Christmas is coming

In our family the first signs that Christmas is near is when I dust off the pudding bowl and get stuck into making the annual Christmas pudding.

We all gather round for the ‘great family stirring’ of the Christmas pudding. It is the first of our annual holiday traditions and a fun way to kick off the Christmas season. The kids love it and it fills the house with those wonderful spicy Christmas smells.

Put on a few old Bing Crosby Christmas hits and you will be right in the mood.

Here’s how it goes:

Once all the deliciously fragrant ingredients are all mixed together in a bowl, line up all your family members, from youngest to oldest so that everyone can have a stir. Everyone needs to stir the pudding from East to West (in honour of the three wisemen who travelled in this direction to find the baby Jesus), close their eyes and make a wish.

A Christmas wish and a Christmas dessert — what a great way to start the holidays.

Stir-up Sunday

The traditional day to make pudding is Stir-Up Sunday, which this year is on 20th November, but don’t worry if you have missed that date. It is not to late to pull together a pudding that will taste AMAZING come Christmas day. (And of course a million times better than anything shop bought!) The great news is that Christmas pudding is really easy to make you just need to be a little bit organised and have a few hours to sit by while your pudding steams.

I highly recommend you to give it a go. Maybe you’ll even start a new family Christmas tradition of your own.

Vegan Christmas Pudding (with Guinness)


  • 140 g sultanas
  • 140g raisins
  • 140g currants
  • 140g chopped dates
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 1 large granny smith apple (peeled and chopped)
  • zest of an orange
  • zest of a lemon
  • 250ml Guinness or other Stout
  • 70g coconut oil, soft (or vegan butter, melted)
  • 100g rapadura sugar
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs (I use whole wheat bread)
  • 50g self raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ginger
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 ‘flax egg’, (1 Tbs flax meal mixed with 3 Tbs water — let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 2 Tbs applesauce


  • Add the dried fruit, apple and zests to a bowl, pour in the Guinness and leave to soak overnight
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients
  • Combine the coconut oil, the fruit mix, applesauce and flax egg and then add to the dry ingredients
  • Stir well (and give the family a go, as above)
  • Pour the mix into a greased pudding basin
  • Cover the pudding basin with a sheet of baking paper, followed by a sheet of foil — tie on with string under the lip of the basin
  • Place the pudding on a saucer in a large saucepan and pour in boiling water to half way up the basin
  • Put the lid on the saucepan, turn the heat to low and gently steam for around six hours
  • Don’t forget to top up the water level every now and then as you don’t want it to run dry
  • Once your pudding is steamed, let it cool then store in a cool dark place until you are ready to eat.
  • On Christmas day, reheat by steaming for an hour, or you can take off the foil, and pop it in the microwave for 10 minutes

A word of caution… take care where you put your pudding. Learn from my mistake — do not place it on the floor at the back of your pantry where your lovely new puppy can get her little snout into it!

p.s. Luckily I caught her before she could do too much damage. I was able to salvage the pudding by scraping off the top layer. Shhh, don’t tell any of my Christmas guests, they will never know…

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