Meat-Free Monday – Christmas recipe #3

17 December 2018

We’ve given you the recipes you need to make the perfect vegan Christmas dinner, so now it’s time for desert. This vegan Christmas pudding will be a hit on Christmas Day, and we’ve also included the recipe for the perfect brandy butter to go alongside it.

Vegan Christmas pudding

Recipe by former Forest Green Rovers Head Chef, Em Franklin

Serving size: 8 


560g mixed fruit

140g sultanas

140g raisins

140g currants

140g glace cherries, halved

50g chopped blanched almonds, optional

200ml vegan sherry

Zest of one orange

200g vegan suet

175g dark muscovado sugar, plus 2 tbsp to line basin

175g fresh white breadcrumbs

140g self-raising flour

2 tsp mixed spice

4 tbsp apple sauce

2 tbsp treacle

For the mandarin centre:

1 small mandarin

400g granulated white sugar

1 shot orange liqueur


  1. Soak all of the dried fruit in the sherry overnight, or for at least two hours.  
  2. To prepare your mandarin centre, place in a pan of cold water and weight the fruit down with a side plate or crumpled baking parchment and lightly boil for 30 minutes until soft yet still intact.
  3. Remove the mandarin and set aside.
  4. Bring 300mls of water to the boil with the 400g of sugar and orange liqueur added.
  5. Poke several holes in the mandarin with a toothpick, and return to the sugar syrup.
  6. Cook for a further 45 minutes, weighted down again and turning half way to achieve a dark orange, semi opaque colour. Set aside.
  7. To make the pudding, grease your pudding bowl with sunflower or rapeseed oil. Then scatter two spoons of sugar to cover the oiled area.
  8. Combine all dry ingredients and suet.
  9. Add soaked dried fruit, any remaining liquor, plus the apple sauce and treacle.
  10. Fill the basin a third full of pudding mix.
  11. Set the cooked mandarin in the centre and continue to add the remaining pudding mixture on top and around the mandarin. Your bowl should be about three quarters full.
  12. Make a circle of baking parchment to cover and sit on pudding. Then, with a pleated centre, securely cover the pudding basin with tin foil.
  13. Place in a saucepan on a metal biscuit cutter or jam jar lid (to keep basin from sitting on the bottom of the pan). Add boiling water to three quarters of the way up the bowl, and steam for five hours with a lid on.
  14. You can eat your pudding when it’s cooked or store it, regularly feeding it sherry or brandy for a lively Christmas desert!

Vegan brandy butter


200g vegan margarine

200g creamed coconut block 

200g icing sugar, sieved to remove lumps

1 shot of brandy


  1. Place your block of coconut cream still in its plastic packaging into boiling water to soften. You can speed this up by boiling it on the stove for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before continuing. 
  2. Place the margarine, softened coconut cream (out of the plastic packaging) and icing sugar in a food blender. Blend until combined and smooth - do not over blend as you risk splitting your mixture.
  3. Now add the brandy, taste for sweetness, and chill until needed.
  4. Serve with your Christmas pudding or mince pies

Notes: If your ‘butter’ is runny it could be because your coconut was a little hot and has melted the margarine. Place the food processor bowl, with ‘butter’ in it, in the fridge for 30 minutes and then proceed.

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