How to mature a Christmas pudding?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to mature a Christmas pudding?”, and how to make Classic Christmas Pudding?

How to mature a Christmas pudding?

Traditionally, Christmas pudding is made 5 weeks in advance to let the flavors mellow and mature. Some people let the pudding mature for up to a year.

On the fifth Sunday before Advent, the Christmas pudding is stirred clockwise during its making for good luck. This tradition involves every family member by giving them a chance at stirring and making a wish. 

Once cooked, the pudding is cooled and is wrapped with a fresh piece of parchment paper and foil. Then the pudding is allowed to sit in a cool, dark, and dry place. 

The high sugar and booze content of the Christmas pudding act as natural preservatives, thus, eliminating the need for refrigeration. 

Heavily-fruited puddings are allowed to mature for about 2-4 weeks before serving. Carrot puddings and other light types can do with only a week of the maturation period. 

Classic Chsitmas pudding 


For the pudding 

  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 2 large Bramley cooking apples
  • 200g box candied peel (in large pieces) or all citron if you can find it
  • 1 whole nutmeg (you’ll use three-quarters of it)
  • 1kg raisins
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g soft fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 100g light muscovado sugar, crumbled if it looks lumpy
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp brandy or cognac, plus extra to light the pudding
  • 250g packet butter, taken straight from the fridge

For the brandy and ginger butter 

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • grated zest of half an orange
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp brandy or cognac
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped


  1. Prepare the ingredients for the pudding. Chop the almonds and the candied peel. Grate three-quarters of the nutmeg and peel, core, and chop the cooking apples.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine Mix the almonds, apples, candied peel, nutmeg, raisins, flour, breadcrumbs, light muscovado sugar, eggs, and 2 tbsp brandy or cognac until homogenous. Then stir in a quarter of grated butter. 
  1. Repeat until all the butter is grated and combined with the rest of the ingredients. Let other family members take turns to stir and make a wish.
  1. Grease two 1.2 liter bowls with butter and line them with a circle of baking parchment. Pour in and press the pudding mixture.
  1. Cover the bowls with a pleated piece of parchment paper secured tightly in place with a kitchen tie. Trim off the hanging edges of the parchment paper.
  1. To make the pudding watertight, pack it in two large pieces of foil. To do this, place the bowl on a piece of foil and fold it over the bowl. Then put a piece of foil over the bowl and fold it towards the bottom of the bowl. Use kitchen ties to secure the foil pieces in place. 
  1. Boil or steam cook the pudding for about 8 hours. Add more water during cooking if necessary. When the pudding is cooked, leave it overnight to cool completely. 
  1. Once the pudding has cooled down, replace the old wrappings with new ones and place the pudding in a cool, dark, and dry place till Christmas. 
  1. To make the brandy butter, beat the butter with orange zest and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the brandy or cognac and chopped stem ginger. 
  1. Refrigerate the brandy butter for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 weeks. 
  1. Boil or oven steam the pudding on Christmas day for about an hour. Lit the pudding by pouring 3-4 tbsp of warm brandy over it.

How to steam a Christmas pudding?

Sep 1

Cut out a circle 5cm larger than your pudding basin from a large sheet of baking paper. Feel free to use a ruler and a pencil for a more accurate cutting. The circle need not be the perfect shape but it must be large than the basin.

Step 2

Butter the paper circle and fold the paper in the center to make a pleat. Cover your pudding basin with the paper circle, versed side down. Cover again with foil and press the hanging sides of the foil to the basin. Tie securely with kitchen string.

Step 3

In a large pan, place an upturned saucer, a piece of crumpled foil, or a trivet set to elevate the pudding basin. 

Step 4

Fil the basin halfway through with boiling water and steam the pudding for about 2 hours. 


In this article, we answered the question “How to mature a Christmas pudding?”, and how to make Classic Christmas Pudding?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.