Does Christmas pudding go off?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does Christmas pudding go off?”, and how to store the Christmas pudding once cooked?

Does Christmas pudding go off?

Christmas pudding does not go off unless you help it. Booze-soaked Christmas puddings last for years if kept in a cool and dark place. The older the pudding, the higher the chances of it drying out and losing flavor. 

In a study, the concentration of ethanol in common Christmas puddings ranged from 0.260 to 1.685 g per 125 mg slice (1). This is enough to prevent microbial growth. The results of studies suggest that ethanol could act as an effective additional barrier to inhibit fungal growth in bakery products. Thus it represents an interesting alternative to the use of chemical preservatives and merits further research (2).

According to scientists at the University of Nottingham, bacteria cannot grow in the Christmas pudding because there is no water available. Although there is moisture, there’s a difference between food appearing moist to eat and the availability of water which microbes need to grow. Because the water molecules are bind to sugar and alcohol molecules, there is no free water for the development of bacteria.

Always inspect the pudding for spoilage before you devour it. If the pudding gives off an unusual smell or is contaminated with mold, discard the pudding.

Christmas pudding sales have fallen by nearly 30% over the past five years, British Baker can reveal. Increased competition from other desserts, limited new product development and a rise in home baking are potential reasons behind the decline (3).

Is Christmas pudding vegan?

Traditional recipes of Christmas pudding involve the addition of eggs and suet, which makes it unsuitable for vegans. However, you can find recipes that use egg and suet replacements and the pudding turns out equally delicious. 

The traditional British Christmas was developed in the nineteenth-century and the Plum Pudding, a rich pudding made of raisins, sultanas, currants, spices, Demerara sugar, brandy, beef suet, eggs, and apple became the centerpiece of the Christmas dinner (4).

Can Christmas pudding be reheated?

Yes, Christmas pudding can be reheated and there are several ways to go about it. The simplest and most convenient way of reheating Christmas pudding is in the microwave. The microwaving time for the pudding depends on its size. 

Generally, the pudding is placed on a microwave-safe bowl and covered with cling wrap. Then the pudding is microwaved on high for 3-4 minutes, followed by a 1 minute resting time. Resume the microwaving process until the pudding is piping hot or heated through.

Can you steam the Christmas pudding in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook the Christmas pudding in a slow cooker and the process is quite simple. Start by greasing your pudding basin with butter. Then fill the basin with your pudding mixture. 

Cover the basin with a pleated foil and pleated baking paper sheet. Secure the sheets in place using kitchen string. Construct a makeshift handle with the string and proceed with the following steps.

Place the mold in the slow cooker

Place your pudding mold right in the center of the slow cooker. The slow cooker should be large enough to easily accommodate the mold.

Fill the slow cooker with water

Pour water into the slow cooker such that it comes halfway up the pudding dish. The water does not need to be boiled first because the slow cooker heats up quickly. 

Cook the pudding 

Close the lid of the slow cooker and cook your pudding for about 3-4 hours.

How to store Christmas pudding once cooked?

Things you’ll need

  • Brandy, whiskey, or another spirit
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Soak your freshly cooked and cooled plum pudding in brandy or another spirit. Do not soak the pudding until the brandy starts to drip from it. Add enough amount so that the plum pudding softens.
  2. Wrap the plum pudding in plastic and then in aluminum foil. Keep the wrapped plum pudding somewhere dark, dry, and cool. A cellar or a cabinet is a good storage place for the pudding.
  3. Pour little amounts of brandy or another alcohol in your pudding after wrapping it every week or two. Do not add too much spirit or else the pudding will not be able to hold its shape and become flammable. After every feeding, rewrap the pudding and return it to its storage place.

How do you fix a soggy Christmas pudding?

Warm your soggy pudding in a microwave or a 150c oven for 5-10 minutes. If the pudding still tastes too heavy or soggy, your best bet is to start all over again. 

The Christmas pudding turned out soggy mostly because water got into it while steaming. This happens if the pudding basin was not properly covered with foil and baking paper. The water may also get into your pudding if the water in the pan is boiled too hard. 

The best way to avoid a soggy pudding is to make sure the pudding basin is watertight before you begin steaming it. Another important factor is the level and temperature of water in the saucepan. 

The water level should be kept below the rim of the pudding basin. Since the pudding requires hours of steaming, the water should be maintained at a simmering temperature. 

Last but not least, use a large pleated piece of baking paper and foil to cover the pudding. If the pudding does not have enough room to expand, it will inevitably turn out to be soggy.

Other FAQs about Pudding that you may be interested in.

What do you eat Christmas pudding with?

How to reheat Christmas pudding in a microwave?

How to reheat Christmas pudding?

Can you oversteam a Christmas pudding?


In this article, we answered the question “Does Christmas pudding go off?”, and how to store the Christmas pudding once cooked?


  1. Brieger, Daniel G., et al. What proof is in your Christmas pudding? Is caring under the influence possible?. Med J Aust, 2014, 201, 702-704.  
  2. Axel, Claudia, Emanuele Zannini, and Elke K. Arendt. Mold spoilage of bread and its biopreservation: A review of current strategies for bread shelf life extension. Crit Rev food sci nutr, 2017, 57, 3528-3542.
  3. Chevalier, Natacha. Food, Ritual and Cultural Identity: Preserving Traditions in Wartime Britain 1939-1945. Comunicação apresentada na 3rd Global Conference Making Sense of Food, Oxford, UK. Acedido em. Vol. 26. 2014.
  4. North, A. Christmas pudding sales fall 30% in five years as mince pies fly. British Baker. 2022.