Michelle Doll is the author of Essential Tools, Tips and Techniques for the Home Cook. You may also know her from Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Chowhound and as the host of the Kitchen Gods Podcast or as that lady on the street struggling with too many grocery bags. When she’s not teaching at a Culinary School you can find her testing and writing recipes in Brooklyn, NY
We've all had carolers demand for us to bring them some figgy pudding, but have you ever wondered what that actually was? If so, let us introduce you to the classic British Christmas dessert. This steamed cake is super-moist and filled with a warming combination of spices guaranteed to make your kitchen smell like the coziest place imaginable. Best served with ice cream and homemade hard sauce for some added punch, this dessert is just as satisfying on Christmas day as it is for getting into character for your upcoming Bridgerton watch party.
Why is it called figgy pudding?
Contrary to the name, figgy pudding isn't actually pudding. In this case, "pudding" refers to the British style of a steamed cake-like dessert. There have been versions of this classic dish as early as the 14-th century, and it's been a declared Christmas tradition in Britain since the 1600s. The name translates to plum pudding, and although no plums are used in this recipe, the word "plum" was used in place for any type of dried fruit during the time of the dessert's creation. The dish has remained a festive British staple, and is still often served on Christmas day to celebrate the holiday.
Do I have to use alcohol in the hard sauce?
Definitely not! Though the name comes from the addition of brandy or rum, you can make a booze-free version by swapping the alcohol with some apple cider.
How do I store it?
Figgy pudding will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. The best part? It tastes even better after a day or two! Serve with ice cream or additional hard sauce when you're ready to dig in.
Made this? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
- Prep Time:
- 25 mins
- Total Time:
- 1 hr 45 mins
FOR THE CAKE
- 9 tbsp.
butter, melted and cooled, divided
- 1 1/2 c.
all-purpose flour, plus more for coating Bundt pan
- 1 3/4 c.
- 6 oz.
dried figs, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 6 oz.
dried dates, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 1/2 tsp.
- 1 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1 tsp.
- 1 c.
- 1 1/2 c.
Ice cream, for serving, optional
FOR THE HARD SAUCE
- 1 1/2
sticks (12 tbsp) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 c.
- 2 tbsp.
brandy or rum or apple cider
- Step 1Make the cake: Adjust an oven rack to center position and preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the entire inside of a Bundt pan with about 1 tablespoon butter and dust with flour.
- Step 2In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the buttermilk, figs, and dates. As soon as the buttermilk begins to steam, set the mixture aside to cool. Mixture will appear curdled.
- Step 3In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Step 4Transfer the buttermilk mixture into a food processor or blender and pulse until the dates and figs are smooth. Set aside.
- Step 5In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs with the buttermilk mixture. Add remaining 8 tablespoons of melted butter and mix until just combined. Add the flour mixture, sugar, and bread crumbs and mix until just combined.
- Step 6Transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray and crimp over the edges. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the sides begin to pull away from the pan, 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Step 7Make the Hard Sauce: In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer or whisk, cream together the butter and confectioners' sugar. Add the brandy or rum (or apple cider) and mix until smooth. (The sauce will be thick.) Slather it over the warm cake so that it trickles down the sides. Reserve any extra to drizzle over individual slices.