What is Figgy Pudding?

A holiday recipe for figgy pudding so good, you won’t go until you get some.
Figgy Pudding

Figgy Pudding

Figgy pudding is a boozy steamed cake flavored by dried fruit and spices.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Figgy pudding is a boozy steamed cake flavored by dried fruit and spices.

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer

-We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Author Unknown

For Christmas carolers, the annual demand for figgy pudding is par for the course, but what exactly is it? For Americans, pudding conjures up a sweet custard or mousse. In the UK (birth place of this Christmas dessert), the definition of “pudding” is a little broader. It may refer to specifically to types of starchy dishes, but pudding, or “pud”, has become a general term for the dessert course of a meal.

FIggy pudding, also called Christmas pudding, is a traditional steamed cake that has been part of the holiday tradition since the 16th century. Made with eggs, flour and bread crumbs and packed with dried fruits, figgy pudding is usually a boozy confection full of brandy or rum, but non-alcoholic variations have grown increasingly common. Like its cousin the fruitcake, the popularity of figgy pudding has waned a little in recent years, but nothing says Christmas quite like a moist, sweet and spiced figgy pudding and the process of making one can be a treasured tradition in itself.

Figgy Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup brandy or spiced rum (apple juice may be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Combine flour, bread crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar together.

Add eggs one at a time

Add molasses, orange zest, buttermilk and brandy and beat until smooth.

Add dry mix and mix to combine.

Stir in figs, raisins and cherries.

Transfer batter into a buttered bundt pan and cover with a buttered square of aluminum foil.

Place bundt pan in roasting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water to about 2/3 high on the bundt pan.

Steam in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

Insert a toothpick into the figgy pudding. If it does not come out clean, cover and steam an additional 10-15 minutes.

Once figgy pudding is firm, remove from the oven, allow to cool 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Serve with whipped cream.

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