It has become a family tradition that I make the Christmas Pudding each year. It is always slightly different depending on what I have in the kitchen and this Totally Tropical Christmas Pudding came about because I had some Malibu languishing in the back of a cupboard. I decided to go for a tropical theme with mango, papaya and coconut rather than the more traditional fruits. (The one rule I have is that there has to be no orange in it, due to the dietary needs of a family member).

The result was a tropical Christmas feast, with a much lighter flavour and texture than a traditional Christmas pudding. It is pretty easy to make, the only downside is the long steaming time.

You will see from the pictures that I have gone for a more traditional pudding in a muslin cloth; this was not due to Dickensian nostalgia but rather because I had left my pudding bowls and my parents house last year. Oh well, better lucky than good…

So, stick on some Christmas music, pour some mulled wine and lets get baking…


Christmas Pudding in Muslin Bag

Makes: 1 x 4 pint pudding or 2 x 2 pint puddings – depending on basin size

Ready in : 4 hours plus extra 1.5 hours steaming on the day of serving (or Microwave for about 5 minutes)





250g             Dried figs

50g               Crystallized Ginger

175g             Dried exotic fruits such as pineapple, mango, papaya

225g            Sultanas

150ml          Malibu

175g             Unsalted butter

100g            Brown breadcrumbs (I used oat bread)

100g            Dessicated Coconut

85g              Pecan nuts, roughly chopped

100g            Plain Flour

1 tsp            Baking powder

½ tsp         Bicarbonate of Soda

150g            Dark brown sugar

2 x               Eating apples

3 x               Large eggs

140ml         Double Cream (I used Clotted cream)

1 tbs             Vanilla Extract

½ tsp          Ground nutmeg

1 tsp             Cinnamon

½ tsp          Ground Ginger


150ml             Rum or vodka to serve flaming and Rum butter


Totally Tropical Christmas Pudding

Totally Tropical Christmas Pudding



  1. Butter your pudding basin/s and lid/s
  2. Chop the figs, ginger, tropical fruit and sultanas in a blender (if you do not have a blender then it can be done by hand but will take that much longer).
  3. Place the fruit in a saucepan along with the Malibu and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the butter to the saucepan, put a lid on and leave it to simmer for a further 10 minutes until the butter has melted – the smell of this is amazing!
  5. Measure the breadcrumbs, coconut, pecans, flour, baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  6. Peel and quarter the apples and chop in the blender or by hand.
  7. Add the apples and the heated fruit to the dry ingredients.
  8. Mix the eggs, cream, vanilla and spices in a bowl and then combine with the other ingredients.
  9. Mix well then pour into the prepared pudding basins and steam for about 3.5 – 4 hours. (If you do not have a steamer then place the basins directly in a pot of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t flow over the top of the basin, and add a lid) Make sure not to let the water burn dry as the puddings will be ruined.
  10. Remove the pudding/s and leave to cool. Technically these should keep for a few weeks in the fridge but I erred on the side of caution and froze mine.


When you are ready to eat the pudding re-steam for about 1.5 hours (defrosting the pudding first if frozen) and then serve flaming with rum or vodka and served with rum butter, custard or lashings of cream.


Merry Christmas!