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Make this! Espresso Christmas pudding recipe

It's ‘Stir-up Sunday’ this, well, Sunday, so get your bake on with this twist on the trad Christmas pudding recipe from Rupert Cooper at Philleigh Way Cookery School.

Apparently, when sat in Church in Victorian times on the Sunday before Advent, housewives would hear the line “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people,” and think not of God but their Christmas cakes and puddings. And so it was that the ‘stir-up Sunday’ tradition was born.

A traditional pudding would contain 13 ingredients, representing Jesus and his disciples, and would be stirred (while making a wish) by each member of the family (starting with the youngest, up to the oldest) in an East to West direction, before a charm or coin was added before baking. This is said to bring luck to the person that finds it in their pudding on Christmas Day.

Well, whatever type of pudding you like to make, it can benefit from maturation before eating, hence making it five weeks early. Rupert Cooper at Philleigh Way Cookery School in Cornwall suggested this twist on the traditional pudding. The beauty of this version is that you *could* make it early, but this one will also taste good if you make it the day before.

Christmas Pudding for the espresso martini fans! 


  • 1kg raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 300ml Kahlua liqueur
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • Orange zest 
  • 1 tsp mixed spice 
  • 4 eggs
  • 140g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour


  1. Combine raisins and Kahlua in a large glass bowl. Set aside for 4 hours to macerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 160C. Brush ten 250ml (1-cup) capacity pudding moulds with melted butter. Line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Stir the coffee and water in a bowl until the coffee dissolves.
  4. Use an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the spice mix and orange zest then beat in the coffee mixture.
  7. Add breadcrumbs and combined flour. Stir until just combined.
  8. Add raisin mixture. Stir until well combined.
  9. Spoon into prepared moulds and smooth the surfaces.
  10. Cut ten 15cm-square pieces of non-stick baking paper and ten 15cm-square pieces of foil. Place the paper on top of the foil. Fold to make a small pleat in the centre. Place 1 square, foil-side up, over each mould. Tie a double piece of kitchen string around moulds.
  11. Place the puddings in a roasting pan. Add enough boiling water to the pan to reach two-thirds of the way up the side of moulds.
  12. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into centres comes out clean.
  13. Serve with custard.

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