Rachel Allen's Christmas pudding

Add cranberries to this the traditional pudding for a refreshingly zingy flavour
By Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen's Christmas pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-12
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: easy


  • 100 g raisins
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 100 g mixed candied peel, chopped
  • 100 g currants
  • 100 g stoned dates, halved
  • 100 ml Irish whiskey, plus extra for serving
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 cooking apples, unpeeled and grated
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice only
  • 6 tbsp golden syrup
  • 10 whole almonds
  • 200 g butter, chilled and grated
  • 180 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 230 g gluten-free flour, or 250g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 or whole nutmeg, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Tips and Suggestions

If not serving the pudding immediately, remove the parchment papers and cover with new, dry pieces and store in a cool, dark place.


1. Place the raisins, sultanas, cranberries, candied peel, currants and dates into a pan with the whiskey and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool for at least one hour.

2. Mix the ground almonds, apples and lemon zest and juice together in a bowl.

3. Pour three tablespoons of golden syrup each into two 1 litre pudding basins and arrange 5 almonds each and a few pieces of soaked fruit decoratively on top.

4. Using a wooden spoon, beat the grated butter, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

5. Spoon the pudding mixture into the pudding basins and smooth out. Gently bang the bowls on a hard work surface to release any air bubbles.

5. Cut two rounds of parchment paper to fit neatly over the top of the puddings, then cut out two more rounds 5mm wider than the rim of the basin. Place them over the basin and tie with a long piece of string under the lip of the bowl and over the top again. Tie at the other side to make a handle.

6. Place the basins into a large pan each and carefully pour hot water around the puddings to come three-quarters of the way up the sides. Cover and steam for 3 hours, or until the puddings are cooked through and springy to the touch, keeping the water in the saucepan topped up all the time.

7. Remove the puddings from the water and allow to cool. Turn out onto a serving dish, pour over a little whiskey and carefully set alight. Allow to flambé, until the flame goes out. Serve with toffee sauce.

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