Christmas Figgy Pudding

This is a Christmas Pudding without suet or added refined sugar.   It uses butter and date syrup/molasses instead   To be honest I don’t think that this makes Christmas Pudding more healthy but it tastes delicious and maybe you will feel these tweaks make it better for you   I alternate between my grandmothers recipe (which has suet and added sugar)  – Stir-up Sunday Part One Christmas Pudding and this one.  This year we will have two people round the table who are diabetic so maybe this recipe will allow them to have a little bit without feeling too guilty.

This recipe has the figs so often left out nowadays and always reminds me of the song, We wish you a merry Christmas, and in particular the verse “So bring out the figgy pudding”  To add to the old-fashioned feel I always add charms and, this year an old threepence and silver sixpence (washed and wrapped in baking parchment).  It adds to the excitement I think, for grown-ups and youngsters alike!    I make a variety of different sizes of puddings as so often a small homemade pudding is a great gift for couples or for those who go away to family/friends for lunch on the day and have no leftovers.  Cold pudding is wonderful fried up in lot of butter for Boxing Day breakfast or crumbled into softened icecream to make Christmas Icecream


Butter being added to pudding instead of suet


Ingredients (makes one large 8-10 people and one small 6 people pudding or a mixture of different sizes)

  • 350g raisins
  • 350g currants
  • 150g dried ready-to-eat figs, chopped
  • 125g candied peel, chopped
  • 125 dried ready-to-eat prunes
  • 75g glacé cherries, halved
  • 200ml sweet sherry
  • 50ml whisky
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 6 tbsp date syrup
  • 2 apples/quinces peeled, cored and grated
  • 6 eggs
  • 125g melted butter
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 175g self raising flour


  1. Put raisins, currants, figs, prunes, peel and cherries in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add sherry, whisky, orange zest and juice as well as the date syrup to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Cover and leave overnight
  4. The next day add the remaining ingredients and stir till everything is combined.
  5. With your family around starting from the West stir towards the East following the star following the direction of the three wisemen and make a wish.
  6. Put the mixture into buttered pudding bowls pushing in whatever charms/coins wrapped in greaseproof you wish
  7. Cover the bowls with pleated foil and greaseproof tied with string as per photo above.
  8. Put pudding on saucer or foil in a saucepan large enough to be able to have lid on with puddings inside.   Fill half way up the pudding with hot water and steam for 4 hours
  9. Allow to cool. Change the lid for fresh foil, greaseproof and string and store until Christmas Day somewhere cool or in the fridge.
  10. Steam for a further 3 hours on Christmas Day and turn out. Garnish with holly if liked.  Warm some whisky/brandy and set alight.  Serve with whisky butter (hard sauce) and cream.  Don’t forget to warn people about the charms


  1. What fun! I’ve only sung about figgy pudding all my life, but never actually seen one! It looks festive and luscious– just like a taste of Christmas… I wonder if I’m brave enough to try it? I’ve never steamed anything before. thanks thanks.

    • Lickthespoon says:

      Steaming is really easy. I cheat and when it’s simmering I put the covered pan in the oven on a low heat to do its thing. Means the water is less likely to evaporate and the kitchen doesn’t get “foggy”! Do try it I think you’ll be surprised at yourself.

      • What a great idea– out of the way and temperature controlled with out the steamy mess. I can tell you’re an experienced baker! So glad I found your blog… xo

      • Lickthespoon says:

        I am not sure if you are getting my replies. My name is Rosie and it’s lovely to know you Rhonda. I’d happily exchange emails with you but don’t like to presume. Hope you got my ramble on The Aviators Wife and pumpkin pie. My iPad seems to be very determined to do what it wants today!

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