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How to Steam A Christmas Pudding

As someone from Ireland, I know a thing or two about perfectly Steaming A Christmas Pudding. Let me teach you all my tips!

Hi Bold Bakers!

It’s that time of year again! The time where we are busy in the kitchen getting Christmas Cake, Christmas Puddings and Mincemeat made so it has ample time to rest and settle before Christmas! In Ireland, my mum like many others would always get these jobs done in October so the cakes and puddings would have time to sit and allow for the flavors to develop. Part of that is the baking of cakes and steaming of puddings.

Steaming a pudding (pudding is cake in Europe) is a very popular method of cooking in Ireland and Britain. Unlike an oven, steaming adds moisture to the cake during the cooking process making it incredibly moist. Unlike in the oven, which uses dry heat. I am a sucker for a steamed pudding because they are just so incredibly moist and flavorful. Also the longer you leave them before eating the better the flavor.

Steaming a pudding is incredibly easy and actually hard to mess up. You don’t need any fancy equipment except for a large pot and a steamer. Failing a steamer tray you can always use an upturned plate in the bottom of your saucepan.

What Equipment Do I Need to Steam a Christmas Pudding

Covering the Christmas pudding and sealing the bowl with aluminum foil.

How to Steam A Christmas Pudding

Once you learn these steps, you’ll never forget them. It’s so easy to make the pudding of your dreams, and you don’t even need to get fancy with it. Here are the steps (and check out the photos for a visual):

  1. Take a large sheet of foil and a piece of buttered greaseproof paper about the same size.
  2. Place a buttered piece of parchment paper over the top of your pudding bowl. Onto that place a piece of foil of a similar size. Press the foil around the bowl. Tie the foil tightly around the bowl using a long piece of string or bakers twine.
  3. Trim away the excess foil and greaseproof paper. Leave about two inches of excess foil around the sides of the bowl. Make sure you totally encase the pudding give it a water-tight seal.
  4. Make a handle for the bowl by threading string around the pudding basin. Pull and tie another piece of string through to create a handle to lift your pudding from.  The pudding is now ready to go into the pan.
  5. Place the pudding into the steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water, or use a large saucepan with a saucer in the bottom.
  6. Steam for several hours, or as the recipe indicates. Top up water roughly every 45 minutes or when necessary.
  7. When the pudding is steamed, cut the string around the bowl. Gently ease away the paper and foil.
  8. Before storing the pudding ready for re-steaming, recover with a fresh sheet of foil and paper as before. Tie a handle around it for ease of removing.

Tips and Tricks on How to Steam A Christmas Pudding

  • If you don’t have a steamer, do not worry, you can use an upturned plate as your trivet to keep the pudding basins from the bottom of the saucepan.
  • If your plate is rattling during the cooking process place a small face cloth underneath the steamer.
  • If you don’t have a traditional pudding bowl don’t worry! Look around your kitchen and see what you could use instead. You will be surprised to see what you already have that can be used, like glass mixing bowls or pyrex dishes.
  • Any strong string or twine will work to tie the pudding.
  • Make sure to continually refill the water with more boiling water so it doesn’t boil off.
  • Make sure that your saucepan is large enough to fit your pudding basin with its lid on.

A side-by-side of covering the Christmas pudding and lowering it into the pot.

Make More Holiday Recipes!

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Renee Hursh
Renee Hursh
1 month ago

I’m so confused. Christmas Pudding is cake? You store it for months? It doesn’t mold? Resteam it?

Melina Kennedy
Melina Kennedy
7 days ago

What if I use a microwave safe glass bowl and instead of butter paper and foil, can I use the air tight silicon lid that came along with the bowl?

Cindy Bockanesky
Cindy Bockanesky
1 month ago

My mother in law used to make Christmas pudding with a custard and rum sauce. She passed away several years ago, before she was able to share any of her recipes with me. I think it was a traditional English recipe. You wouldn’t happen to know what this is called? or have any recipes to share?

Karen
1 month ago

How long does it keep? And other than foil and paper, where do you keep it? Really excited to try

Tanya
Tanya
1 month ago

Could you steam this in an instant pot?

Linda Wilson
Linda Wilson
1 month ago

Sounds wonderful. I use a electric pressure cooker a lot and it has a steam function . I shall try this in that.

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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