Read the latest magazine... Download

Festive Christmas Pudding Recipe: Stir Up Sunday

The finished Christmas Pudding

Stir-up Sunday is a Victorian tradition where the family would gather together to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before Christmas, or the last Sunday before advent begins. This recipe, by Mary Goodsell, is a family favourite which evokes fond nostalgic memories.

TOP TIP: Some people prefer the more traditional route of adding brandy, but I favour using Cointreau, resulting in a zestier tasting cake.


Butter, to grease
100g (3½oz) raisins
50g (2oz) dried cranberries
125g (4½oz) sultanas
125g (4½oz) prunes, chopped
25g (1oz) chopped mixed peel
50ml (2fl oz) fresh orange juice, plus finely grated zest 1 orange
100ml (3½fl oz) Cointreau or brandy
50g (2oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) breadcrumbs
1 large eating apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tbsp mixed spice
110g (4oz) dark brown soft sugar
1 large egg, beaten
25g (1oz) vegetarian suet

Christmas Pudding Recipe

1.    Place all of the dried fruit into a ceramic or glass bowl with the Cointreau or brandy, orange zest and juice. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
2.    Add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the butter, to the bowl and stir well. This is when the family can all join in and each have a stir.
3.    Use the butter to grease a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin and line with a 61cm (24in) piece of muslin. Spoon the mix into the lined basin, pack it down firmly as you go, and level the top. Pull the sides of the muslin around the pudding and secure tightly with string.
4.    Tie string around the basin just under the rim and knot to secure. Then make a handle by bringing the ends of the string over the top of the bowl and tying them to the string on the other side.
5.    To cook, put an upturned saucer into a deep pan and then place the basin on top of the saucer. Pour in enough water to reach just over halfway up the sides of the basin, then cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 6 hours. Make sure the pan never boils dry by topping it up with boiling water as necessary.
6.    Remove the pudding from the pan and leave it to cool. Lift it out of the basin, keeping it in its muslin cloth, then wrap in clingfilm and a double layer of kitchen foil. Store in a cool dark place. The pudding will keep for up to one year if wrapped tightly.
7.    To reheat: return the pudding, still in its muslin, to the pudding basin. Follow the cooking instructions from step 5, but only for two hours, or until hot right through. 

See more Christmas recipes here

More from Food and Drink

  • 'Ever So Easy' Beef Bourguignon Recipe

    This simple recipe by Adele Trathan virtually cooks itself, but it is deliciously succulent and flavoursome. It’s ideal for a wholesome meal when you don’t want to be slaving over a hot stove.

  • Coffee & Chocolate Banana Bread

    This recipe by Mary Goodsell takes banana bread to a new level with the added flavours of chocolate and coffee. Soft and moist, it's a delicious mid-morning snack with a cup of coffee.

  • Smoked Haddock & Asparagus Risotto

    This deliciously warming dish by Mary Goodsell is perfect for the autumn months. This is an easy to throw-together risotto that works equally well using leeks, if you would prefer to use more seasonal ingredients.

  • Recipe: Spicy Barbecue Sizzlers

    Some like it hot, so sizzle your ribs and chicken with these BBQ sauces. I hope you find these recipes melt-in-your-mouth incredible!

  • Coconut, Blueberry & Lemon No Bake Cheesecake

    This cheesecake by Mary Goodsell, uses coconut yoghurt and plenty of zesty lemon for a healthier, lighter version of what tastes like a very decadent dessert

  • Kids Zone: Ice Cream Recipe

    Turn an average summer’s day into a fun ice cream parlour adventure with this fun and easy homemade ice cream in a jar recipe, says Sara Whatley.

  • Recipe: Courgette and Bean Summer Salad

    Griddled courgettes pair beautifully with tinned beans and any kind of lemon dressing and look so impressive on a summer’s barbeque table. This salad by Mary Goodsell is full of flavour and very purse friendly with seasonal ingredients

  • Five Ways to Help Moderate Your Alcohol Consumption

    In a culture that frequently revels in merry pub nights and wine-filled gatherings, reducing alcohol consumption can feel like a daunting task. Yet, amid increasing health awareness and a growing sober-curious trend, many people in the UK are seeking ways to moderate their drinking habits. Here are five effective strategies to help you maintain a balanced relationship with alcohol.

  • Alfredo Asparagus Bundles

    Mary Goodsell loves British asparagus and this recipe is one of her favourites. Using Alfredo sauce, which is similar to a white/cheese sauce, and a combination of cheeses baked inside buttery tartlets with crunchy green asparagus.

  • Recipe: Lemon, Banana and Blueberry Loaf

    The beauty of this loaf cake is that all the ingredients go into one bowl, so there’s minimal washing up. The zesty lemon flavours with the seasonal sweetness of blueberries elevates the tastiness of this recipe by Mary Goodsell

  • Strawberry, Yoghurt & Poppy Seed Cake

    If you are hosting friends in the garden this summer, this strawberry, yoghurt and poppy seed cake by Mary Goodsell is a delicious twist on a classic sponge cake.

  • Recipe: Chicken Cacciatore

    This one-pot supper by Mary Goodsell is a real crowd-pleaser. The tender chicken has all the comforting flavours and aromas of Italy. Serve it up with some rice or roasted garlic new potatoes

  • Spanish Tortilla: A Taste of the Country

    With lockdown affecting many family holidays this summer, you can still bring a taste of the Mediterranean sun to your home with this classic

  • Lemon and Raspberry Drizzle Loaf Cake

    If you're looking to give the classic lemon drizzle cake a little twist, this loaf bake is the perfect adaptation thanks to the addition of ground almonds, make it ever so light and palatable.

  • Recipe: Traybake carrot cake

    When Mary Goodsell was a young girl she was astonished that a vegetable could be made into tasty cake! Her traybake version couldn’t be simpler and can be made nearly all year round using British carrots

  • How to make wild garlic and cheddar scones

    This savoury scone recipe from Mary Goodsell works perfectly alongside a bowl of hearty soup, or simply with salty butter and a smear of marmite.

  • Recipe: Rhubarb & Ginger Streusel Cake

    I’ve been planning some tea-time treats and decadent desserts. This easy seasonal rhubarb and ginger cake hits the spot on all accounts, it’s moist, not overly sweet and has a crunchy topping. The perfect crowd pleaser.

  • Chocolate and olive oil banana bread

    This healthy take on the classic banana bread is definitely one to try if you're avoiding refined sugars or want to make a dairy free alternative to the classic!

  • A vegetarian, seasonal recipe for leeks & beans on toast

    It’s easy to get into a rut when it comes to lunchtime choices. This dish by Mary Goodsell is hearty, nutritious, purse friendly, a seasonal superstar and most importantly, quick to make!

  • Very healthy no-bake chewy breakfast bars

    Mary Goodsell believes that healthy food should always taste delicious, and these no-bake chewy date bars are the perfect breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up to ensure you stay full and satisfied throughout the day.