Heritage Christmas Pudding Recipe

This delicious, traditional Christmas Pudding recipe, given to me by a close friend, has been passed down through 6 generations of her family and she now makes it with her children. It's rich with black treacle, brandy and Guinness, but lightened by carrot, orange and breadcrumbs.

The recipe was originally written by Rose Creed and she gave explicit instructions to mix the pudding on Stir Up Sunday, the last Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent, although if you've missed that, there's still time.  

It's the perfect job for a cosy weekend, so make sure you're happy to stay in and tend the pudding as it cooks. It takes a minimum of 12 hours for the initial cook, so get settled in and winter cosy.

I'm very grateful to Alison to be able to share their family recipe here. The recipe sheet I'm copying from is stained with the splatters and spills of generations which makes it even more wonderful.  

Our picture is of this year's pudding, made by Isobel and Thomas aged 8 (with just a little help from their mother).


Makes two 2 litre sized Christmas puddings.
  • 225g sultanas
  • 225g currants
  • 225g raisins
  • 112g glace cherries
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 225g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 tbsp black treacle
  • 225g chopped nuts
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 1/2 pint/285ml Guinness
  • 225g beef suet (replace with vegetable suet if you wish)
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp each mixed spice and cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Grated rind 1 orange


  • Add the fruit, breadcrumbs, flour, suet, sugar and nuts to a good-sized bowl.
  • Grate the carrot and add to the mixture with the treacle, spices and salt.
  • Beat the eggs and add.
  • Chop and add the glace cherries.
  • And the Guinness and brandy and orange rind.
  • Stir thoroughly.
  • Leave overnight.
  • Grease two 2 litre heatproof pudding basins and fill with mixture. (Not plastic or you'll be left with a sorry plastic and pudding mess in the bottom of the pan.)
  • Cover pudding with greaseproof paper and then cover with a cloth and tie with string.
  • Place the pudding bowl in a saucepan and add about an inch of water so that when it boils it doesn't quite reach the lid.
  • Bring the water to the boil and simmer for at least 12 hours. Keep topping up the simmering water and be careful not to let it boil dry.  Do not stint on this stage - it's the extended cooking time which makes the pudding so unctuous. 
  • Keep in a cool dry place until ready to finish cooking for Christmas lunch.
  • When needed, simmer again for a further 5 hours.

Serve with brandy butter or brandy ice cream.

Note:  This pudding will safely keep for at least 6 months.

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