Friday, December 17, 2010

Easy slow cooker Christmas pudding recipe

If I had known how easy making Christmas pudding was, I'd have done it years ago. Topping up boiling water for 8 hours in a steamy kitchen would be an enormous faff  UNLESS of course you had a trusty slow cooker! It's a doddle, definitely better than the shop bought version (which are pretty nice anyway) and you still have time to make one for next week. 15 minutes prep time and you're done with all the crowns and accolades that befit a domestic god or goddess coming your way....

By the way, I've only given this in metric as I suspect Christmas pudding is pretty much unknown outside the UK but if you need it in cups, let me know in comments and I'll do my level best ;>)

Credit for the majority of this recipe must go to Katie Bishop of the "Slow Cooking" book fame.

Ingredients for 8:

Butter for greasing
100g golden caster (or soft brown) sugar
100g light shredded suet
175g sultanas
175g raisins
100g currants
50 g plain flour
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
(25 g flaked almonds - I omitted these as my Dad can't have nuts)
Finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
small pinch salt
2 large eggs, beaten
75ml brandy (or rum) plus extra for soaking
2 pint pudding bowl
baking parchment
tin foil
string (about 1m)


Preheat the slow cooker to High (important step) and butter a 2 pint/1 litre pudding basin or pyrex bowl. Leave the bowl in the slow cooker to warm as you do your mixing so it won't crack with heat shock as it goes in.

Mix the dry ingredients together then stir in the eggs and brandy till well combined.

Spoon everything into the pudding basin (having removed it from the slow cooker).

Cover with a double layer of baking parchment then a layer of foil and tie the string to hold them on and to provide a handle for lifting the pudding into and out of the slow cooker. (See the photo)

Lower the pudding basin back into the slow cooker. Pour boiling water carefully around the edges until the basin is about 1/2 to 3/4 submerged.

Cook on High for about 8-10 hours, topping up water if necessary (it shouldn't be unless your slow cooker has a silly steam vent (which they shouldn't - I've covered mine with an elastoplast!)

Remove from the cooker, cool completely unless eating immediately and replace the parchment and foil with another clean set.

Store in the cupboard for up to 3 months, adding brandy or rum now and again if you'd like, although it's already pretty boozy without the extra feeding!

On Christmas Day, either repeat the cooking method, cooking for 4 hours on High or, far more sensibly, cook it for 5-7 minutes in the microwave depending on the strength of your microwave. We did it for 6 in our 800W.

Serve with brandy butter, cream, ice cream, custard or whatever your family likes. Obviously bring flaming to the table!


This was luscious! It was lighter in colour and in texture than the shop bought puddings I've had but the fruity and boozy flavours all came through and we thought it was fabulous. It has been eaten over the last few days in deference to the blog and it was so simple I whipped up another on for Christmas Day yesterday morning with a toddler around my ankles. It's worth noting that this really count as as baking and I am NOT a baker. It's that simple. May I have my domestic goddess crown now, please?

PS I actually made this one afternoon, left the bowl covered in the fridge over night then cooked it the next day so it is flexible if you don't want to make a pudding before work.


  1. Don't know if this is still an active blog or not but am going to post anyway :)
    I live in Prince Edward Island Canada and your English Christmas Pudding is certainly a well known thing here - but here it's called Plum Pudding. Yours is virtually the same receipe I have only here it's commom to also add a tsp of ground cloves.
    It's also called Christmas Pudding in Australia too.
    PS And both Canada and Australia use metric.

  2. Wow, I had no idea Christmas/plum pudding was known outside the British Isles! I guess it makes sense as it's a fairly old recipe and many of the first European settlers in both countries would have been British. I'm making a Carribean version this year...we'll have to see how that goes.

    Thank you for commenting. I'm currently not posting as I have a very small baby but I am still working on recipes and hope to resume blogging at some point in the new year. I read and post all comments submitted.

    Enjoy your pudding and have a very happy Christmas!

