Christmas Pudding Recipes for Stir Up Sunday

Thursday 20 November 2014
Stir up Sunday is fast approaching (23rd Noverber 2014). I must admit to never having heard of it until I started food blogging and assumed it was something developed by supermarket PR departments! However apparently it dates back to Victorian times and falls on the last Sunday before advent. A tradition of the Anglican Church coming from a passage in the Book Of Common Prayer. 

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Following the Sunday Service the family would leave church to go home and teach the children how to stir up the ingredients for the pudding. Everyone gets a turn to mix, and an opportunity to make a wish. Stirring should be done East to West in honour of the Three Wise Men who came to visit baby Jesus. Breaking with tradition we've already eaten one Christmas pudding and made another for Christmas day!
A boozy pudding arrived in the post from Chef Neil Forbes at Cafe St Honore. These are available to buy in his Edinburgh restaurant for £12.50 but he's also shared the recipe if you fancy making your own. 

Neil Forbes, Cafe St Honoré 
Christmas Pudding
Serves 4 (1 pudding)

125g sultanas
125g currants
125g raisins
20g glacé cherries, chopped
20g mixed peel
½ bramley apple, grated
20g carrot, grated
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
40g prunes, stoned and chopped
50g plain flour
20g ground almonds
60g bread crumbs
1tbsp milk
50g soft dark brown sugar
75g proper beef suet
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
Pinch each of salt, mixed spice and cinnamon
Glug each of brandy, sherry and rum
4 tbsp stout

Place the sultanas, currants and raisins in a large bowl. Add the alcohol and leave to soak overnight.
Line a 2 pint pudding basin with muslin, leaving enough spare to tie at the top.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of soaked fruit and mix well.
Fill the lined pudding basin with the mix and tie up the muslin with a piece of string.
Gently steam the pudding for 2 hours in a lidded pot (water covering half the pudding basin). Don’t allow to boil dry.
Before serving, check that the centre of the pudding is piping hot.
Serve with brandy sauce or pouring cream.
Of course in the interests of food blogging we had to try out the pudding in advance of Christmas so steamed it up and served it with custard for Sunday lunch desert. No point in doing it half heartedly though so the brandy was unearthed from the back of the drinks cabinet and the pud was duly set alight. It was amazingly fruity, suitably boozy, moist, unctuous and perfectly spiced. We all loved it, even girl who is a devotee to her granny's one.
Now to my own Christmas Pudding. This is the one that my Mum has made for as long as I can remember. I assumed that it was my Grandma Monearns Recipe (she of the famous shortbread) however upon quizzing turns out that it might have come via my Mum's Auntie Mabel. Whatever the source it's a great pudding. Really quick and easy to make and nice and light and most suitable for an all year round steamed pud, not just at Christmas. Boy and Girl were in charge of making it this year with girl having the particularly important job of wrapping and hiding the charms. We all had a go at stirring and made our Christmas wishes.
Seven Cup Christmas Pudding

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup shredded suet
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon 

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the milk and beaten egg.
Pour into a well greased 3 pint pudding bowl. 
Cover with greaseproof paper and tin foil and steam in a lidded pan for 3-4 hours. Don't allow it to boil dry.
Freezes well so can be made in advance and steamed again on the big day to reheat. 

I made a steamed marmalade pudding at one of my AGA demonstrations a couple of weeks ago. When I came to remove it from the pan a couple of the attendees were very impressed with how I'd given it a string handle to make it easier to remove. I think it may have been the top tip that they took away from the event! This is the way I've always seen my mum do it so I just do the same. Sheet of tinfoil and a sheet of baking/greaseproof paper. Fold a pleat in the top to allow for expansion. Tie beneath the rim of the bowl with a double length of string then make a handle over the top to lift in and out of the pan. Simples!

With pudding made and in the freezer it seems an opportune time to reveal the festive version of my logo which has been pimped up with a bit of Christmas bling by my fab designer Camilla at
All together now, best singing voices. We all want a figgy pudding...


  1. We certainly do! I'm curious as to why you freeze your puddings - I have frozen left over pudding but never in advance because they keep so well. Am I doing it all wrong?! Thanks so much for linking to #FestiveFriday at my place - I will pop back as the 'other me' to link some veggie dishes up on your lovely linky! :-)

    1. I freeze the 7 cup pudding because it is a much lighter version rather than more traditional ones. I'm not sure how well it would keep otherwise. Delia suggests keeping them under the bed! Perhaps I should experiment?

  2. Auntie Mabel sounds like a total gem, easy cup version is such a good idea. PS I love your logo all the time, but with a festive twist? Oh yes!

    Thanks for linking to #festivefoodfriday xx

    1. I'm loving my festive twist too! Do let me know if you give the 7 cup pudding a try. Is great for life - not just for Christmas!

  3. LOVE your festive logo Claire and I also LOVE this post and recipe too......MY puddings will be steaming merrily on my AGA soon, I missed Stir-UP Sunday as we had friends over, but this week they will be made! Karen

    1. Thanks Karen, I'm resisting temptation to not use the Pudding logo elsewhere until 1st December. Happy steaming this week!

  4. The problem here is deciding which Christmas Pudding to make!! Thanks for the tip about the string too. I've seen it done before but had no idea how to do it myself so that's really useful.

    I love your Christmas logo (actually I liked it so much I've asked Camilla for a quote for branding my website as it's in desperate need of it).

    If you're interested, I've got a festive food linkup running on my blog at the moment and I'd love it if you'd come and join. It's at if you want to take a look.


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