easy pressure cooker christmas pudding

Ever since I published the “New Christmas Pudding” I’ve been getting requests from British and Aussie readers for a more “traditional” recipe. Many readers had used my pudding “technique” with great success but they had to follow their own recipe and hope for the best. These readers were quite tactful and elegant in communicating to me that I screwed with their tradition by sprinkling it with cranberries and whatnot.

So, this year I ordered a 1.5litre ceramic pudding mold and what later turned out to be 3 kilos of currants (oops!) from the UK. British goodies in hand I elegantly trotted to my kitchen to get steaming. Instead of re-inventing the whee… er.. pudding, I chose to adapt BBC’s Good Food Easy Christmas Pudding recipe to the pressure cooker – except, it doesn’t call for currants. Other than that, their recipe is really is easy in that you’re literally just measuring, mixing, dumping and going!

My Pudding Mods

In regards to the “currant” situation, Nigella was quite helpful, as she notes that currants can be replaced by the same weight in raisins or other dried fruit – so I reverse-engineered BBC’s recipe to include currants – but I left in the info for raisins (in case that’s all you can get your hands on). My currants must be particularly large because their volume and weight were almost exactly that of raisins.

Also, BBC’s recipe calls for self-rising flour which is something the majority of hip readers (located in the United States) can’t easily obtain so my recipe breaks-it out into flour, baking powder, and salt – but use self-rising flour instead if you’ve got it.

Finally, I broke out the British “mixed spice” into the individual spices. Actually, this is a great opportunity for my American readers to use-up that “pumpkin pie spice mix” that’s been taking up room on your spice rack. Simply replace the four 1/4 teaspoons of spices with a teaspoon of that and Bob’s your Uncle!

I also moved around the sequence of ingredients to how I usually make desserts to dirty the least amount of dishes (i.e. you only need one mixing bowl with this mod).

Your Pudding Mods

Use any 6-cup-capacity glass, ceramic or Corelle bowl in place of the pudding mold.

This pudding isn’t too fussy and takes to substitutions well.

My daughter is intolerant to wheat and she *really* wanted to try this pudding, so I made her a gluten-free version by substituting buckwheat crackers for breadcrumbs and all-purpose gluten-free flour mixture for the flour.

Sub the same quantity of sugar with your favorite sweetener, too!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger heat-proof bowl(s) 10 + 35 min. High(2) Natural

4.5 from 4 reviews
Easy Christmas Pudding - pressure cooker recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 10 servings
  • Serving size: 1/10th
  • Calories: 299.2
  • TOTAL Fat: 11.7g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 47.8g
  • Sugar Carbs: 37.4g
  • Sodium: 173.7mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 3.5g
  • Protein: 4.1g
  • Cholesterol: 34.2g
Recipe type: Pressure Cooker
Cuisine: British / Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from BBC's Good Food Easy Christmas Pudding Recipe to the pressure cooker.
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (180g) light muscovado sugar/light brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 cup (140g) currants or 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup (140) sultanas
  • 1 cup (60g) finely grated butter
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh whole wheat brown breadcrumbs (from around 2 thick slices of bread)
  • 1 cup (90g) mixed nuts, chopped plus extra to decorate
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon clove powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger powder
  • 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Add two cups of water to the base of the pressure cooker and set aside.
  2. Butter the pudding mold and set aside.
  3. Construct a foil sling for the mold (see video) and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl break-up the egg and sugar.
  5. Then sprinkle in the currants, sultanas, butter, breadcrumbs, nuts, cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg and ginger powder, milk, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Mix well and tumble into the pudding mold.
  7. Place the uncovered bowl onto the sling and lower into the pressure cooker.
  8. Cover the pressure cooker with a normal lid, or plate - if you don't have one that fits your pressure cooker remove the pressure valve and gasket from the pressure cooker lid; or, set the valve to "release" or "no pressure".
  9. Electric pressure cookers:[b] turn on the Brown/Saute setting and when steam begins to sneak out of the pressure cooker (in about 10 minutes), start counting down 10 minutes of steam-without-pressure pre-cooking time.
    [b]Stove top pressure cookers
    : turn on the heat to the highest setting. When steam begins coming out (in about 10 minutes), lower the heat to medium and start counting down 10 minutes of steam-without-pressure pre-cooking time.
  10. When time is up, remove the lid tilting it to the side to guide the condensation under the lid away from the pudding. Add the pressure cooking lid, or put the valve and gasket back on- the lid will be hot so use oven mitts or tongs to do this.
  11. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  12. Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 35 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Lock the lid, and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
  13. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural pressure release.
    Electric pressure cookers: Disengage the “keep warm” mode, or unplug the cooker, and open the lid when the pressure indicator/lid-lock has gone down (about 20 to 30 minutes).
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes).
  14. Leave the pressure cooker closed for an additional 10 minutes after the pressure has released - this is important as a pudding that is too hot coming out of the cooker will turn hard and dry very quickly. If you intend to cool the pudding and serve it at another time, anyway, leave the pudding in the cooker for 20 minutes more after the natural release.
  15. Remember to tilt the pressure cooking lid when you remove it to prevent the condensation from dibbling back onto the pudding.
  16. Lift the pudding out of the pressure cooker and cover tightly until ready to invert and serve.
  17. Serve with an optional dousing of butterscotch sauce (further down this page).
  1. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to three months - do not store at room temperature.
  1. Pop the pudding back in the mold, and pressure cook for 5 minutes - release pressure naturally..

