Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (2024)

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Christmas dinner would not be complete without a serving of piping hot Christmas pudding drizzled with brown sugar rum sauce. Making Christmas pudding is a British tradition that dates back hundreds of years. There are many different versions of Christmas pudding; plum pudding, figgy pudding, and carrot pudding. In Britain “pudding” simply means dessert unlike our North-American understanding of the word “pudding” as a sweet, and creamy dairy dessert.

My granny Vera made the Carrot Cake version of Christmas pudding with a brown sugar rum sauce. This pudding has remained my favourite dessert at Christmas despite the fact that other Christmas sweets and pie seem to be the preference for a lot of my family members. I just can’t imagine Christmas without Christmas pudding!

Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (1)

My granny passed away 3 years ago this November. I feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to make Christmas pudding with her before she passed away. She also handwrote the recipe for me on an index card and I have cherished that little manilla piece of cardstock with my granny’s scrawl ever since. So much so, that my mother had the hand-written recipe carved into a wooden cutting board for me. It is a precious possession.

Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (2)

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. While it’s a bit time consuming to prepare Christmas pudding, the actual making of the pudding is quite simple.

This recipe makes two batches of pudding in medium-sized pudding basins. If you don’t have access to a pudding basin, pyrex bowls work great! It just recently dawned on me that the old bowl I have from my granny is an actual pudding basin. You can see the water line on the outside from the many years of steaming pudding. If you wish to make more, just double all of the ingredients in the recipe except, according to my granny, the salt. I recommend doubling the brown sugar rum sauce recipe also.

Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (3)

My granny’s Christmas pudding recipe calls for suet which is beef or mutton fat. Suet is used in traditional British recipes like pudding, pastries, and mincemeat. More contemporary Christmas pudding recipes have replaced suet with butter (granny’s recipe suggested substituting with margarine but I never use margarine in anything). I had no problem finding suet at the local grocery store in town but if you can’t seem to locate any in the meat cooler, ask your butcher or switch it out with butter.

Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe

Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (4)


  • 1 cup suet
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup potatoes, shredded
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup mixed fruit
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup flour (gluten-free flour works just as well but you will need to add 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum if your GF flour doesn’t already have it)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Start by preparing all of the ingredients. Chop the suet, apple, and nuts; grate the carrots and potatoes; wash raisins and currents. Measure out all other ingredients.
  2. Cream suet and sugar together in a mixer until smooth. Mix in vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir.
  5. Gradually stir in dry ingredients.
  6. Grease the pudding basin.
  7. Fill the basin with pudding leaving about 1 inch of room at the top.
  8. Cover the basin with parchment paper followed by a piece of tin foil and tie with string. I recall my granny securing this with sealer jar rubber bands.
  9. Place the basin in a large pot on a ramekin or trivet (sealer jar rings work well for this also) to keep the pudding basin off the bottom of the pot.
  10. Add water to the pot about 1/3 up the side of the pudding basin and bring it to boil.
  11. Steam the pudding for 2-3 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean when dipped into the center of the pudding. Keep adding water to the pot so it doesn’t boil dry. You will want to keep your eye on the pudding while it steams.
  12. Turn the pudding out on a plate and serve with Brown Sugar Rum sauce.
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It is customary for Christmas pudding to be made a year in advance at the beginning of Advent to allow the flavours to mellow. If you aren’t making it a year in advance, at least make it a few weeks ahead of Christmas dinner. This pudding freezes well. Simply leave it in the pudding basin and wrap well with plastic wrap. Steam for 2 hours to reheat at the time of serving.

Brown Sugar Rum Sauce

There are many variations of brown sugar rum sauce and while I don’t have the recipe directly from my granny, my mother assures me this is the recipe she used for Christmas pudding. This recipe is from the Robin Hood cookbook but we add the spiced rum. It is so sweet and delectable…it just might be the best part of Christmas pudding!

Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (6)


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons spiced rum


  1. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in warm water gradually.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and clear. About 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in butter, rum, and vanilla.
  6. Serve hot.
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Christmas hasn’t been the same since my Granny Vera died in November of 2016. While I do miss her delicious treats often delivered in an ice cream pail layered with wax paper, I miss her hugs the most. I will continue on the tradition of making her Christmas pudding recipe with love.

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Granny’s Christmas Pudding (Carrot Cake) Recipe (2024)
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