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figgy pudding with greenery

Traditional Figgy Pudding Recipe

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


Learn how to make figgy pudding, the Christmas dessert from Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, with this easy recipe.  Figgy pudding is an elegant English dessert that is made with dried fruit and brandy.  It’s a delicious treat you won’t want to miss!



For the Fruit Mixture

  • 1 3/4 cups mission figs, diced (250g)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (85g)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (85g)
  • 1/2 cup dried currants (85g)
  • 1/2 cup brandy (120 ml)

For the Cake Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (115g)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (150g)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (75g)
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (40g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (50g)


Prepare the Fruit & Basin (30 min + 1 hr soaking)

  1. Soak the fruit.  Dice the figs, then toss them with the raisins, golden raisins, currants, and brandy until well mixed.  Cover the fruit mixture and let stand for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  If you have the time, let the fruit stand overnight.
  2. Prepare the basin.  Lightly butter a 1.5-liter pudding basin and line its bottom with a circle of parchment paper.  If you don't have a basin, use a mixing bowl or other large bowl with a rim.
  3. Make the cover.  Cut a piece of aluminum foil and parchment paper large enough to cover the basin.  Place the parchment on top of the foil, then fold a 1-inch pleat in the center of the covering.

Making the Cake Batter (30 min)

  1. Cream the butter. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale, about 2 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  2. Add eggs.  Beat in the molasses, then the eggs in one at a time, adding a couple spoonfuls of flour with each egg to prevent the mixture from curdling.
  3. Add dry ingredients.  Fold the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, orange zest, and spices into the egg mixture until smooth and well blended.  Make sure there are no lumps of flour or other ingredients.
  4. Add the fruit.  Dump the chopped walnuts, the fruit mixture, and any remaining brandy into the cake batter.  Gently stir the batter until everything is well mixed, then pack the batter into the prepared basin.
  5. Cover.  Place the prepared cover parchment-side down on top of the basin.  Tightly tie a string under the rim of the basin, then make a string handle so you can lift the pudding out of the pot.  Roll up the edges of the foil and parchment to create a seal.

Steaming the Pudding (4 hrs)

  1. Make a steamer.  Bring a large kettle of water to a boil.  Place a metal jam jar lid on the bottom of a 6-quart Dutch oven and put the covered pudding on top of the lid.
  2. Steam.  Once the water has boiled, pour enough boiling water into the pot to go halfway up the basin.  Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and bring the pot to a full boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 4 to 5 hours.  Check every hour or so and top up the pot with fresh boiling water to keep the water level halfway up the basin.
  3. Check.  It's cooked when it is a dark brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Cool and age.  Let it cool uncovered until it's completely cool, about 6 to 8 hours.  Re-cover it with fresh parchment and foil, as you did earlier, and store in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks.  This aging time allows the pudding to develop a richer flavor.
  5. Reheat.  Just before serving, steam it again for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Turn it out onto the serving plate and peel off the parchment circle.
  6. Serve.  Pour warm brandy over the warm pudding and ignite it with a long kitchen match for a dramatic presentation of blue flames.  Once the flames die down, garnish with a holly sprig and serve with brandy butter.


  • Make the pudding at least 1 month ahead.  It will not taste good right away.
  • Soak the dried fruit for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, before adding it to the batter.
  • Check the pudding occasionally. You'll need to top up the pot with boiling water throughout the steaming process to keep the water level halfway up the basin.
  • The pudding is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Leftovers can be frozen, as long as they are well wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, and sealed inside of a plastic bag, for up to 1 year.
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: English

Keywords: figgy pudding recipe, traditional