Stir-Up Sunday


christmas pudding

Do you make your own Christmas Puddings? If so, now is the time to get making!

Traditionally, Christmas pudding is always made on the last Sunday before Advent, otherwise known as Stir-up Sunday. In days gone by, every member of the family would take a turn at stirring the pudding and made a wish, hence the name ‘Stir-up Sunday’. This year it falls on the 24th November – that’s this weekend so get down the shops and grab what you need!

In the 15th century, when this pudding was first heard of, it was more of a sloppy porridge consistency, made up mostly of meat and dried fruit. Thank goodness it has moved on from that! It has evolved over the years and the Victorians helped to develop it into the pudding that we are more familiar with today.

According to tradition, the Christmas pudding should contain 13 ingredients to represent Jesus Christ and his disciples, and should be stirred from East to West to remember the wise men who came to visit Jesus in the Nativity story.

Whether you follow these traditions or not, Christmas pudding is really quite simple to make – why not get the whole family involved? You can easily adapt this recipe to include things you and your family like including nuts, alcohol, apple juice or different types of dried fruit.


115g currants

115g raisins

10 glacé cherries, quartered

4 tbsp brandy/rum/apple juice (whatever your favourite tipple is)

1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated

115g breadcrumbs

115g self raising flour

115g shredded vegetable suet

115g dark muscovado sugar

1 tsp ground mixed spice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 eggs

Juice and finely grated zest 1 lemon



1. Wash the dried fruit and cherries. Place them in a bowl with the brandy (or whatever liquid you are using) and leave to soak for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

2. Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin.

3. Add the grated apple, flour, breadcrumbs, suet, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon and lemon zest and juice to the mixed fruit and stir well.

4. Lightly beat the eggs in a small jug then stir them into the mixture.

5. Lastly, add enough milk to produce a dropping consistency – you don’t want the mix to be too runny!

6. Now let everyone in the family take a turn at stirring – don’t forget to make a wish!

7. Cover the top of the pudding basin with a double layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil, then tie tightly with string.

8. Place the pudding bowl into a large saucepan and fill with boiling water until it reaches half way up the sides of the basin.

9. Cover the pan and steam for 3 hours – make sure you keep an eye on the water and top it up if necessary.

If you are making the pudding before the big day, you will need to steam it again for 3 hours before serving warm with lots of brandy butter. Or rum sauce… or custard…. or cream… or all of the above!

Are you making a Christmas Pudding this year or do you have a great recipe to share? Leave us a link in the comments if you do!

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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