Festive date & pecan pudding

Not your traditional Christmas pud, but a winner with our food team. A cross between sticky toffee and Christmas pud with a lighter feel

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 25 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 526
  • fat 22g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 69g
  • sugars 54g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.73g


  • 250g block dried, stoned dates, chopped
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g chopped candied peel
  • 85g pecans, chopped
  • 2 pieces stem ginger, cut into thin shreds
  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 150ml brandy
  • 25g toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 holly sprig
  • icing sugar, for dusting


Get ahead
The pud will keep in the fridge for 4 days or will freeze for 2 months. To reheat the pudding, cover the basin with cling film, pierce the film a few times, then reheat in the microwave for 5 mins on High. Or, cover the basin with foil and just leave it in the turned-off oven after the turkey has come out. I find the residual heat will warm it perfectly as you eat the main course – you want it warm rather than piping hot.


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Pour 300ml boiling water over the chopped dates and set aside. Butter a 1.4-litre pudding basin and put a disc of baking parchment in the base. Put the butter, sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs into a large bowl, then beat with an electric hand whisk until really well blended. Add the cooled date mixture, then beat again to make a sloppy batter.

  2. Stir in the fruits, nuts and ginger, then pour into the pudding basin and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 1 hr, cover the top lightly with foil, then return to the oven for 25 mins more until a skewer inserted into the pudding comes out clean.

  3. Meanwhile, make the brandy syrup. Put the sugar and 50ml water in a pan and stir over the heat until syrupy. Stir in the brandy and remove from the heat. When the pudding is ready, remove from the oven and push a skewer into it in several places. Pour over the brandy syrup so it soaks into the pudding, then cover until ready to serve.

  4. Turn out onto a plate, scatter with the pecans and top with the holly sprig, dusted with icing sugar. Serve with good-quality vanilla ice cream.

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