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This vegan Christmas pudding is a dairy and egg-free take on a traditional British pudding! It’s a steamed and sticky cake with boozy fruit and warming spices. Easy to make, rich, moist, dairy-free and gluten-free!
In this vegan Christmas pudding recipe, I swapped the suet for coconut oil and the eggs for aquafaba. The result? A sweet, sticky, and irresistible vegan Christmas dessert.
It has all the flavors of a traditional Christmas pudding without any animal products or eggs! If you’re unfamiliar with this classically British cake, read on to find out more.
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🍮 What Is Christmas Pudding?
Christmas pudding is a steamed cake filled with boozy fruit, grated apple, citrus peel, and warm spices. It’s also referred to as plum pudding or figgy pudding, and is a traditional Christmas dessert in Britain and some parts of England. It has a dark color from the fruit and molasses, plus the long cooking time!
It’s traditionally made on “stir up Sunday” in advance of Christmas, which is the last Sunday before advent where families “stir up” their Christmas puddings. It’s then left to age for a few weeks so it can develop a richer flavor. Our easy recipe for Christmas pudding doesn’t require a few weeks of aging, it can be served right after it’s made!
👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Serve after Christmas dinner!
- Better than shop-bought Christmas puddings
- Classic Christmas pudding texture
- Sweet, sticky, and moist
- No eggs, dairy, or animal products
- A popular holiday dish in Victorian times
- Best vegan Christmas pudding ever!
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients – this plum pudding recipe without suet is actually pretty easy to make! Here’s what you need:
- Dried Fruit: A mixture of dried fruit has a perfectly sweet and tart combo! I used mixed fruit which included a combination of raisins, dried cranberries, currants, dried cherries, apricots, and dried dates! You can use whatever combo you like, but make sure to chop it into little pieces.
- Slivered Almonds: For a nutty flavor and texture. Walnuts are a good swap if you don’t have almonds.
- Citrus Zest: Orange and lemon zest for a hint of citrus.
- Brandy: Brandy acts as a preservative and brings out the flavor of the fruit and spices, just make sure you’re using shots of vegan-friendly brandy. Rum would also work.
- Apple: Grated apple adds sweetness and moisture to this vegan gluten free Christmas pudding.
- Coconut Oil: Traditionally Christmas plum pudding is made with suet. Suet is the fat that surrounds a cow’s kidneys. I used coconut oil because it’s a less processed option than vegetarian suet, but you could use vegetable suet if you can find it.
- Molasses: Molasses gives boiled pudding its dark hue and intense flavor. You can also use black treacle.
- Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It’s a great replacement for eggs and provides structure for this vegan figgy pudding recipe.
- Almond Milk: Any plant-based milk works great.
- Brown sugar: To sweeten this vegan plum pudding.
- Gluten-Free Flour: I recommend Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. It has a gluten-like taste and texture to it. If you aren’t gluten-free, just use plain flour in its place.
- Almond Flour: It mimics the texture of breadcrumbs, and has a delightfully nutty texture.
- Baking Powder & Soda: Leavening agents keep the cake from getting too dense.
- Spices: Ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice, and nutmeg give this simple plum pudding recipe its signature spice.
Top your eggless Christmas pudding with one of these delicious toppings!
- Vegan Brandy Sauce: Simmer equal parts almond milk and coconut milk with sugar until thickened. Stir in a splash of vegan friendly brandy and vanilla!
- Whipped Coconut Cream: Buy a can of whipped coconut cream or make your own! Whip chilled coconut cream with powdered sugar until thick and creamy.
- Vegan Ice Cream: Buy your favorite brand of vegan ice cream to top the pudding with.
🔪 How To Make Christmas Pudding
This English pudding recipe is easy to make so long as you follow these step-by-step instructions!
Soak Fruit: In a large bowl, combine the lemon and orange zest, almonds, dried fruit, chopped cranberries, and dates. Pour in the brandy, mix with a wooden spoon, and cover. Let the fruit soak for 24 hours in a cool, dark place, stirring occasionally to make sure it’s evenly coated.
Add Apple The Next Day: After the 24 hours is up, stir in the grated apple.
Combine Wet Ingredients: In another large mixing bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil, molasses, aquafaba, and almond milk.
Mix: Add the remaining ingredients to the oil mixture, along with the soaked fruit (and the juices!). Mix until well combined.
Grease Tin & Prepare Pudding Basin: Grease a pudding tin and cut a small piece of parchment paper to go in the top of the basin to keep the it from sticking. Transfer the pudding mixture into the prepared pan and seal it with the lid. If the tin doesn’t have a lid, make your own with a sheet of parchment paper and two sheets of foil. Secure the foil with baking twine.
Steam Pudding Batter: Place the pudding tin in the bottom of a large saucepan or stockpot, resting it on a trivet, small plate or saucers so it’s not touching the bottom of the pot. Add enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the tin and bring it to a gentle simmer. Place a lid top of the pudding basin and steam for 4 1/2 hours.
Remove Pudding: After the time is up, carefully remove the lid from the pot and remove this gluten free figgy pudding. Let it cool a bit before removing the lid.
Flip Pudding: Let the fruit pudding cool to room temperature before placing a plate on top and flipping the pudding out.
