Cranberry Christmas Pudding

Ooops, I didn’t mean to be gone for so many days.  It was a busy weekend here — we got MeMum and BigDaddy’s big Christmas tree put up and then I did the decorating here too.  Jane suggested that I needed a good dose of Christmas movies to get me going — instead I’ve been listening to Christmas music while I work.  TheManoftheHouse surprised me with the Christmas CD from that Michael guy.   It’s definitely putting me in the mood.

Isn’t it fun to work around the house, listening to music and think about Christmas?  Christmas past and Christmas traditions.  I love to hear all about what other people do for their traditions too.  You know, stuff like … do you open your gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  {A little of both}  Big dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?  {Christmas Day}  Turkey, Ham, or Roast Beef?  {Turkey}  And what about those traditions that must be repeated every year … or if you don’t there will be mutiny among the troops?  (I love watching the making of the Christmas Cake and mincemeat pies on so many non-US blogs.  What fun traditions!)

Christmas Pudding

One of our favorite traditions is the Christmas Pudding that MeMum has always prepared for our dessert after our big Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.  We all love it so much that we save it until the end of the day — long after all the dishes are done.  I hated it when I was a child, but I LOVE it now — most of us do love it.  This isn’t a creamy American pudding.  It’s a British kind of steamed pudding — more like our cake.  Served with a “gorgeous sauce” that is fabulous.  The more gorgeous sauce the better.  Drown that pudding in gorgeous sauce!

MeMum has a great steamer pan.  I just have a little pudding mold that MyDadLovesMeBestSister gave me years ago but it works great.  You just have to be able to cover the batter (MeMum’s cake pan doesn’t have a lid so she ties brown craft paper over the top with some twine and it works great).  Here’s a picture of my little cake pan — it’s sitting upside down on our stove.

Christmas Pudding

The cake pan can’t be sitting on the bottom of the steamer pan.  It must be placed on a rack in the steamer.  I don’t have a rack, so I suspended my cake pan in the steamer by using some wire.  It worked just fine, but I really need to get a rack.

Christmas Pudding

Ok, so here’s the recipe:

Cranberry Christmas Pudding


2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Add soda to molasses. Stir in the water and dump in a large bowl. Sift flour and baking powder in separate bowl. Toss cranberries in flour mixture and then add to molasses mixture.  Add nuts, if desired.
Grease small cake pan. Pour pudding mixture into pan and cover — with lid or tie brown paper over top of the pan with some twine. Steam in 2″ water for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. (Check water level every now and then to make sure water hasn’t boiled dry.)

Christmas Pudding

Serve by breaking bits of pudding into a bowl and pouring gorgeous sauce over the top. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream. (I didn’t get a picture of the whipped cream — I was scarfing it down before I remembered to take a picture!)

Gorgeous Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter

Cook sugar, whipping cream and butter over boiling water for 5 minutes. Serve.

Christmas Pudding

Yum, Yum, Yummy — I can’t wait until Christmas Day!

28 Thoughts on “Cranberry Christmas Pudding

  1. Yum, yum, yum! I am a big fan of Christmas pudding!! With loads of custard please!

    Christmas is funny for us this year, we are in a caravan on the south west coast of western Australia. It’s warm, there are LOADS of flies, I have lights on my van and stockings being sewn for the children!!

    I was contemplating making a steamed pudding for Christmas, just to keep the tradition alive! But alas, instead I think we will have a cool pavlova or trifle along with lots of prawns and seafood and plenty of champagne and beer!!

    Nice to hear what you are doing too!

    Sas x

  2. I don’t need the CD, I hear the Michael guy every time I go shopping, the stores love to play it.
    The pudding looks delicious,we love our fruity ones with brandy custard and whipped cream, some people have brandy butter though.

  3. What a delightful looking recipe. I’ve never actually tasted a Christmas pudding, but you are definitely putting a craving on me!

  4. That Christmas pudding looks yummy!!

    We open presents on Christmas morning and have a big Christmas dinner about 2pm on Christmas day…leaves you stuffed well into the evening!

