19 December 2006 ~ 33 Comments

Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe

This was my Great Grandmother’s recipe, and I am honoured to continue the tradition of making it for my family every year. I hope that one day, my children will continue this tradition.

As a child, on Christmas Day, we went to Gramma Katie’s farm, and she had always made the most beautiful meal, complete with about six desserts including this one. As children, we were never really all that fond of the pudding, but we did like the brown sugar sauce and ice cream which Gramma served with it! Nowadays, my husband and I practically fight over the left over pudding! It really is a special Christmas treat!

Traditional Christmas Pudding (Also called Carrot Pudding)

1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Dates
1 cup Currants
1 cup Margarine* (scant β€” just under 1 cup)
1 cup Shredded Carrot
1 cup Grated Potato
1 1/4 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 pinch Salt

* Traditionally Suet would have been used instead of Margarine


Mix all the ingredients together in large bowl
Cover the bowl with tinfoil
Steam for 3 hours**
** To steam the pudding, you can use a large pot with a small amount of water in the bottom. We use an inverted pyrex bowl in the bottom of the pot to keep the bowl with the pudding above the level of the water. Cover the pot, and cook on medium heat (keep water to a low boil) Make sure you continue to carefully add small amounts of water to the pot so that it doesn’t boil dry over the 3 hours steaming time.

Serve with a Brown Sugar Sauce or Custard.

33 Responses to “Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe”

  1. glenda mckay 28 November 2007 at 8:32 am Permalink

    The recipe sounds lovely and relatively easy…even I can do that! Do you also have a recipe for Brown Sugar Sauce? or custard?
    Thank you!
    Have a great day!

  2. Tara Jannison 18 December 2007 at 6:33 pm Permalink

    do you have the recipe for the brown sugar sauce?

  3. Cat 18 December 2007 at 7:32 pm Permalink

    Basically, you just melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat in a sauce pan, and let it “caramelize” then add water, and let it sort of thicken stirring it often so it doesn’t scald. I am sorry, this is a really basic description of how to do it, but I don’t make the sauce very often..I let my Mom do that part πŸ˜‰

    My husband also likes to have his pudding with Devon Custard on it. I think this is the “British way” of serving Christmas Pud!

    Personally, I like mine with ice cream on it and Brown Sugar Sauce! Really good, and of course, calorie free πŸ˜‰

  4. Helen 20 December 2007 at 6:37 am Permalink

    The only thing that’s missing is alcohol – a traditional Christmas pudding would have both brandy and some sort of Stout (such as Guinness).

    In the UK generally you’d eat Christmas Pudding with either Whipped Cream (sometimes flavoured with whiskey or brandy) or Brandy Butter which is a fairly hard butter with lots of brandy! Personally I think that cold, whipped cream contrast beautifully with the rich, alcoholic taste of the pudding (no actual alcohol left as it’s cooked off).

  5. KAte 13 November 2008 at 1:22 pm Permalink

    Thanks – I have been looking for this vegetable based pudding – had one once many years ago.
    Can you make this pudding in advance of Christmas? and if so how do you store/reheat?

  6. Cat 13 November 2008 at 8:17 pm Permalink

    This pudding is WONDERFUL! And it *is* Christmas to me! It is also easy, and stores well.

    Yes, you can make it in advance, and freeze it until needed. We had some left-overs in July! As long as it is well wrapped and air tight, it should store frozen for many months.

    To re-heat, just thaw it out, and either re-steam it, or microwaving it is also fine, just make sure it doesn’t get too dry.

    My husband is Scottish, so he likes his served with with custard, but I prefer brown sugar sauce and ice cream! Enjoy, and Merry Christmas! I can’t wait to make my puddings! This recipe will make 2 smaller puddings or one large.

  7. Cat 13 November 2008 at 8:20 pm Permalink

    Oh, and as a follow-up to some previous posts, I honestly don’t think this pudding is missing out lacking in alcohol. I prefer it without. Then again, I am not really a drinker except for the odd glass of red wine!

    These puddings can be wrapped up in beautiful coloured cellophane to make a nice hostess gift, teacher gift or make one for yourself and put it under your own tree..frankly, I have a hard time giving this stuff away!!!

