Drapers' Christmas Pudding

Gathering Around the Table

December 2, 2020 | People
Barb Draper | Editorial Assistant
(Photo by Bard Draper)

This recipe comes from my husband’s “Aunt” Nancy who was an English war bride. I cut the recipe in half and made a few adjustments to suit my preferences.

To see the story that goes with this recipe go to "Christmas pudding a long time tradition."


½ cup flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. allspice (or cloves)

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup fine breadcrumbs

½ cup shortening (or butter)

¾ cup brown sugar

½ tsp. baking soda

1 ¼ cups raisins

1 cup dates, figs, currants or cranberries

½ cup glazed cherries

¾ cup chopped peel

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup honey

2 eggs beaten

¼ cup grape or orange juice

¼ to ½ cup milk (enough to make a soft batter)


  1. Measure the fruit and nuts put into a bowl. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour and mix to keep the fruit from sticking together.
  2. In another bowl mix the flour, breadcrumbs, spices and sugar. Cut in the shortening until it is well mixed and crumbly.
  3. In a measuring cup, beat together the eggs, juice, honey and ¼ cup milk.
  4. Add everything together and mix, adding more milk if needed.
  5. Prepare an oven-proof glass bowl, coffee can or other container by greasing it with vegetable oil and pour in the batter. Cover tightly with tin foil and tie a string just under the lip of the bowl to keep the foil in place.
  6. Steam for three or four hours in a blancher or a pot with two inches of water, making sure the bowl is not touching the bottom of the pot. I sometimes use a tin can or even a foil pie plate to lift my bowl from the bottom. Make sure there is always water in the pot.
  7. When the pudding has cooled, wrap and store in the freezer. Let it thaw for most of a day and heat in the microwave before serving. I usually give it five or six minutes at about 50 percent power. 



Butterscotch sauce

1 cup water

½ cup brown sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 generous tablespoon cornstarch


Combine these ingredients in a heavy pot or a glass 2-cup measuring cup if using the microwave. Heat, stirring frequently until it boils and thickens. Add:

2 tbsp. butter

½ tsp. butterscotch flavouring


Serve warm.



Hard sauce

1/3 cup butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp. rum flavouring

Pinch salt

Pink and green food colouring


Cream butter until soft and add salt and rum flavouring and gradually add icing sugar. Divide into three, adding green and pink colouring to two of the batches. Chill. Using your hands, roll into balls about 2 cm in diameter and chill. Serve cold with warm Christmas pudding.



Xmas Pudding – Mother’s

Here is Ethel Draper’s recipe for Christmas pudding that she copied into her recipe scrapbook about 100 years ago. It belonged to her mother, Annie, who was born in England in 1851 and came to Canada in 1902.


1 lb. raisins

1 lb. currants

1 lb. suet

1 lb. sultanas

1 lb. brown sugar

½ lb. peel

¼ lb. almonds

2 lbs. breadcrumbs (16 cups)

1 lb. flour

4 tablespoons egg powder


A little almond flavouring and mix with milk. Boil 10 hours.

If you use three or four eggs, you can omit egg powder and use pastry spice.

(This quantity made one large one [in 5 lb. honey pail], two fair-sized ones in basin and small one as a taster.)

More recipes:
Zwiebach recipe
Jill’s Oven Omelette
Barry’s butter tart recipe

(Photo by Bard Draper)

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