Can you eat a Christmas pudding that is 3 years out of date?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat a Christmas pudding that is 3 years out of date?”, and how long does pudding last?

Can you eat a Christmas pudding that is 3 years out of date?

Yes, you can eat a Christmas pudding that is 3 years out of date. Soaked Christmas pudding made with dried fruits does not go bad for years unless you help it. As long as the Christmas pudding is stored correctly, you don’t have to worry about your pudding being spoiled. 

An aging time of 2-3 years is normal for Christmas pudding but you must always inspect the pudding for spoilage before you devour it.

How long does pudding last?

The shelf-life of the Christmas pudding is greatly determined by its ingredients. A pudding will inevitably have a shorter shelf-life if it contains fresh fruits or perishable ingredients like milk, eggs, etc. The following table compares the estimated shelf-life of pudding in the pantry and fridge. 

(Unopened)Pantry Fridge 
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Vanilla pudding 3-4 weeks 3-4 weeks 
Chocolate pudding 3-4 weeks 3-4 weeks 
Kraft’s dry pudding mix 4-5 weeks 
(Opened) Pantry Fridge 
Pudding prepared from dry mix 1 day 5-7 days 
Homemade pudding 1 day 5-7 days 

How to tell if the pudding is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Your senses are the best tools to identify a bad or rotten pudding. The first thing you may notice in a spoiled pudding is phase separation. This appears in the form of watery pockets all over the pudding. 

The phase separation is accompanied by a change in taste. A spoiled pudding exhibits a bitter taste. Another obvious sign of spoilage is the formation of mold patches or spots on the pudding. These spots or patches are colored and cannot go unnoticed.

A spoiled dry pudding mix develops clumps and sometimes colored moldy patches. As long as the pudding mix is dry and within the expiry date, it is safe to use.

Do I need to make my Christmas pudding ahead of time?

Traditionally, Christmas pudding has to be made on the stir-up Sunday(the last Sunday before the main event. But it is not a compulsion. Some people would tell you that the Christmas pudding that was allowed to mature for weeks has a better taste.

It may or may not be true because the freshly cooked Christmas pudding tastes just as delicious as the pudding that was allowed to develop and mellow. You can even make the Christmas pudding on Christmas if you could not find time to do it earlier. 

Spices for a Christmas pudding 

Spices are the essence of the Christmas pudding. Without the spices, the Christmas pudding is a plain sponge with lots of dried fruits and nothing is exciting about that. 

For ease, you can work with store-bought mixed spice powder. If you are in your creative mood, find spices and aromatics that best complement the fruits in the pudding. For example, you can pair Cloves with apples, fennel seeds with dried figs, and cinnamon with clementine.

Do I need to soak the fruit for a Christmas pudding?

The soaking step is optional since the heat and steam during the cooking do the same job. The cooking process of Christmas pudding is such that it plumps up the fruits which enables them to absorb more booze.

What’s the best sugar for a Christmas pudding?

Dark soft brown or dark muscovado sugars are the top picks for sweetening your Christmas pudding. The molasses content of these sugars adds a whole lot of flavor and depth to the Christmas pudding.

What’s the best booze for a Christmas pudding?

Rum, brandy, whisky are more traditional picks for Christmas pudding. But you can also use Cointreau, cider or perry, etc. Do not use cream liqueurs because they do not fit in.

How do I make a lighter Christmas pudding?

If you are not a fan of rich and heavy Christmas puddings, try making a steamed sponge something like this

How do I reheat a Christmas pudding?

You can reheat your pudding in a steamer or a microwave. Replace the old lid with a fresh piece of parchment paper and secure it with a kitchen tie. Microwave on medium for 3-5 min depending on basin size, until the pudding is piping hot in the center.  

To check for doneness, insert a metal skewer into the center of the pudding. If it comes out clean, the pudding is ready. Alternatively, you can rely on a thermometer that reads at least 65-70C.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat a Christmas pudding that is 3 years out of date?”, and how long does pudding last?

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.