4.5 from 4 reviews
Butterscotch Sauce
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: approx 1.5 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories: 75.2
  • TOTAL Fat: 6.5g
  • Sugar Carbs: 4.3g
  • Sodium: 4.2mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 0g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 21.4mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: British / Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
From BBC's Good Food Easy Christmas Pudding Recipe to the pressure cooker.
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter
  • ½ cup (100g) light muscovado sugar
  • 1 cup (200ml) Heavy double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a pan, or the pressure cooker base, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes, continuing to stir, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is pale caramel color.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and pour over the pudding and decorate with the whole mixed nuts.

easy pressure cooker christmas pudding easy pressure cooker christmas pudding


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  1. This is great. Can’t wait to do Christmas Pud in my IP. BTW…have you tried the Christmas tradition of lighting your Pud on fire and switching the lights off..just some candles lit with Christmas tree lights? Lovely, just seems to make it so much more elegant.

    1. I haven’t tried flambeing my puddings. Though, I’ve heard of them being bathed in liquor for at-room-temp storage – sounds like Christmases with a boozy pudding are a lot more fun! : )



  2. I have a traditional metal pudding mold with a locking lid. Can I use the lid when making this recipe. Also should I use a trivet to raise the old off of the bottom of the pressure cooker to prevent burning the top of the pudding. When making pudding in the traditional manner I always use a canning jar ring to hold the mold off of the bottom of the kettle but still allow it remain in the water to steam.

    1. Hi Victoria, for the ceramic mold there is no need for a trivet (as it has a thick bottom with raised ridges, underneath) but for a metal mold – yes – you should raise it with a steamer basket – a canning jar ring works, too!

      However, do not seal it closed. Leave the pudding un-covered during pressure cooking. Use the lid for storage only.



      1. So I can do the steam with the mold lid on, but not the pressure steps to cook or reheat. Would you recommend foil on top of the mold (ceramic bowl or my traditional aluminum mold) to keep the excess steam/water from entering the mold?

        1. The pudding should be pressure cooked uncovered – the steam will assist in cooking it and there is no danger of water splashing on to it as there would be in conventionally cooking it.

          Do not use the lid of the mold during the pressure cooking step. If you seal the pudding mold, the inside of the mold will reach pressure, too but there are no valves to safety release it before you open the mold.



    2. I would also like an answer to this question. I believe that these lids are not airtight and should be fine, but I’m not a pressure cooker expert. Thank you!

      1. I made it in my mold, inverted, on the trivet, using foil instead of the lid during the pressure stages. Was delicious!

      2. Lesley, if you’re sure the lid is not air-tight you can use it – but it will slow down the cooking time. I recommend steaming the pudding uncovered. ; )



    3. I’d like this answer too . I made puddings last year and put .the lid on as usual … they all worked fine .wouldnt .that stop .the water dripping onto .the pudding ?

  3. I hope that’s a typo in step 7, “Place the un-coveted bowl onto the sling…” Imstill want most of my bowls. LoL

    Merry Christmas,

    1. Wow… amazing how just one letter can make ALL the difference. It should be your most coveted bowl, of course! But it was, indeed, a type-o and it should have been “uncovered”. And now, it is.

      Thanks and Happy Holidays!



  4. Love your website and I love to follow your recipes. Keep up the good work and have a very white Christmas. Sebastian.

  5. I want to try this recipe, but without the nuts. Is there something I substitute, or do you think I could just leave them out?