  8. KAte 14 November 2008 at 4:34 am Permalink

    Thanks for that, and last question, do you use self raising flour or plain?

  9. Cat 14 November 2008 at 6:42 am Permalink

    Regular white flour πŸ™‚ Let me know how they turn out! I know you will love them..if you have anymore questions, let me know Kate!

  10. VG 20 November 2009 at 12:11 am Permalink

    This recipe sounds delicious and so simple. How long will this keep? I definitely would love to try it out this Christmas, so how much in advance can I make it?

  11. Catherine Robertson 20 November 2009 at 6:00 am Permalink

    I’m not too sure how long it would keep. I am going to guess and say about a week? It is a wonderful, traditional Christmas recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Ruth 12 December 2009 at 3:39 am Permalink


    I usually make a traditional style Christmas Pudding without alcohol, but having lost the recipe, thought I might try yours. However, my family always fight over the whole glace cherries in my usual recipe and I wonder whether you think it would be ok to add these to your ingredients.

  13. Catherine Robertson 12 December 2009 at 6:51 am Permalink

    The cherries would be just fine. Also, yes it is an extremely easy carrot pudding. I might cut back on the sugar in it this year – it is very sweet, especially when served with brown sugar sauce πŸ™‚

    Happy cooking!

  14. Zappy 15 December 2009 at 7:50 am Permalink


    Is it impossible to make without a steamer???? In an oven maybe????

  15. Catherine Robertson 15 December 2009 at 7:25 pm Permalink

    Can anyone else speak to the previous comment? I have never done it any other way. I think the oven would dry it out too much…

  16. Ruth H 22 December 2009 at 2:07 pm Permalink

    Hi All,
    My mom makes this pudding with a few additions: whole almonds and she adds rum flavouring to the brown sugar sauce.
    She also steams the pudding in quart sealers jars (like for pickles, jam etc) and we have found the pudding will keep a few months. Longer than that and the nuts go rancid. She has also frozen uncooked pudding storing in the deep freeze, longest being 3 years and it turns out beautifully!
    Mom on occasion has added the glaced cherries, they are a nice option.
    I understand about fighting over the leftovers…it is the one thing my husband looks forward to every Christmas.

  17. Ruth H 22 December 2009 at 2:22 pm Permalink

    Sorry I forgot to mention mom also adds the following spices:
    1/2 tsp each of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
    If you are interested I would share her full recipe with you.

  18. Jim 15 October 2010 at 7:30 pm Permalink

    I Have been making the pudding for years. My recipe is triple what is shown here. I also add cherries, (cut in half, and mixed peel). Because it is more than most puddings, I can it in glass quart jars. When it is canned, the jars are only filled to 2/3 full, as the pudding expands when cooked. (I learned the hard way, I had the jars explode in my water bath caner). The pudding is cooked for 3 hours, with the water in the caner, 2/3 of the way up the jars. Keeps well in the jars for about 18 months.

  19. Lorna-Mae van Kley 13 December 2010 at 3:25 am Permalink

    my mom made a pudding just like this that we always had at Christmas time. She would make a large amount and I understand it was quite hard to stir it and can it in sealer jars so then we always had some for the holidays especially Christmas. We always served ours with Bird’s custard sauce and just a little bit was so rich and yummy. My mom has been gone now 4 years and I found one of the jars I canned 2 years ago and am looking forward to enjoying it on Christmas. We don’t use nuts so then you don’t have to worry about anyting going rancid.

  20. KATHRINE WALSH 20 December 2010 at 11:24 pm Permalink

    Pudding sounds great, but was wondering do you see the carrot and potato throughout?also would the addition of some brandy make pudding too soggy?Do you use plain or SR flour?thank you

  21. Ruth 28 October 2011 at 6:33 pm Permalink

    I have used every word I can think of to google a dessert my Mom made for Holidays.
    Maybe someone here will remember back in the 50’s this recipe.
    She would buy a can that had an uncooked spicy pudding cake in it, she would leave the can closed and put it in water and boil it. When it was done she would let it cool, then open it, put it on a plate, then she would make different sauces to put on top.

