Liz’s traditional Christmas pudding recipe

4-8 depending on portion size


  • 250g raisins
  • 140g currants
  • 80g sultanas
  • 80g mixed peel
  • 55g soft dark brown or Muscovado sugar
  • 170g plain flour
  • 110g suet (beef or vegetarian)
  • 55g mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225ml whole milk
  • 224ml ale or Guinness
  • 2 generous tbsp brandy
  • 2 generous tbsp sherry
Liz Christmas pudding recipe liz earle wellbeing

Liz says: This traditional Christmas pudding recipe has been in my family for generations. It was officially written down in my grandmother’s kitchen notebook in 1917, but the recipe was in use much earlier than this. I still use it every year. The only change I’ve made is the addition of a few more almonds, not so widely available back then. I love these healthy nuts and the contrasting texture they add to the fruit. This Christmas pudding is moist, fruity, spicy and very rich. Use half the spice for a milder flavour.


  1. Mix together all the dried fruit in a large bowl.Pour over the ale, brandy and sherry and leave overnight to steep. Feel free to substitute with whatever you have to hand – I’ve successfully used ginger wine, cherry brandy and whisky.
  2. In your biggest mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, suet, chopped almonds and mixed spice.
  3. Beat the eggs and stir into the flour mixture, mixing until smooth, then add the milk bit by bit while you continue stirring until it is all incorporated.
  4. Finally, add the soaked dried fruit and take time to mix thoroughly. This is the moment to enlist the family’s help – take turns to stir and make a Christmas wish!
  5. Put into a well buttered pudding bowl, approximately 1 litre in capacity, seal with a ‘lid’ of cut greaseproof paper or a butter wrapper, placed butter-side down on the top of the pudding.) Seal the top of the pudding bowl with tin foil and stand the bowl in a large saucepan of water (taking care the water does not spill over the top of the pudding).
  6. Place a lid on the saucepan and boil for six hours (yes six!) Keep an eye on the hob and top up with water to prevent the pan boiling dry.
  7. Take the basin out of the water and leave to cool for 20 minutes, then replace the greaseproof paper and foil with fresh paper and foil. You can then place the bowl into the freezer, or store in a cool, dry place (a larder or store-cupboard is ideal) until Christmas Day. To keep the pudding extra moist, you may wish to feed it with 1 tbsp brandy every couple of weeks. To reheat, steam it in its original bowl on the hob for an hour, or microwave on high for 4 minutes (be sure to remove the foil!).