    1. You could add an extra cup of breadcrumbs, or dried fruit.



  6. my British father used to douse the pudding in brandy and light it on fire. Not sure where he procured the pudding in California. Have to admit I prefer chocolate though…

    1. Thanks for sharing this memory, Claudia. Had a good giggle imagining your father finding a pudding in California!

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



  7. Cooking uncovered saves time versus the traditional method of covering and steaming. I’m wondering why other recipes call for covering puddings (not just Christmas pudding) as it takes much longer to cook when covered, unless there’s alcohol in the recipe and it requires covering the pudding? Would it still need to be covered if it contained alcohol?

    Can anyone shed some light on covering vs uncovering puddings when pressure cooking them. Thanks.

    1. I think it’s just a “pressurecookerization” idiosyncrasy.

      I’m the only one that I know of who goes around proposing to leave things (puddings, cakes, etc.) uncovered in the cooker because of my understanding of how the heat is transferred inside the pressure cooker. My timings are also very short compared to others because – in my mind – a dessert is finished once it has “risen” and the eggs in it are cooked. There is really no benefit to continue cooking the dessert after that.

      Until recently, or maybe ever, I don’t think anyone has thought to take advantage of the physics happening inside the cooker, or the reactions in a recipe, to speed the cooking even more.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, Dave!



      1. It certainly saves a LOT of time to pressure cook the pudding uncovered. The original recipe only requires 2 1/2 hours though; most Christmas pudding recipes require much longer in a saucepan (6 hours or more!) and regular topping up of water to avoid boiling dry.

        The only concern I would have is the alcohol igniting if an ordinary Christmas pudding is steamed uncovered in the pressure cooker – could that happen?

        Merry Christmas Laura to you and your family and best wishes for 2018. :)

        1. A couple of tablespoons of liquor added to the batter (say rum-soaked sultanas) will be diluted enough by the other ingredients to not be a danger. I’m guessing that if you’re planning to soak or flambe’ the pudding you would do that after the pudding is cooked anyway, right?

          What IS dangerous is bringing the cooker up to pressure using 80-100 proof (40-50%) alcohol. Big to-do on Facebook right now about a popular – albeit VERY MISGUIDED- technique for making vanilla extract by pressure cooking liquor and vanilla. There isn’t even any advantage to that technique, the vanilla doesn’t taste any better and, according to most proponents, it has to mellow out for a few months first – whereas if you just stick vanilla in a liquor bottle and shake about once a day you can start using it as soon as week… PLUS you’re not filling your kitchen with combustible gas. : /


          I’m writing a consumer alert on this – waiting for some government organizations to get back to me with quotable texts to include. Because just *telling* people isn’t enough to counter the pretty pictures and blogs online that show you how to do it along with vague statements about whom they consulted that assured them it was safe to do.



          1. P.S. Watch the hip facebook page – I’m about to post the comments I left on those blogs that have been deleted by the blog authors.



          2. After cooking the Christmas pudding, warm brandy is ignited and poured over the Christmas pudding:

            There’s very little alcohol in the Christmas pudding when it’s in the pressure cooker, so I doubt it would be ignited when uncovered during cooking or reheating in there.

  8. I suspect it is too late but…. my pudding bowl is only 3 cups… I can halve the recipe but what about the coming time? I was thinking of shaving off 1/4 to 1/3 the time… or should I stick with your time based on the full recipe? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Laury, stick to the full time you can’t overcook Christmas Pudding! : )

      Merry Christmas!!


  9. I found some British packaged mixed spice at the back of my spice cabinet, best by date December 2000 believe it or not. The ingredients in order are cinnamon, coriander, caraway, fennel, nutmeg, clove, ginger, turmeric. I had a go at it, using the ingredients from the Daily Mail recipe and the methods above, it smells divine! Can’t wait to serve it. Thank you for inspiring me, I definitely had never dreamed of making a pud until I got your email. Happy Christmas!

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Diana. I don’t think dried species can ever go “bad” – maybe just lose their pungency. Come back to let us know how it turned out!!



  10. Just purchased my pressure cooker recently and found your website. I loved Christmas pudding as a kid but since moving to the USA have never made it and definitely will give it a try now with your recipe and recommendation. Thanks

  11. Hello Laura,
    Starting to think about Christmas baking. I picked up a 6-cup silicone mold at the thrift shop but I’m not sure what I’ll use it for. Do you think I could use it for this cake? If so, what times should I use? Thank you for your very informative website and recipes.

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