A Cook's Plot

Puddings & Desserts

Last-Minute Christmas Pud

Shop-bought Christmas puddings can be a bit hit and miss - some are lovely, some not so much… The trouble is that it’s impossible to tell what they’re going to taste like by looks alone and the last thing any of us want as the finale to the big festive lunch is a disappointing pud. But if you’re anything like me, at the time in late November when you’d need to make your own and put it away to mature, there are just too many other more pressing things going on.

Never fear, I have a tried and trusted recipe that can be made right at the last minute - just get all the dry ingredients ready and in the bowl on Christmas Eve, then when you’re ready for the pud on Christmas Day, add the liquids, put the bowl in the microwave - and less than 6 minutes later, you’ll have a deliciously moist and fruity pud ready to set alight with brandy!


  • 35g plain flour
  • Half tbsp cocoa powder
  • 60g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g shredded vegetarian suet
  • 180g mixed dried fruit (the plumpest, juiciest looking bag you can find)
  • 15g flaked almonds, chopped
  • half an orange, grated rind and juice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 4 tbsp dark ale or Guinness
  • 2 good tsp black treacle
  • half tbsp milk


Start by greasing a 1 pint (568ml) pudding basin. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, suet, mixed fruit, almonds and orange rind. Then use a fork to stir in the eggs, ale, treacle, orange juice and milk.

Spoon into the greased pudding basin, cover with clingfilm, pierce a hole in the top and stand on a plate, then microwave on full power (100%) for 5 mins 45 secs. Stand for 5 mins, then turn out and you're done!

A Cook's Plot Tip

The success of this pud depends on the quality of the dried fruit and I really like Waitrose's Brandy Soaked Mixed Fruit - succulent and boozy, it's perfect for this recipe.

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