Recipe: Traditional Christmas pudding

by Sarah Barber, Executive Pastry Chef


With its origins dating back to medieval England, the Christmas pudding is Britain's favourite festive dessert and a staple of Christmas Day celebrations throughout the country.

We sat down with our very own Queen of Desserts Sarah Barber who has shared her personal recipe for the ultimate Christmas pudding. If you are short on time or prefer to leave Christmas dessert in the capable hands of our pastry team, our Christmas puddings are available at The Café. 


100g sultanas
100g raisins
50g mixed peel
50g glacé cherries
100g currants
500g brandy
200g calvados
2 orange zest
100g bread crumbs
100g grated apple
90g suet
4 whole eggs
100g black treacle
100g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar
1g baking powder
80g soft flour
2tsp mixed spice
2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger

Cooking instructions

Soak the fruits for one week in the alcohol and keep airtight. Mix every day.

Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer until soft, add the eggs until combined, add the apple. Then add all the remaining dry ingredients.

Place in a pudding basin and steam for three hours.

Sarah's tips

The grated apple helps keep the pudding moist. 

After steaming, soak with more calvados and on a weekly basis until Christmas. I use calvdos as it is sweeter and not as harsh as brandy. 



About Sarah Barber

Sarah joined Hotel Café Royal in January 2016 as Executive Pastry Chef following a number of posts in some of London's finest pastry kitchens. Sarah's grandfather and mentor was once Head Chef at Café Royal before the reopening as a grand luxury hotel, one of the reasons she is proud to head up the pastry kitchen of this London landmark and manage a team of 17 pastry chefs. 

In addition to creating the desserts, afternoon tea and in room amenities for Hotel Café Royal, Sarah opened the dessert restaurant at The Café fronting Regent Street in March 2016, the first of its kind in London. Guests are invited on a sweet journey of dessert tasting menus. Furthermore, Sarah's cakes, pastries and festive gifts are available to eat in or takeaway at The Café. 

Book a Stay
View map