An Honest Christmas Pudding



I never liked Christmas pudding. Or Christmas cake. Or mince pies. I couldn’t stand those hard bits of ‘candied peel’ or the glace cherries or currants. But this was unusual as I love anything festive and spiced. This year, when making my own Christmas recipes, I realised that a Christmas pudding didn’t have to be quite so traditional and I could still make a rich, fruity, spicy pudding that suited my taste buds. I am so happy with the results and have fed it to many willing participants who agree it is delicious and not far from the real thing. Furthermore, it is so healthy with no gluten, grains or refined sugar, so you can enjoy another traditional Christmas dish in a much more body-friendly way! My family have agreed to replace our usual Christmas pudding with this for the big day (after a taste test approval from my sister), and I am really happy that we will all be enjoying this all together! (Except for my dad, he is quite suspicious of anything unfamiliar!!).

An Honest Christmas Pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: gluten free, dairy free, grain free, sugar free
Serves: 4-6
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries (sweetened with fruit juice, not sugar)
  • ½ cup sultanas
  • ⅔ cup chopped, pitted dates
  • ½ cup brandy (optional)
  • 1 large, unwaxed orange
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • ¾ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup buckwheat/coconut/brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup apple puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, gently melted plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional, but gives the pudding a rich flavour)
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of clove
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the glaze:
  • The cream from one can of coconut milk (I use Biona, refrigerated)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  1. Place the cranberries, sultanas and dates into a mixing bowl and grate in the orange and lemon zest
  2. Juice the orange and pour this over the fruit with the brandy, if using
  3. Cover and leave overnight for the fruit to soak up the liquid
  4. The next day, add the apple puree, molasses, coconut oil, spices and salt to the fruit and mix well
  5. Add the ground almonds, flour, coconut sugar and baking powder and combine
  6. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and crack in the two eggs
  7. Beat the eggs together and then slowly mix into the rest of the ingredients
  8. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius
  9. Grease a small ceramic pudding basin with coconut oil
  10. But out a small circle of baking paper (I used an upside down glass as a guide) and place this into the bottom of the basin
  11. Pour in the mixture to the basin, it should come almost to the top
  12. Place a large circle of baking paper over the top of the basin (I used a plate as a guide this time)
  13. Using garden string, tie the baking paper over the top of the basin, then cover with foil
  14. Place the basin into a deep roasting tin filled with boiling water to make a bain marie
  15. Bake in the oven for approximately two hours until the pudding is firm to touch
  16. Either serve warm, straight away, or keep in the fridge for up to two days and reheat in the oven
  17. If you are not serving the pudding straight away, turn out of the basin to ensure it doesn’t stick and leave to cool. Wash the basin, dry, and then return the pudding to the basin and cover well to store.
  18. For the brandy glaze:
  19. Place the ingredients into a small pan on a low heat
  20. Whisk well to ensure a smooth glaze
  21. Once heated, pour over the pudding before serving
  22. *if you have any mixture left that doesn’t fit into the basin why not make an extra one or two extra individual puddings in small ramekins!


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