Medieval Christmas Plum Pudding

Plum Pudding is a delightful English Christmas tradition dating back to medieval England. Have you experienced such a delicacy on a Christmas past? Once you do, you will be a believer. Once you serve it to friends and family you will obtain fame.

Surprisingly, Plum Pudding does not contain plums. Nor is it a pudding. Raisins were called plums in medieval times and cakes were referred to as puddings. Words may have changed meanings, however, the enduring popularity of this dessert is all that matters.

You can purchase Plum Pudding for sale in specialty stores in the USA and online from England and USA. I have included a sample of options for you to check out.  Now once you try this decadent dessert you may find yourself a touch adventurous and want to make it yourself. You will find one of the recipes for Plum Pudding and Hard Sauce below. Savourer!

A Few Locations offering Plum Pudding for purchase

 Vermont Country Store (Hard sauce too)

 English Tea Store

 Jolly Grub


Recipe for Plum Pudding


1 ½ cups sifted flour

½ t soda

¼ t salt

½ t cinnamon

¼ t ginger

¼ t nutmeg

¼ t allspice

½ c bread crumbs – dry

1 c brown sugar – pack firm

1 t lemon peel

1 t orange peel

½ lb. ground suet (Crisco / shortening may be a  good substitute)

1 c plumped currants

1 c plumped raisins

½ c chopped candied citron

½ c chopped candied lemon peel

1 c chipped apple

½ c chopped nuts

4 eggs

¾ c milk

1 t vanilla

1 t rum extract


  • Measure flour after sifting
  • Resift flour with soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice
  • Add and mix well – bread crumbs, brown sugar, lemon peel, orange peel, suet (or substitute) fruits and nuts
  • Beat eggs
  • Add to eggs milk, vanilla and rum
  • Stir moist ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix all well.
  • Pour into well-greased – one 2 quart mold (or two 1 quart)
  • Fill to 1 inch from top
  • Place lid on mold tightly
  • Place mold ion rack in a stock pot
  • Add boiling water to fill about ½ way up the mold
  • Cover the kettle and steam for 4 to 6 hours according to the size of the mold. Watch the water level and add as needed.
  • Remove from mold
  • Some people serve it hot. Others leave in the fridge for a week or more first.  Traditionally these cakes are made a year in advance to allow the flavors to mingle. Yummy!

How to serve

Plum pudding should be served hot. Add Hard Sauce on the side as people will have different tastes.

For a dramatic presentation, try to flambé. Drip some brandy or rum on the plum pudding and light it with a match. The alcohol will light and burn off. It is a pretty sight.

Hard Sauce

2 c Powdered sugar

10 T Butter (softened)

2 T Rum or brandy

¼ tsp salt

Beat the powdered sugar and the butter until fluffy. Then add in the salt and brandy (or rum).  Chill before serving.

12-14 servings