Christmas pudding, my favourite.  I have been cooking this recipe for the last few years and it is now a staple of Christmas day.  This is a Good House Keeping recipe which I have altered a little bit to suit us.  This recipe uses Guinness to give a deep and fuller flavour, the dark rum compliments this and I love the stickiness that the dates give the pudding.



  • 250 g dried fruit mix (I like to choose one that has orange peel in it)
  • 75 g each of four other types of dried fruit (this year I am using, big yellow sultanas, cranberries and two lots of dates)imag2225
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 250 ml Guinness
  • Butter, to grease
  • 75 g vegetarian suet
  • 100 g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 5 tsp each ground cinnamon and mixed spice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs



  1. Put the dried fruit, rum, Guinness, into a large non-metallic mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak for at least 48 hours, I find that the extra time for soaking means the fruit takes up more of the alcohol.
  2. Lightly butter a 1 litre (1¾ pint) pudding basin and line the base
    with a disc of baking parchment. Put a 35.5cm (14in) square of foil on top of a square of baking parchment of the same size. Fold a 4cm (1⅛in) pleat across the centre of both together and set aside.imag2230
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the soaked fruit, stirring well. Really make sure that you get everything mixed together well and dispersed nicely. Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin, pushing down well. Level the surface. Put the pleated foil and parchment square (foil-side up) on top of the basin and smooth down to cover. Tie a long piece of string securely under the lip of the basin.
  4. To cook, put a heatproof saucer in the base of a large, deep pan. Lower in the prepared pudding and pour in enough water to come half-way up sides of basin, trying not to get any on top of pudding. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then bring water to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 4½hr, topping up the water as necessary. Remove pudding from the pan and cool completely.imag2229
  5. When cool, wrap the entire basin, still with its foil lid, tightly in cling film and then another layer of foil. Store in a cool, dark place for up to two months


The Elf tip for this recipe is that you can use home brand dried fruit is just fine.  I also use a cheap dark rum because after all it is being cooked.  But, I always use branded Guinness and good quality golden syrup. 


Please do send me your recipes, I would love to try them!


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