Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

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A traditional English pudding turned into cupcakes, Christmas Pudding Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Hard Sauce a rich and delicious. With all the flavors of a steamed pudding it’s a favorite for the holidays.

I got a wild hair…you know where.  Actually, I got lazy in NOT buying a new pudding mold since mine went missing, but it’s for the better.  I’m usually the only one that eats the Christmas pudding anyway.  But I still got a wild hair to turn it into a cupcake recipe.  Since Christmas pudding is traditionally steamed or boiled, I wasn’t quite sure other than a bain marie as to how to “bake” said cupcakes.  That’s what eventually happened.

I started out creaming 1/2 cup of margarine and 1/2 cup of butter flavored Crisco with 1 cup of brown sugar.  (In hindsight, this is a little too much fat.  You could use 1/2 cup total)  I added the zest of one orange, 3 eggs and 1/4 cup of egg substitute (ran out of eggs and…well…was lazy).  I added 1 cup of golden raisins, 1/2 cup of citron (one whole package) and 3/8 cup of currants.

Next I added 5/8 cup of unbleached, all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Then went in 1/4 cup of grated carrot and 3/8 cup of fresh white bread crumbs.  Finally, I combined 1/2 cup of hot water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and added it to mix.

Yes, it looks weird if you haven’t made a traditional steamed Christmas pudding before.  My recipe doesn’t have flour in it, but I knew I would need some in this recipe, but almost all the ingredients are present and accounted for.  My original recipe does call for suet, which I have substituted margarine for in this recipe.

I preheated my oven to 350.  I lined a two muffin tins with aluminum liners and sprayed them with cooking spray.  Then I scooped the mixture into each liner filling to the top and making sure not to overfill.  Then I covered the pan with aluminum foil and placed the muffin tins inside a jelly roll pan that comes at least 1/2 way up the sides of the muffin pan.  I filled the jelly roll pan with hot water and placed them in the oven.  I checked them after an hour and a knife inserted in the center came out clean.  The cooking time will probably vary depending on your oven and your pans.
I removed them from the pan and allowed them to cool on a wire rack.

For the hard sauce, I combined 8 ounces of lowfat cream cheese (Neufchatel) with 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of whiskey of choice.  I used Maker’s Mark bourbon.  You can use scotch, rum, whatever your hear desires.  It is a true hard sauce and not an icing.  I piped the hard sauce over the cupcakes and devoured them.  They are yummy!  They are not fruitcake, even though some of the items IN fruitcake are in here.  This is a steamed pudding, so the texture and flavor are different.

Some post script type notes.  I would cut the shortening/margarine to 1/2 cup.  I would either lower the temperature of the oven or shorten the cooking time and check them after 30 minutes or try a pastry or cake flour.  I think they were a little dry, even with the additional fat.  If that makes sense…  I didn’t soak the fruit in brandy or alcohol of any kind.  My recipe doesn’t call for that, but you could if you so desire.


Christmas Pudding Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Hard Sauce
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Christmas Pudding Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Hard Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A traditional English pudding turned into cupcakes, Christmas Pudding Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Hard Sauce a rich and delicious. With all the flavors of a steamed pudding it's a favorite for the holidays.


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 c margarine or shortening
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 T orange zest, grated
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 1 c golden raisins
  • 1/2 c citron
  • 3/8 c currants
  • 5/8 c unbleached flour
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t apple pie spice
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 c carrot, grated
  • 3/8 c bread crumbs, fresh
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 t baking soda

For the hard sauce:

  • 8 oz lowfat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 2 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 T brandy, bourbon, rum, choice of whiskey


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream margarine or shortening with the brown sugar. Add the orange zest and eggs and stir until combine.
  3. Combine the flour, spices and fruit in a small bowl. Toss gently to coat fruit in flour. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until blended. Add the carrot and bread crumbs and stir until just blended.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup of hot water with 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Add to the batter and stir until combined.
  5. Line 2 muffin tins with aluminum foil liners and spray with cooking spray. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Tightly wrap each pan with foil and place in a jelly roll pan. Slowly add hot water to the jelly roll pan to come up the sides of the muffin tin at least halfway.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes. They're done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to completely cool.
  7. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and whiskey until thick. Pipe over cupcakes and serve.

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