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



  • 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. 5 stars
    The best plum pudding voted by family. Even my Mum who made plum pudding for years. Tried with contreau one year, brandy the next. Brandy is the winner.
    If you plan on leaving the house during cooking make sure you just refilled the water or it may take a few more hours when your oven ran out of water for an hr or two while you were out..

  2. Emily Rhodes

    Great question! You can definitely just put everything in with this recipe (so long as the butter is softened). Give it a really good mix and it should come together just fine. 🙂

  3. Hi Emily,
    I’m looking to make this pudding this year. I just wanted to check there’s no special way to add the extra ingredients to the fruit mixture in step 3? Do you need to worry about creaming the butter and sugar, for example, or do you literally put everything in at the same time and stir by hand?

  4. 5 stars
    This is such a delicious Christmas pudding recipe and is really easy to make. Genuinely is the best Christmas pudding I’ve tasted, an amazing recipe. I didn’t have glacé apricots so just used normal apricots. I also did a slight addition to some – we had some glacé whole clementines which were really sweet to eat by themselves so I popped one of those in the middle of the small puddings and this worked really well.

  5. Emily Rhodes

    You can leave it in the bowl and just reheat in the bowl when it’s time to serve, so long as you cover the top – I usually just wrap the entire bowl in cling film and pop it in the fridge!

  6. I’m wondering how to store my xmas pudding.I have taken it out of the steamer.Do i leave it in its bowl or turn out & wrap up.in foil

  7. Emily Rhodes

    You could try! The breadcrumbs and flour ‘bind’ the mixture together so I suspect gluten free options will make the pudding a bit more crumbly. Perhaps a gluten free flour blend might be a more similar substitute in terms of texture, if that’s something you have available.

  8. Hi Emily, I never cooked this before and I don’t think I even tried this pudding. But its sounds delicious. The recipe called to use breadcrumbs and flour. Do you think I can substitute it with almond or coconut flour?

  9. So excited have my fruit soaking…smells so good. First time steaming pudding in my 1 year old oven…wasnt game to do it last Christmas. Thanks for your blog, it is inspiring!

  10. Emily Rhodes

    Shauna, ceramic or metal are both fine, although I prefer ceramic. I cover because the moisture dripping from the top of your oven will make the pudding soggy. But you don’t need a lid – I just use a circle of greaseproof/baking paper to cover the top, then a pleated piece of aluminium foil scrunched over it.

  11. Shauna Simmonds

    Hi Emily, as I said novice this time round. Basin……. a ceramic basin no lid I’m guessing? Im used to my Gran cooking in the old pudding basin with the lid tightly on. Is ceramic better to use than metal, as you can see I have no clue but have the ingredients.

  12. Emily Rhodes

    Shauna, you can make it now if you like! Cook and either store in the fridge, sprinkling a little brandy or other alcohol over it every other week, or cover well and freeze until a few days before Christmas. I’ve got a spare one left over from last Christmas still in my freezer, and I expect it’s going to be fantastic when I defrost it as an early festive dessert in a couple of weeks!

  13. Shauna Simmonds

    Hi Emily, first time ever I’m enthused to make my own Christmas pudding 🙂 New steam oven. Love the look of the recipe. What would be the earliest date to make it? Or should it be made close as possible to Christmas?

  14. Emily Rhodes

    Kate, that’s so great to hear! I’ve managed to hold onto mine, which is a Christmas miracle in itself. 😉 I’m so looking forward to breaking it out for dessert in a couple of days though!

  15. I made this 2 weeks ago and we couldn’t wait until Christmas to try it…. so currently have my second batch of fruit soaking so I can make another! Possibly the most delicious christmas pudding I’ve ever had!!

  16. Thanks Emily – I did wonder that! Happily I have a stove top steamer so I’ll pop it in there….

  17. Emily Rhodes

    Hi Sarah. The Vario Steam oven won’t have enough moisture (even on the highest intensity setting) to reheat the pudding without it drying out, unfortunately.
    If you really want to do it in the oven you could do it using a static heat at about 150C (the top/bottom setting is ideal – no fan) and a water bath to come halfway up the sides of the pudding basin. But that might be just as much mucking around as doing it on the stove!

  18. Sarah Edwards

    Hiya – can you do a Christmas pud in a vario steam oven? I’ve already made it (Raymond Blanc recipe) but I was thinking more of warming it on Christmas Day. It recommends steaming for 1 hour.

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