How to test If the Christmas pudding is cooked?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to test If the Christmas pudding is cooked?”, and how to make the perfect Christmas pudding?

How to test If the Christmas pudding is cooked?

To check if the Christmas pudding is cooked, poke a skewer into the center of the pudding, piercing through the foil and parchment paper. If the skewer comes out wet, cook the pudding for a little longer and check for doneness after regular intervals of 20 minutes. 

How to make the perfect Christmas pudding?


  • 400g dried fruit of your choice (I like 150g currants, 150g sultanas, 100g dried figs, roughly chopped)
  • 50g candied peel
  • 175ml pedro ximénez sherry
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 75g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g fresh breadcrumbs, preferably brown
  • Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and 1 unwaxed orange
  • 150g suet
  • 50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 150ml stout
  • 75ml milk


  1. Soak the dried fruit overnight in the sherry.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, spice, flour, salt, zest, suet, and almonds until homogenous. 
  1. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and treacle until well-combined. Then tip this bowl into the dry ingredients. Pour in stout and milk and stir while making a wish. Let your family members take turns to do the stirring as a part of the tradition. 
  1. Last but not the least, stir in the fruits soaked in sherry. 
  1. Grease a 1.4l/2½ pint pudding basin along with its lid. Fill the pudding basin, no more than three-quarters of its capacity, with the prepared pudding mixture. 
  1. Cover the pudding basin with a large piece of baking paper and a lid or two large pieces of pleated foil.
  1. Completely wrap the pudding basin in foil to make it watertight. Steam cook the pudding in a steamer for about 5 hours whilst keeping an eye on the water level and topping up more water as needed.
  1. Store the pudding in a cool, dark, and dry place until Christmas day. Feed the pudding with small amounts of alcohol during this time. 
  1. Before serving the pudding, steam for 1 and a half hours. 
  1. Serve with brandy butter, custard, ice cream, or top with booze.

How to make alcohol-free Christmas pudding?


  • 1-litre pudding basin (or as described above)
  • steamer (or a makeshift one using a large pan)
  • kitchen foil
  • kitchen string and scissors
  • large plastic or ceramic bowl for mixing


For soaking the raisins and sultanas 

  • 1 heaped Tbsp Darjeeling tea leaves or 3 bags
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 200 g sultanas
  • 250 g raisins

Everything else 

  • 200 g soft brown dark sugar
  • 100 g vegetable suet (or solid vegetable fat like Trex, grated, or 80g salted butter)
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 50 g cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/8 tsp (a good pinch) ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 60 g chopped, candied mixed peel (shop bought, the kind used in cakes & panettone)
  • 60 g toasted almond flakes
  • 1 medium cooking apple unpeeled, chopped
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 125 ml apple juice (from a carton)


Soak the raisins and sultanas 

  1. Brew the tea leaves for about 4 minutes in the boiling water. 
  1. In a small bowl, add the raisins and sultanas and pour the strained brewed tea on top. Soak the dried fruits for at least one hour. If you have plenty of time, leave the fruits to soak overnight. 
  1. Drain the excess tea before using the soaked fruit.

Preparing the pudding 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, grated vegetable fat, breadcrumbs, cornflour, and spices. Stir in the dried fruit, peel, almonds, apple, and lemon zest, and mix well.
  1. Last but not the least, stir in the apple juice. Let your family members take turns stirring the mixture and make a wish. Ideally, the mixture should have a sloppy consistency. 

Cooking the Christmas pudding 

  1. Pack the pudding mixture into a well-greased pudding basin.
  1. Cover the pudding basin with two pleated sheets of foil. Secure the foil in place using kitchen ties.
  1. Big pudding takes 6 hours to steam. While small puddings can be steamed in only 2 ½ hours. If you do not have a steamer, use an inverted saucer to steam your pudding.
  1. When cooked, let the pudding come down to room temperature. Then replace the foil with a fresh one. Serve immediately or serve in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  1. Before serving,  steam the bigger pudding for 2 hours or microwave for 2 minutes. Steam the mini pudding for 1 hour or microwave for 1 minute.
  1. Serve with brandy butter, ice cream, fresh cream, or homemade custard.

Other FAQs about Pudding that you may be interested in.

Can you eat Christmas pudding when pregnant?

Can pudding go bad?

Can you substitute cook and serve pudding for an instant in a recipe?

How to reheat steamed pudding?


In this article, we answered the question “How to test If the Christmas pudding is cooked?”, and how to make the perfect Christmas pudding?


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