  3. Hi! Another Canadian here!! I'm definitely going to try the crock pot sounds dead easy! I can't locate your brandy butter it here someplace? I'd love to give it a go, as well. I usually top the pudding with what we call 'brown sauce'...basically butter, sugar,flour, water and vanilla. A dollop of brandy wouldn't go amiss! Thanks! :)

  4. The brown sauce sounds really good. I haven't posted brandy butter as I've not made it in years but there's a good recipe here:

    I haven't tried it but it's from the Beeb so should be trustworthy and it looks like the ones I've used in the past. Happy cooking!

  5. is a bowl better ? or would a enamel pudding basin work as well ? I've never made puddings but have a friend that I remember from years ago who has an old family heirloom (in Maine, USA) which she uses to make puddings. I've seen the enamel basins on one have to use the grease-proof paper (lining, topping), etc on those as well ?

  6. Ooh, this is a good question. I used a thick earthenware pudding basin - not a heritage one but very old-fashioned in style. I think, although I've never tried it, that an enamelled one would transfer the heat differently and result in a pudding that burnt on the outside rather than cooking evenly throughout. Cooked this way, the pudding has virtually no crust of any kind and all traditional English steamed puddings are cooked in earthenware as far as I know. Also, just to clarify, you only have to cover the bowl with parchment, not line it. Well-greased, the pudding shouldn't stick. Hope that helps and good luck finding a traditional pudding bowl. I see them a lot in thrift stores here so maybe that's worth a punt?

  7. Sorry, you can also use a pyrex bowl of the right shape.

  8. Busy Granny: So glad I found this site. Summer storm has 'fried' my electric cooktop and I have the C'mas pudding to do for the family get together. Horrors...little chance of replacement by 25/12. Then I pondered about the "crock pot" as an option and lo and behold here I am. Will use my old ex AWW recipe and see how it goes...using a pyrex basin.
    Brandy butter??? Cream approx 250gm butter with caster sugar till it tastes ok and is creamy (sorry...I never measure the sugar, just keep adding and tasting). Then mix in as much brandy as the mixture will 'hold',it depends on the amount of sugar you have used. That is, I stop either when it tastes ok or when it looks like there is a little brandy at the bottom of the bowl which is not being absorbed. Spoon into a nice serving bowl and refrigerate till needed. It melts beautifully over hot pud.
    And the real kicker? For brekky on 26/12, fry slices of cold pud in butter and serve w left over BB. The fried pud gets a toffee-ish coating being fried. I don't recommend driving soon after tho...not if your pud is as boozy as mine.
    merry Christmas ladies

  9. Christmas Pudding is very much known in Australia, but then we do have British roots. Going to try this recipe for my first attempt at Christmas Pudding.

  10. Could you put the ingredients together the night before ready to go into the slow cooker in the morning? I am thinking along the lines of going to be too busy in the morning (kiddies like you) to prepare and I need to have enough time for it to cool in the evening when it's done before it gets put away. How did you do it without having a very late night? PS - Sorry if it's a silly question.

  11. No, great question. I did exactly that, kept the pud in the fridge over night then started cooking it the next morning. It worked just fine.

    1. Great thanks :) I look forward to making it.

  12. Delighted to find this. I'm planning to make 2 puddings today - my mum's wonderful recipe from the 50s - but have only one big pot for steaming. Never thought about using my slow cooker. Thank you so much, and have a great Yule!

  13. Delighted to find this. Just about to make 2 puddings - my mum's wonderful recipe from the 50s - but have only one big pot for steaming. Never thought of using my slow cooker. Have a great Yule! :)

  14. Have never made an Xmas pudding before but this recipe looks manageable. Do you need to line the bowl with baking paper?

  15. No, just butter it well and it should be fine. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks. I made it last night, your recipe was very easy to follow. Seems to have come out well, hopefully, proof of the pudding etc...
      I have two more questions.
      1) Once it is cool, should I remove it from the bowl before covering in foil?
      2) I made it without alcohol and substituted with a little milk. Should I put it in the fridge?