    Does anyone remember this? You can email me, just make the title Pudding Cake, then I will know it’s safe to open. Thanks

  22. kay 17 November 2011 at 12:57 pm Permalink


  23. Sydna 18 December 2011 at 12:14 am Permalink

    Ruth, I wonder if you are thinking of cans of Boston Brown Bread?

  24. M J M 7 August 2012 at 12:00 pm Permalink

    In answer to Zappy’s question. I should think that you could steam it in an oven. put the ‘tin-foiled’ pudding basin in a 9×13 baking pan,or casserole dish, add boiling water as much as is possible , and cover very tightly with several layers of foil. check every once in a while. about 275 or 300 as long as the water simmers you will be ok. I also imagine you could make it in a small casserole dish.

  25. Karen 15 December 2012 at 10:36 pm Permalink

    our family has made this for years but my mom threw the recipe out!!!!! Thank you so much for posting this one. My mom always canned hers and that’s what I do too. That way I can have some whenever I am craving the magic of Christmas throughout the year!!!!

  26. Deb Weyrich-Cody 14 September 2015 at 2:28 am Permalink

    Sorry, I’m a little late to the party here; but our family has had Carrot Pudding at Christmas for as long as I can remember. Our recipe used duet and also contained cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. To cook the puddings, we used well-greased Campbell’s soup cans (2/3 full) covered tightly with foil and then steamed in the oven – in a Bain Marie/ water bath – with at least 1″ of hot water up the side of the tins for 2-3 hours until done.
    I’ve also been lucky enough to find one of these tucked away in the bottom of the freezer years later and it was still absolutely delicious… (Especially when served with what we called Hard Sauce: butter and brown sugar browned until almost burnt; hot water to dilute, then thickened with corn starch and flavoured with vanilla or (my personal favourite; ) rum.

  27. Chrystal in Canada 1 November 2015 at 8:44 pm Permalink

    Made this today at my husband’s encouragement. It was veeeerrrry nice! Moist sweet rich and buttery. Thank you Cat.

  28. Sharron 27 November 2015 at 2:18 pm Permalink

    I love this pudding mine is the same only I add cherries and peal. I serve mine with lemon pie filling mix. Do not use the eggs and cut down the sugar a bit and maybe a bit more water. Then use a bit of cream or ice cream on top of lemon. Makes mouth after, I give for Christmas .

  29. Judy 14 December 2015 at 6:25 pm Permalink

    This is the exact recipe my mom made with suet and served it with Carmel sauce. Thank you so much

  30. Stephan 19 January 2017 at 1:59 am Permalink

    I have my Great Aunt’s recipe for this. From England, written in fountain pen. Her instructions used a spoonful of butter about the size of a small egg. I steam mine in a pressure cooker for 1 1/2 hours and soak the raisins in a pan with just enough water to cover them including a teaspoon of brandy. Heat it to warm and soften the raisins. Served with hard sauce. These are real savory treats.

  31. hm 21 July 2017 at 6:07 pm Permalink

    Our family has made this carrot pudding for 2 generations, and we serve it with Foamy Sauce (which is to die for ). My QUESTION; I have just finished canning 4 qts for 3 hrs, but part of the time the water was below a light bubble. Now, The lids have clicked. But as I look at the bottom of 3 jars, they look too moist. I believe they are not cooked well enough. WHAT DO I DO? If I process them longer, the clicked lids will unseal. I would love some advise Just As Soon As POssible, if someone can HELP Me? THANK YOU.

  32. Brian 10 November 2017 at 8:35 pm Permalink

    Hello, thank you for sharing your Great Grandmother’s recipe. I found it when searching for a non-alcohol pudding recipe. I made my pudding today, and I used the pressure cooker to steam it. It took one hour, compared to the usual six that I spend when using a regular pot. In the past, I’ve made puddings with rum or brandy. Today, I decided against using either because of small children who might be having this (I realize alcohol gets cooked off at a certain temperature, but I decided to go without this year.) Then, after I covered it and put in the fridge, I wondered if the lack of alcohol will affect how well it ages. Do you think it will be OK (not growing any bad stuff), or should I re-steam it once in a while? A chef once told me that the alcohol helps to preserve the pudding. I just don’t want to take a chance of any mold, etc. Thank you very much.

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