    Interestingly enough my DD2 has been leaning about Christmas in Quebec (where I’m originally from) so I’ve been able to be a real live expert in her UK classroom…I felt like a star ;o) LOL You wouldn’t think Christmas in Quebec would be that different..but they open their presents on Christmas eve and the meal of that evening is tourtiere (a meat pie spiced with cinnamon and cloves.) I made it earlier this month so my DD2 could tell her class about it! :o) Any chance for her to get a gold star is a good opportunity!

  5. That pudding sounds good! I love all the Christmas preparations too… although I am so behind this year!

  6. HI Anna, that pudding looks great- we have an English style fruit pudding too- which makes NO sense when it’s boiling hot and we all head out for a swim after it…I’m dreaming of a Northern Hemisphere Christmas- hope you are enjoying your preparation xx

  7. linda noblog on December 15, 2011 at 8:14 am said:

    well ms. anna…your pudding looks s.o.o.o good…i think this is a year round recipe keeper!
    btw: love that michael guy…saw him in concert here a couple of years ago…
    happy xmas decorating…!

  8. A very British kind of pudding – I approve! My mother used to make Christmas puds. They were so good…and always doused in rum. I might just make your recipe; it doesn’t look too difficult. But I would substitute almonds for the walnuts.

    We are eaters of the mincemeat tarts in this family (not the kind that have real meat). The trick is to make good pastry because you can buy the filling in a jar ;)

  9. Oh Anna, that looks sooooo good…Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ve been watching those Hallmark Christmas movies while I’ve been puttering around the house.

  10. WoW! Sounds yummy! I love cranberry anything! Thanks! I love pudding. Traditions are so important, ever more so in today’s high tech low touch society. So, what size steam pan do you use? Cheers!

  11. The Christmas pudding looks fantastic!.. and I have the Michael guy crooning in my car where ever I go :)

  12. Oh My! I haven’t made a pudding since my hard core Martha Stewart years. I have a pan that looks like yours. I might have made an apple pudding. So tasty. I made a lot of Martha stuff over the years, some successfully. Some not so much. Love all your photos. You get me all inspired.

  13. I don’t feel Christmassy until I have seen Home Alone …. I think by now I lnow all the dialogue! I have an older cd by the Michael chap (aka Micky Bubble). I’m not a great fan of Chritmas Pudding, but I do love Christmas cake – I must remember to give ours a top-up of brandy, before I ice it next week.

  14. Looks very yummy. Love that your pudding bowl looks like a thimble (in the picture of it sitting upside down on the stove) – how appropriate Thimbleanna!! I’m planning a cheesecake – too hot for Christmas pud!

  15. Your pudding looks delicious Anna. We have our dinner on Christmas Eve, homemade tortellini and chicken soup, baked ham too and lots of sweet treats!! The decorations are my favorite part of the season.

  16. That pudding looks so yummy, and I can just imagine it with a big dollop of home made whipped cream (is there any other kind?)! Each day, when Frannie gets home from school, we put on Neil Diamond’s Christmas CD – Cherry Cherry Christmas. We listen to it while Frannie has a snack and does homework and I start preparing dinner. I also wanted to tell you how much I like those Christmas pendants you made. NICE!

  17. Well Little Susie! My mother also covered her puddings with greased brown paper tied on with twine! She always set one pudding aside to be kept for Easter or St, Patrick’s Day…..

  18. Yummers, and extra yummm for butter sauce. I am sauce girl too xoxo Clarice

  19. this looks sooo wonderful. I so wish I could make this. How would I get a pan like that?
    Tell you what, I’ll pop over with a bottle of bubbly and have some of yours :)

  20. Well, in the Polish tradition, we celebrate Wigilia on Christmas Eve. Big dinner with fish and we do open presents that night. There is always a place set for my Grandfather who passed away 33 years ago. As a kid, I don’t ever remember opening gifts on Christmas morning. Now with Amelia, we do both. Christmas Day dinner depends on who is cooking. If I cook, we have prime rib. My in-laws make a ham.

