously butter two 1.2 litre bowls and put a circle of baking parchment in the bottom of each, then pack in the pudding mixture. Cover with a double layer of parchment, then tie with string, trimming off any excess paper.
  3. Now, stand each bowl on a large sheet of tin foil and bring the edges up over the top. Put another sheet of foil over the top, and bring it down underneath to make a double package. Tie with more string, making a handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan.
  4. Boil or steam the puddings for around 8 hours, topping up with water when you need to. Remove from the pans, and leave to cool overnight.
  5. Once cold, remove the wrappings and re-wrap in new baking parchment, foil and string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.
  6. To make the brandy butter, cream together the butter with the orange zest and icing sugar. Slowly beat in the brandy or cognac, along with the chopped ginger. Place in a bowl and store in a cool, pop in the fridge to set.
  7. On Christmas day, boil or oven steam the puddings for one hour, then unwrap and turn out. Serve with the brandy butter, and set the pudding alight by warming 3-4 tbsp brandy in a small pan, then pour over the pudding and set light to it.

Lead image: Linh Moran Photography via Getty images.