Christmas–Figgy Pudding


Now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding. . . !

Flaming Christmas pudding is a spectacular family tradition. I love the scene in the 1938 Christmas Carol movie where the mom serves flaming Christmas pudding and the family goes crazy! It’s absolutely priceless. Wouldn’t it be something to see your family so excited over a desert? You’ve got to watch it, yes you must!

It’s taken me years to find a recipe that I like. The original recipes contained chopped beef suet, molasses, dried fruits and nuts—it was not what our taste buds desired. I’ve created  my own recipe, one that’s still densely rich, has crushed figs replacing the many dried fruits and maple syrup in place of the strong molasses flavor. It’s delicious!

We’re blessed to have a fig tree with a huge harvest in the fall. I could fill the entire freezer three times over with all the figs that come off that tree. You can’t eat them fast enough to keep up how fast they ripen.

I’ve read in books of old that the tradition was to use 13 ingredients, representing Jesus and His 12 disciples. So I kept my ingredients to—13, no more, no less. Originally people steamed the pudding in the oven over water. I choose not to do that. I bake mine in an antique baking pan. Many use oven proof bowls to bake theirs in.

The delicious aromas float through the house as it cooks in the oven. After it’s baked I wrap it air tight and put it in the freezer in readiness for our Christmas festivities.  On the week of Christmas I take it out of the freezer to thaw. On Christmas eve place it on a festive dish, place holly leaves or festive greens around bottom. Make a glaze to pour over the top.

I have also read in those old books that flaming the pudding was another tradition believed to represent the passion of Christ.

Now, flaming the pudding is the tricky part.

Half fill a metal ladle or with something similar with brandy and carefully heat over a gas flame or lit candle.

When the flame is hot enough the brandy will ignite.

Pour the flaming brandy over the pudding. Make sure lights are out when you take it to the table for the grand entrance.

Once the flames are out, serve each slice with homemade whipped cream with a hint of brandy in it. I have had the same brandy bottle for four years because we only use it for this dish!

Figgy Pudding

2 eggs-beaten

1 stick of butter-melted

1 cup maple syrup

2 cups pureed figs (buy dried and rehydrate)

1 cup of plain yogart (or buttermilk)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 1/2 cups flour (Pamela’s Baking Mix used for GF, when you use Pamela’s omit salt, baking soda and baking powder)

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix wet ingredients, add dry, then stir well. Bake on 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 min or until done (doesn’t jiggle).

Cool 15 min’s before turning out of pan.

Always serve with yummy whipped cream

Fig tree next to our house

Basket full of Figs

Many bushels of figs ripened at the same time, so I filled my freezer with them. This is a large bowl of frozen figs. Letting them thaw for making figgy pudding.

Used blender to puree figs

Getting ready to mix ingredients


Figgy Pudding in antique baking pan–Ready to bake

Put the top on the pan and bake for an hour on 325. If you don’t have a pan mold like this one no worries. You can use an oven proof bowl or any dish you want.

Good that I left room at the top for it to rise. I poured the extra batter in a small pyrex ramekin and baked it. It’s always good to have a tester size to see how you like it. It was delicious!

Yep, done!

Gently turn upside down

Done! Now, I’ll wrap it airtight and freeze for Christmas. At Christmas I’ll put it on a pretty platter, put holly leaves around it, then pour brandy over it and light it on fire! Served with homemade whipped cream. Yum!



  • Chris Stevens said:

    Lovely post and lovely pictures! I just tweeted this for you!

  • Brittanny said:

    Delicious Tradition!

  • Joy said:

    Well...all I can say is...good for you! :-) Honestly, can't see this one happening. I was good with the first 3 ingredients...and then..hahaha...guess I have to use figs for figgy pudding. Now, in all honesty, I don't mind fig newton' maybe this wouldn't be so bad. I love the way you've written it up here and given the history...and your pictures do make my mouth knows...maybe one day.


    • You're so funny Joy!:) I think if you ate mine you wouldn't know it had figs in it. I can't tell at all. You should find another Christmas pudding recipe and try it, the flaming part is the entire reason to make it!!

      • Joy said:

        GAG...another Christmas pudding recipe? I've yet to ever find one that appeals to me. Now, hand me some Christmas chocolate trifle, or some Christmas brownies, or some Christmas chocolate, peanut butter we're talking. (I know they aren't really "Christmas" desserts necessarily, but I think they would be a great alternative!) And yes, I'm sure I would love yours...because it's made me love and prayers...I'm sure of it...the secret ingredient in everything you do.

  • Rachel Olsen said:

    So very cool. I have never served my family a dessert on-fire - I might have to start!

    Do make jam with the fig? I adore fig spread. I have one jar that my friend made and I treat it like gold.

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  • Kelli said:

    I love the stadium what a cool tradition!

    • It is such a cool tradition Kelli! Serving something that is flaming with fire- you just can't forget!Merry Christmas and blessings!

  • Melanie Shannon said:

    Oh I wish I was adventurous enough to try this. I love the antique baking dish. I do hope you make fig preserves (keep the figs large) with some of your figs. I have fond memories of warm homemade buttered bisquits & my great grandmother's fig preserves!!

    • I do make fig preserves Melanie. It is so yummy!I love that you have that memory of your great grandmother, that's what I want our children and grand children to remember about me--fond and enjoyable memories!

  • debbie said:

    This sounds yummy! I have never eaten figs that are fresh. What do they taste like?

    • Hi Debbie! I don't know what to compare the taste to, um. You can get fresh figs at the grocery store. You should get one just to try! They are in the top ten of healthy foods of the world. I think they are delicious. Blessings! Sharon

  • diki b. said:

    Sharon i came over from Karen Ehman's site for a visit and found your awesome recipe. I can hardly wait to try it! Thank you so much for sharing it with such good directions. Merry Christmas!!

  • Linda said:


  • Marti said:

    Beautifully done Sharon! I just moved from a crowded area in Florida to a beautiful remote spot in North Carolina surrounded with fig trees like these. I love to bake and have acquired an antique pudding mold I would like to use. Thank You for this inspiring piece! Marti

    • Sounds like you moved to the perfect property Marti! Figs are prolific! I literally filled an entire freezer with them, I couldn't can or eat them fast enough! Keep in touch! Christmas blessings! Sharon

  • Sandra said:

    How would this go with flaming it? Is it necessary? Thanks

    • It is not necessary but very memorable if you do!

  • Donna Melle said:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just filled a container with fresh figs. Wondering if you think I could make this pudding now and freeze for this Christmas?

  • Faith Worley said:

    I have an 8-year old who has her heart set on figgy pudding for Christmas. Last Christmas time got away from us so this will be our first time making one. I've been searching for the right recipe and I love yours because we were looking for something with a traditional fee I'm going to use your recipe and will let you know how it turns out. I love the history piece and my mother has English roots so this should be fun and possibly another Christmas tradition for our family.

  • karen blair/fred winchester said:

    thank you so much. no suet available here so this will work and mostly sounds the traditional recipe we have. have a blessed new year! karenb/fredw