How to make Christmas pudding on Stir-up Sunday

How to make Christmas pudding on Stir-up Sunday


Today is Stir-up Sunday, which means it’s a good time to make your Christmas pudding and let it mature before the big day.

Many people have taken up baking this year thanks to lockdown so if you’re used to picking up your pud in the supermarket, this might be the perfect chance to make your own instead.

It might look tricky but it’s hard to go wrong with this type of baking and it will be very forgiving of any mistakes.

What is Stir-up Sunday?

Stir-up Sunday is a Victorian-era tradition, which falls on the last Sunday before Advent every year.

Although your advent calendar might start on December 1 every year, Advent officially begins four Sundays before Christmas Day, so it starts on 29 November this year.

That means Stir-up Sunday is always five Sundays before Christmas Day and the date changes slightly every year.

Families gather in their kitchen (of course, coronavirus means it can only be whoever is already in your household bubble in 2020) to put the ingredients together.

Each member of the family takes a turn to mix the pudding, stirring from East to West to honour the three wise men who visited Jesus in Bethlehem.

It’s also a good chance to make up mincemeat for mince pies and bake your Christmas cake if you want to bake those too.

Do you have to make your Christmas pudding ahead of time?

While many Christmas pudding recipes require you to make it ahead of time, there are lots of recipes you can make just before the day.

Baking weeks before means you have time to mature the pudding, feeding it with alcohol, but if you’re busy or don’t want to make it today, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea.

Try this last-minute Christmas pudding recipe if you’ve left it too late for a traditional one.

How to make a Christmas pudding

This traditional recipe from Waitrose uses lots of fruit and your choice of alcohol for maturing it.

  • 75g pack semi-dried cherries
  • 2 x 75g packs dried cranberries
  • 150g raisins
  • 150g sultanas
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 200ml stout
  • 2 tbsp brandy, rum or Madeira, plus 75-100ml for serving
  • ½ x 250g pack Atora Light Vegetable Suet
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 225g dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten


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