Vegan Christmas Pudding turned out onto metal plate and topped with frosty cranberries and fresh rosemary
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5 from 15 votes

The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding

The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding. It's dark, rich, fruity, moist & boozy & so much lighter than the dense, heavy puddings you might have tried in the past! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-free option, Refined sugar-free, vegan
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 438
Author: Melanie McDonald

Ingredients

  • 260g / about 2 very full cups dried fruit , I used a combination of currants, raisins, sultanas, cherries, cranberries & blueberries - Try to get a nice variation of colour if you can
  • 10 dried dates , I used Deglet Noor but Medjool or any other kind will be fine. You could even use dried figs if you wanted to.
  • 10 dried apricots , optional but they look really pretty in there and provide a nice texture
  • 80mls / ⅓ cup brandy , or port, dark rum, a good sherry or a nice dark stout. See recipe notes for an alcohol free option
  • 50g / ⅓ very packed cup all-purpose flour , (plain flour in the UK), to make gluten-free use certified gluten-free oat flour
  • 65g / ¾ very packed cup bread crumbs , any type of bread will do but slightly stale, dry bread is best. Use gluten-free bread to make gluten-free (I weigh my bread then throw it into a blender to make breadcrumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 80g / ½ heaping cup coconut sugar , or any other dark brown sugar
  • 1 medium apple , grated or cored and thrown into a high speed blender and blitzed into a puree (skin can be left on)
  • 1 large orange , zest only
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba , the liquid from a can of chickpeas (i do not recommend substituting anything else. It gives the best results by far)
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses , NOT regular molasses. It needs to be blackstrap molasses
  • 75g / ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil , measured while liquid if you are using cups. Weight will be the same solid or liquid

YOU WILL ALSO NEED:

Instructions

  • Put the dried fruit, including the dates and apricots, into a large mixing bowl and pour over the brandy (or alternative alcohol/juice). Leave until the liquid has been absorbed by the fruit. How long it takes varies depending on the fruit you use but it will be somewhere between about 15 and 30 minutes. 
  • While that is happening, place the pudding basin on some parchment paper and draw a circle around the bottom of the basin onto the paper. Cut it out and set aside. Then turn the basin over and draw another circle around the top of the basin. Cut that one out but cut a few millimeters inside the line this time so the circle will fit on top of the pudding batter when you put it in the basin. Set that circle aside too. 
  • Make sure your Instant Pot is ready with the trivet insert inside. If you are using a steamer have the water simmering ready under the steamer, and if you are using a large saucepan, have a heatproof upturned saucer or something similar in the bottom of a pan so the pudding doesn't come into direct contact with the heat when it goes in, and a full kettle boiled and ready. 
  • Grease the pudding basin with some coconut oil and place the small circle in the bottom of the basin. 
  • Once the liquid has been absorbed by the fruit, add the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, allspice and sugar to the bowl and stir really well to combine. 
  • Then add the orange zest, apple, aquafaba, blackstrap molasses and coconut oil and stir well until combined. 
  • Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, smooth it out and top with the large circle of parchment paper, pressing it down all over and into the sides gently. 
  • Cut a large rectangle of silver foil and a slightly smaller rectangle of parchment paper. Enough to go over the top of the pudding basin with plenty to spare. Then lay the foil flat on your surface and the parchment paper flat on top of the foil. Make a pleat in them both as shown in my video above. 
    If you need to see the technique more clearly have a look at this video (don't worry about buttering the parchment paper like he says. though). 
    Cover the top of the pudding basin with the foil and paper making sure the pleat is in the middle, then press it down all around the basin as tightly as you can, then tie twice around the basin with string as tightly as you can. This is shown clearly in the video link too. 
    If you are using a plastic pudding bowl with a lid, I still recommend covering the pudding with a circle of parchment paper, putting on the lid, then wrapping the whole thing in foil as I have had situations in the past where the lid blows off and the pudding is ruined by the moisture. 

IF USING AN INSTANT POT: (you will need to use a 6 quart IP or larger for this recipe)

  • Place the wrapped pudding inside the Instant Pot, resting on the metal trivet. Boil a kettle and pour hot water down the side until it is just under half way up the side of the bowl. It should not go above the foil level. 
    Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is open. Set the Instant Pot to steam for 15 minutes. You will need to watch the clock for this part as the Instant Pot's timer won't count down for you. 
    After 15 minutes, cover your hand with a dish cloth and seal the vent. Press cancel, then set the Instant Pot to Manual (or pressure cook in newer models), High Pressure for 60 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.

IF USING A STEAMER:

  • Make sure the water is simmering away well under the steamer insert . Place the pudding in the insert and cover with the lid. Cook for 3 hours. 

IF USING A LARGE SAUCEPAN:

  • Place the pudding gently on an upturned saucer inside the pan and pour boiling water carefully down the sides so it reaches about halfway up the side of the pudding basin. It must not reach the foil. 
    Bring to a simmer but don't let it rolling boil as you don't want the water to get up under the foil. Cook for 3 hours. 

WHEN COOKED:

  • When the time is up, carefully remove the pudding, then take off the foil and parchment paper. It should look cooked and a toothpick should come out clean when inserted. You can also just poke the middle with a finger and it should be firmish with a bit of bounce, like a cake is when cooked. 
    In the unlikely event that it isn't cooked through you can return it to the Instant Pot/pan/steamer and cook it for a few minutes longer. Be sure to secure the paper and foil around it first though. 
    Either serve immediately or leave to cool completely, with the paper and foil removed but still in the bowl. Once cool, wrap the bowl again in fresh paper and foil before storing somewhere dark and cool. (See my directions in the post for storing it for up to 6 months). 

TO REHEAT THE PUDDING:

  • On the day you want to eat the pudding you can either steam it again or you can microwave the whole thing or just individual slices of it. If you use the microwave make sure you remove all traces of foil. 
    A slice takes about 40-50 seconds on full power, and the whole pudding about 4-5 minutes depending on how powerful your microwave is. Be careful not to overcook it so check it frequently. 
    To reheat in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, put it covered as before (make sure it's all sealed well) into the pot on the trivet and pour in boiling water half way up the pudding bowl. Put the lid on, seal the vent, press steam and set the timer for 30 minutes. once it's done it will be ok on 'keep warm' for an hour or so if you aren't quite ready for it. 
    If steaming it in a sauce pan or a steamer give it an hour to heat through.  

Notes

If you would prefer to make this pudding alcohol free you can replace the alcohol with apple juice or orange juice. Bear in mind though that the alcohol acts to preserve the pudding, so if you omit it, the pudding won't store well. You will need to keep it in the fridge and eat it within a week of making it.
Leftover cut pudding will keep in the fridge for up to a week and can be reheated as mentioned in the direction.
Whole untouched puddings, if kept wrapped, can be kept for up to 6 weeks somewhere cool and dark. (probably longer but I haven't tested for longer than 6 weeks). If you want to make it even boozier and moister, feed it one tablespoon of brandy once a week. Just open it up and spoon it on, then cover well again.
Leftover or whole puddings, if wrapped well, will keep in the freezer for up to 1 year.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 161g (roughly 1/6th of the pudding | Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 243mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 2.2mg