  21. Oh! And borscht! Can’t forget the borscht! My favorite part of the whole meal!

  22. My mom used to make this when I was a kid, we generally didn’t like it, we used “hard sauce” or “brandy sauce” which is similar to your gorgeous sauce but boozy, likely now it would be fine but as a kid it was a bit much, but ours also used to get set on fire by lighting brandy drizzled on the top, that provided excitement as the chances of my father also setting the table on fire were very real… my mom make the much safer “christmas cake” I guess you call it, it is a fruitcake, but not the live forever kind, she uses a lighter cake base, and the fruit isn’t quite so solidified in sugar and preservatives to have lost all relationship to fruit….my husband devours that, it really has never been my thing. I have assumed my husbands family christmas duties in my house, Christmas Eve – which is their traditional dinner and presents after mass for those who attend, and it will be turkey, though his family tradition is ham since he cannot eat it due to the brine, and since I make a mean turkey, we will have turkey. My mom still does Christmas Day, though this will be the first year ever that Christmas Day won’t actually be on Christmas day but when people get there. Though I have been asked if I don’t think cooking a turkey at my cottage on the 25th might not be ambitious, so there may be plans I have forgotten making!
    So – wanna try igniting your pudding? Turn the lights down for it…..

  23. There is nothing like a good Christmas pudding! Yours looks delish. :) My dad would buy tinned plum puddings at Christmastime, eat the pudding and then use the tins for little shades for candle lamps. He still has them!
    Still no Christmas decs at my house. ha ha ha I think we’ll just put up the tree tomorrow and call it done.

  24. well your pudding looks wonderful… i’m guessing it’s similar to “figgy pudding” – which now makes me want to look for figgy pudding recipes. i’m guessing when i try yours, i’ll add some rum to your sauce recipe – but that’s just a guess.
    on christmas eve we always have appetizers of dungeness crab on toast, and then various gross ones that the boys like that involve bacon, jalapenos, little sausauges, creme cheese – you get the picture. prime rib, mashed potatoes, au jus, and steamed green beans cooked with shallots and dill in a balsamic vinaigrette. and then we have raspberry trifle for dessert or a fresh raspberry tart. then we open our christmas jammies!!! on christmas morning we always have eggs benedict and raspberry crepes and then my. f always wants shrimp crepes also. but we usually ignore that one cuz he’s the only one swoonin over those. then it’s snacky foods all day on christmas – french rolls, cold cuts, etc. i need to come up with a better christmas day menu but i’m usually wiped out from christmas eve and morning – and dont want to start it all over again! maybe we should do steak and lobster. that’s easy and fun. hmmmmm… i may have just stumbled upon something brilliant.
    merry christmas my imaginary friend.

  25. (Shrimp crepes? Well well. Who knew there were such things?)

    Turkey etc or veggie alternative, Christmas pud with custard and / or cream and /or brandy butter.

    The same every year – hooray for not having to think about it!

  26. Michele in Huntsville on December 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm said:

    I grew up with this stuff, too and now it’s an annual New Year’s requirement in my house. We make ours with the candied fruit and cherries that you find in the grocery stores only at this time of year (I have to stock up on some of it in case one of the kids decides they want it for their bday cake)! We call our topping hard sauce, too, tho no alcohol – I make mine with the butter and confectioners sugar, but add lemon flavoring – yum! My mold is one of the old copper ones. No top, but I just put a piece of waxed paper over the top of the cake goo and it steams up just fine every time. The whole thing is so rich… I just gained a pound THINKing about it!

  27. Well, the photo is beautiful but I must say I have never had that before. I’m not a big molasses fan. Sort of like onions. :) Ok, I don’t dislike anything quite that bad.
    Did I say your photo is beautiful??
    Merry Christmas

  28. I am trying to locate a Christmas pudding pan- Can you tell me where I might purchase one?

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