a Christmas pudding garnished with fruit on a white cake stand surrounded by citrus and decorations

Christmas Pudding in a Steam Oven

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This post is part 4 in a series of Christmas themed steam oven recipes (parts 1 here, 2 here and 3 here), and it’s by far my most-requested Christmas help item when it comes to converting regular recipes to steam oven ones: steaming a Christmas pudding.

The number of cries for help I get on this even surpass roast turkey in the game of ‘how do we impress our guests with this mystical steam oven thingy so they’ll think we’re master chefs’, which is no mean feat.

I had almost decided I wouldn’t do a pudding this year, but right on cue as stir-up Sunday approached last week, I got a small flood of emails asking about the subject, so here we are.

I’ve missed stir-up Sunday (sorry), but if you haven’t yet come around to cooking a pudding in your steam oven and want to, it’s not too late! If you make one this week it’ll still have 3 weeks to mature before the big day, which is plenty.

I am fairly certain if you’re a traditional Christmas pudding devotee, you’ll have your own favourite recipe and won’t want to deviate too much from it. My favourite happens to be my Mum’s recipe, which, lucky for me, I never make but always get to eat!

Here’s the thing about a steam oven Christmas pudding recipe though: it doesn’t matter much the recipe you use because the cooking part is dead easy and doesn’t really vary except by the size of your pudding. Turn on the steam-only setting, large puddings take 5-6 hours (I’ve never hurt one by giving it the full 6 hours), and small ones 1 ½. That’s it.

I almost feel wrong writing a whole post about this because it’s just SO. EASY. to do your pudding in the steam oven. The worst part is occasionally having to refill the water tank in your oven (if yours is plumbed, you don’t even have to do that!). Never again will you have to mess about with pots, upturned saucers, cooktop heat levels and frequently topping up water when you want to steam a pudding.

Anyway, given most fruit puddings are a variation on the same theme, I thought I’d try something a little left of centre for the sake of today’s post and make a fig, apricot and orange version. It’s still gloriously rich, dark and stodgy in the nicest possible way a pudding can be, but the figs give it an almost honey-like sweetness and apricots and oranges bring a tang and some tartness to the party (make no mistake, a pudding party is exactly the kind I want to be invited to more often).

I couldn’t help myself and tried this one after only a few days but I know the flavours will deepen and soften a little in the coming weeks if I can leave it alone for that long. No promises though.

If deviating from the classic plum pudding isn’t your thing, no matter – follow along below for cooking instructions and apply these to your own delicious pudding recipe. Then write to tell me how you’ll never steam a pudding any other way again.

See you here again soon for more Christmas steam oven recipes – I have a few more things up my sleeve for the next couple of weeks, and I’m pretty excited to share them.

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a Christmas pudding garnished with fruit on a white cake stand surrounded by citrus
a Christmas pudding garnished with fruit on a white cake stand surrounded by citrus and decorations
Print Recipe
4.75 from 8 votes

Steam Oven Christmas Pudding with Fig, Apricot and Orange

This rich pudding has all the flavors of Christmas with a modern twist thanks to the addition of dried figs, glace apricots and oranges. It'll be the star of your dessert table.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
macerating time12 hours
Total Time18 hours 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian, English
Keyword: Christmas pudding with fig, apricot and orange, steam oven Christmas pudding
Servings: 10
Calories: 463kcal
Pin Recipe