Enjoy this traditional pudding hot or cold with vegan custard or whipped cream!
Note On Flaming The Pudding: Traditionally, Christmas pudding is flambéed right before serving as the alcohol is poured over the cake and then set ablaze! But that’s not necessary (and can be kind of difficult to do at home), so my version doesn’t require that step!
❓ Recipe FAQs
Traditionally, Christmas pudding is made with beef suet, eggs, and sometimes butter or milk, which makes it not vegan. Always check the label for store-bought Christmas puddings or make your own vegan pudding!
A good substitution for suet in plum pudding is vegetarian suet. But vegetarian suet can be pretty highly processed and can sometimes be hard to find, so I used coconut oil in this recipe. If you can’t find vegan suet and you don’t have coconut oil, you can vegetable shortening can be a great option too.
Yes you can make this vegan xmas pudding recipe in advance! There are two different ways to make and store it depending on whether you make it with alcohol or not.
Pudding Made With Alcohol: Once it’s cooked, let it cool completely. Then wrap in parchment paper, and then wrap in foil. Place it in an airtight container, and store it in a dry, dark cool place – like your pantry or basement. While it’s in storage, you can even add 1 tablespoon of alcohol each week until you serve it to help preserve it! It will keep for up to 6 months. Once you have served the cake, place leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Pudding Without Alcohol: Once cooked, let it cool completely. Wrap in foil, then place in an airtight container and put in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator so you can make it up to a week ahead of time.
Traditional puddings made with alcohol will last for up to 6 months – because the alcohol helps preserve the cake. But if you make this recipe without alcohol, it will last for up to 5-7 days in the fridge from the day you steam the pudding.
It’s best to serve Christmas English pudding warm! You can warm individual slices in the microwave before serving, or steam the whole cake for a couple minutes until warm if you’ve made it ahead of time and have stored it in the fridge or your pantry.
You can enjoy it on its own or with a vegan brandy sauce, vegan ice cream, or vegan whipped cream. It’s traditionally served flambéed, which means it’s covered in brandy and then lit so a flame forms. I don’t recommend this unless you know how to do it without burning your fingers.
💭 Expert Tips
- Make sure to add water while the pudding cooks, so it doesn’t dry out!
- To make this pudding alcohol free substitute the brandy for apple juice or orange juice. Keep in mind, if you don’t include alcohol, this vegan cake won’t last nearly as long
- For best results, I recommend measuring your ingredients using a kitchen scale. That way, if you switch things up (e.g. a different flour, or different dried fruit) you will still end up with a moist, perfect cake!
- Even though this is a moist, boozy cake, you can tell it’s done in similar ways to a regular cake: when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the cake is done.
- While a traditional plum pudding recipe is often left to sit for 4 weeks until Christmas day, it’s not necessary with this one! It tastes delicious right after it’s made.
🎄 More Vegan Christmas Recipes!
- Vegan Mincemeat (For mince pies!)
- Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Turkey
- Pumpkin Protein Balls
- Cornbread Gluten Free Stuffing
- Vegan Fruit Cake
- Ginger Snap Cookies Recipe
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📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
Vegan Christmas Pudding
- 1½ cups dried mixed fruit
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 oranges (grated zest)
- 1 lemon (grated zest)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries chopped
- ¼ cup dried dates chopped
- ⅓ cup brandy
- 1 apple peeled and grated
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted
- 4 tbsp molasses
- 3 tbsp aquafaba
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1⅓ cup gluten free flour
- 1⅓ cup almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- In a large mixing bowl add the orange and lemon zest, almonds, dried fruit, chopped cranberries, and dates.
- Pour in the brandy, mix well and cover. Leave for 24 hours to absorb the brandy, stir every now and then to ensure the fruit is equally coated.
- After the fruit has sat for 24 hours stir through the grated apple.
- In a separate large mixing bowl whisk the melted coconut oil, molasses, aquafaba, and almond milk.
- Add to that the remaining ingredients along with the soaked fruit and any juices from the bowl.
- Mix until well combined.
- Grease a pudding tin and cut a small circle of parchment paper to place on the base of the tin to stop the top of the pudding from sticking.
- Add the pudding mixture to the prepared tin and seal it with the lid. If the tin doesn’t have a lid cut a circle of parchment paper to cover the pudding and place it on top along with 2 sheets of foil, secure the foil with some baking twine.
- Place the pudding tin into a large pot, resting on a small trivet or plate to lift it off the base of the pot.
- Add enough boiling water to the pot to come halfway up the tin.
- Place a lid on the pot and steam for 4 ½ hours, ensuring the water gently simmers.
- Top the pot up over the time with extra water when needed.
- After the 4½ hours carefully remove the lid from the pot and remove the pudding. Allow it to cool slightly before removing the lid/foil.
- Allow the pudding to come to room temperature before placing a plate on the top and flipping the pudding out.
- Serve either cold or hot with vegan custard, whipped coconut cream or vegan ice-cream.
- Make sure to keep adding water to the pot during the cooking time so that it doesn’t dry out.
- Pudding can be cooked ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge.
- To make this pudding alcohol free, substitute the brandy for apple juice.