Yuletide Plum Pudding Recipe

Nothing expresses the Yuletide season in jolly old England like a traditional plum pudding! Because they are steamed, plum puddings are meltingly moist and flavorful, dark, rich, and spicy. This fragrant version calls for a little Guinness stout as well as the traditional plump fruits and healthful nuts.

Plum Pudding isn’t hard to make (although it looks like it should be: the first time she made one, Cait’s family raved about the flavor and the moistness, and she couldn’t believe how easy it was to do!) This is the dessert immortalized by Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol; when you serve it with a flourish, you and your family will share one of the great pleasures of a Dickensian Yuletide.


2 cups raisins
1 cup prunes, chopped
3/4 cup currants
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup mixed candied citrus peel
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
8 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch of sea salt

1. In a ceramic bowl, combine the raisins, prunes, currants, golden raisins, and Guinness and allow the mixture to steep, covered, overnight.

2. Next morning, place the Guinness-fruit mixture in a large bowl and combine with the flour, brown sugar, citrus peel, chopped almonds, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine the bread crumbs, butter, eggs, and sea salt. Add this mixture to the ingredients in the large bowl and mix well.

4. Generously butter a 1 1/2 quart pudding mold or a heat-proof bowl. Spoon the batter into the mold and cover with a lid or with buttered parchment or aluminum foil tied onto the bowl with string.

5. Place a rack in a deep soup pot with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the mod when it’s set on the rack. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat and steam pudding for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Allow it to cool until just warm, then unmold.

6. Serve decorated with sifted confectioner’s sugar and a sprig of holly, or with a splash of warm brandy (light it for a fabulous flaming effect!), or with hard sauce, or surrounded by greens with a lit candle on top.

Serves 8.

And have a Merry Yuletide!

Inspired by Witch in the Kitchen, by Cait Johnson (Inner Traditions, 2001).

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Jennifer C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Great recipe. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy4 years ago

Mmmmmmmmmmm, thanks

Amber B.
Amber B.4 years ago

i decided to try my hand at "plum pudding" last winter and used your recipe with some very slight tweaking in terms of which fruits i used. decided to have it at home, just me and my husband, since i'd never tried making one before, wasn't sure i'd get it right, and didn't want to use my family as guinea pigs. it was easy, and even on my first try, i got it right! definitely making more of these this year...some people will be getting these as gifts.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago


Susan M.
Susan Miller4 years ago

I make my own too .. but there is no where NEAR enough spice in this recipe !!! Also .. the length of time simmering or in the steamer is really important! Christmas Puddings are supposed to be almost black in colour - so 6 hours is better. It will then be ready to either eat at once or more traditionally, allowed to cool, recovered with new buttered parchment and foil, and kept until Christmas day. It will keep for a year or so too in a cool spot out of the sun!! Just open it up and add a splash of brandy, whisky or better yet bourbon to the wizened pud - cover and re simmer for a couple of hours. It will be fantastic! And make a nice hard sauce with fresh butter, fine sugar, and bourbon. Put in fridge to harden .. and enjoy !!!

Philippa P.
Philippa P.5 years ago

I just love plum pudding.

Jermmy Snape
Past Member 5 years ago

This is a delicious recipe. I am giving a thought of trying my hands on it on Saturday. Hope to make a great pudding.
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Heather B.
Past Member 5 years ago

Sounds delicious; thank you, Cait.

Frank Stokes
Frank Stokes7 years ago

I've made this recipe several times now - it's delicious! Thanks, Cait!