  • Put the dried fruit in a large bowl with the alcohol, orange zest and juice. Set aside overnight to macerate.
  • Grease a 1.2 litre ceramic pudding bowl (see notes) and line the base with a small circle of silicone baking paper.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl of soaked fruit and stir until well combined. Firmly pack the mixture into the pudding bowl, then fold a pleat into a piece of silicone baking paper and use this to cover the bowl (the pleat gives room for the pudding to expand in the oven). Follow the baking paper with a piece of pleated foil. If you want to be traditional, you can tie a length of kitchen twine around the lip of the bowl, but tightly scrunching the foil will be enough.
  • Put the covered pudding into your steam oven and set the oven to 212⁰F/100⁰C (steam only, humidity 100%). Cook for 6 hours – if your oven is not plumbed you’ll very likely need to top up the water tank at least once during this time (my tank lasts for over 3 hours if I don’t open the oven at all so I only have to do this once).
  • When the pudding is cooked, let it cool to warm, then transfer to the fridge, still covered, and store for up to 4 weeks (any longer than this and I’d recommend putting it in the freezer, it minimises potential odours/flavour contamination from other things in your fridge).
  • When you’re ready to serve the pudding, repeat the steaming process for 1 ½ hours to heat it through, then turn out and serve in wedges topped with ice cream and/or custard.


  1. This recipe makes 1 large pudding (my basin is 1.2l but a 1.5l basin is also just fine to use), enough to easily serve 8-10.
  2. If you prefer individual puddings you can cook this (or any other Christmas pudding) in half-cup dariole moulds. They’ll take 1 ½ hours to cook and about half an hour to reheat in the steam oven.
  3. I like to serve Christmas pudding with vanilla ice cream but a good custard is welcome too. I would never be so irresponsible as to recommend you go totally overboard and do both, because that would just be asking for trouble. Ahem.
  4. I have simply specified ‘chopped’ for most of the fruits, by which I really mean chopped into approximately the size of a sultana. And I haven’t given cup measurements for the dried fruit but the rough equivalent once chopped is a scant cup for everything except the apricots, which are a full cup.


Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 993IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 2mg

But I don’t have a steam/combi-steam oven! Steam the pudding in a heavy pan with an upturned plate set into the bottom. Put the pudding on top of the plate, pour in water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 6 hours, checking and topping up the water as necessary so it doesn’t boil dry.

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29 thoughts on “Christmas Pudding in a Steam Oven”

  1. David Wiadrowski

    How long will it take to reheat my pudding in a Wlof steam oven ? And at what temperature ?



  2. Emily Rhodes

    You can use the back element with your Anova oven (in fact, you can use that for about 90% of the dishes you cook with the oven!). 🙂

  3. Emily Rhodes

    Yes, I can’t see why not! They’ll be more tart than the glace ones but I kind of love a little sour hit from dried apricots. If you’re worried, you can up the sugar by 1/4 cup, but I don’t think I’d bother.

  4. Hi Emily, this pudding looks interesting enough to maybe sway me away from the traditional… can you substitute dried apricots for glace?

  5. Hi, I’m wanting to try this in my recently purchased Anova Precision Oven. Any idea which settings to use? It has three elements; top, bottom, and back. Any idea which element I should use? The fb user group has not been much help. Never had a steam oven before so I’m not sure about the differences between a built-in and countertop oven.

  6. Emily Rhodes

    If they’re tolerant of heat, then yes, I can’t see why not. They’ll just need to be able to withstand boiling temp (212F/100C).

  7. Can plastic pudding bowls with clip on lids be used in the steam oven?

  8. Emily Rhodes

    Yes, for the site recipes I use US measures for the US customary ingredient list. Metric equivalents are used in the metric list, which you can get to by clicking the little toggle directly underneath the ingredient list. 🙂

  9. Hi Emily,

    Thanks so much for answering my question above. Just another quick one please. Can I assume you’ve used American cup measurements?

    Thanks, Helen

  10. Emily Rhodes

    This is a very good question! I’ve always cooked my pudding on the hob for 6 hours, even prior to my steam oven days (on the advice of my grandmother, who makes the best pudding known to man). I guess it’s possible it would be done in 3 hours, but I’m not messing with what works here! I wouldn’t say it tastes lighter in the steam oven, either – it’s essentially the same texture but I find it much easier than a pot of water to deal with.

  11. Hi Emily. I am deciding whether to steam this pudding in my steam oven on top of the hob. Amazingly Nigella Lawson says her pudding only takes 3 hours on top of the hob. Why should it take 6 hours in the steam oven and only 1.5 hours to heat up. Does it taste lighter in the steam oven?

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