Cherry pecan Christmas pudding

This lighter version of the classic Christmas pud is still full of festive flavours – citrus zest and brandy are added to this nutty spiced fruitcake

  • Prep:35 mins
    Cook:8 hrs
    plus overnight soaking and 2hrs reheating
  • Serves 8
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 654
  • fat 23g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 90g
  • sugars 65g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 9g
  • salt 1g


  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 200g pot glacé cherries, 85g halved (we used morello glacé cherries)
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 1 medium carrot, finely grated
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 1 orange, zested and segments cut out
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100ml brandy
  • 50ml Disaronno
  • 100g butter, frozen, plus 25g soft butter and extra for greasing
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 50g blanched almond, half of each chopped
  • 50g pecan nuts, half of each chopped
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 175g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • sprig of holly, to decorate (optional)


  1. Put the mixed fruit, halved glacé cherries, mixed peel, carrot, and lemon and orange zest in a bowl with the sugar and spice. Pour in the lemon juice and alcohol, and stir really well. Cover and leave to soak overnight.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and put a full kettle of water on to boil. Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin and put a disc of baking parchment in the base. Stir the eggs into the fruit mixture, then stir in the chopped nuts, flour and breadcrumbs. Finally, grate in the frozen butter, stirring the mixture frequently so that it evenly disperses.

  3. For the topping, mix the soft butter and golden syrup together, and spread over the bottom of the basin. Pile in the whole cherries, orange segments and whole nuts, breaking the pecans in half as you add them. Try not to just make a thick layer of fruit and nuts on the base – ease some up the side too. Spoon in the pudding mixture and level the top, then cover with baking parchment and foil. Tie the top with string or an extra-large rubber band, then place in a roasting tin and pour in the water from the kettle. Cover the whole thing with a tent of foil to seal in all the steam, then place in the oven for 6 hrs. This gives a light pudding, so if you prefer a darker one, cook for up to 8 hrs. Will keep in the fridge for 1 month. If you want it to last longer, omit the orange segments.

  4. To serve, steam in a large pan with an upturned saucer on the base for 2 hrs, then turn out and decorate with holly, if you like. Serve with Brandy syrup cream (see 'Goes well with').

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