Christmas Pudding in Decline. Half of Brits shunning festive dessert this year.

Research out today reveals that Brits fallen out of love with the classic Christmas pudding. The tradition of making and eating the sweet treat is on the decline as three quarters (75 per cent) of Brits admit they have never made their own Christmas pudding and half (49 per cent) no longer eat the festive dessert on Christmas Day.
The study – commissioned by the nation’s favourite golden syrup, Lyle’s® – highlights how out of touch Brits are when it comes to the traditions surrounding the Christmas pudding, with one in three (33 per cent) not aware of the custom of the silver sixpence being included in the pudding mix, and half (46 per cent) unsure of why the sixpence should be included – to bring the finder wealth and good luck in the year to come.
To revive budding bakers’ passion for this dying tradition Lyle’s® has created a countrywide campaign – Bake, Eat and Be Mary – and has recruited an army of Mary Christmases from the length and breadth of the British Isles to share their traditional Christmas pudding recipes.
The campaign brings together recipes from 100 Marys from John o’ Groats to Land’s End, each an expert in the art of making Christmas pudding and with a trusted family recipe to ignite a whole new generation’s interest in this centuries-old national tradition.
Under half (47 per cent) of Brits know that a Christmas pudding needs to be steamed rather than baked, and just 60 per cent could identify the correct base ingredients which make the pudding. When presented with a list of possible ingredients for inclusion in the recipe the lack of knowledge surrounding the tradition was clear as one in ten (10 per cent) believed cocoa powder should be included in the traditional pudding mix.
Mary Greaves, part of the team of Marys spearheading Lyle’s® Christmas pudding movement said “It’s our mission to get people back into baking and the Christmas pudding is a fantastic place to start. The dish is a fascinating part of our national heritage, and we’re here to help people connect with their roots as well as preserving the practice for centuries to come.”
The ‘Mary Christmas’ army will be tasked with passing on their pudding prowess to Brits who have fallen out of love with the tradition as the research further revealed that many Brits are in the dark when it comes to the preparation method.
Elpida Gailani, Senior Brand Manager of Lyle’s Golden Syrup® said “The ritual of making and enjoying a delicious, rich Christmas pudding goes back centuries and is a magical part of the season’s festivities. We have recruited our Marys, each with their own family recipe, to encourage would-be bakers to pick up their wooden spoons and mixing bowls and keep the Christmas pudding tradition alive.”
More information about the Bake, Eat and Be Mary campaign, along with profiles and recipes from many of the Marys involved will be regularly posted throughout the Christmas period at  
Lyle’s Golden Christmas Puddings
These sparkling gilded Christmas puddings make a dramatic and opulent ending to the festive meal. Edible gold flakes can be found in cake decorating shops.

Makes: 6
Prep time: 50 minutes
Soaking time: 3-4 hours
Cooking time: 1¼ hours

for the Christmas puddings
50g (2oz) golden sultanas
75g (3oz) currants
75g (3oz) raisins
60g (2½oz) dried apricots, finely chopped
60g (2½oz) dried mango, very finely chopped
50g (2oz) mixed peel
40g (1½oz) flaked almonds, roughly chopped
60ml (2½floz) brandy or orange liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g (4½oz) unsalted butter, softened
40g (1½oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
40g (1½oz) Lyle’s Black Treacle
95g (3½oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Light Muscovado Cane Sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
75g (3oz) plain flour
150g (5oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

for the brandy butter
125g (4½oz) unsalted butter, softened
95g (3½oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
2 tbsp brandy or orange liqueur

to serve
6 tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup
edible 23 carat gold flakes or dust
few sprigs holly

You will also need 6 x 125ml (4½floz) greased pudding basins.

Combine all the dried fruits and nuts in a mixing bowl, add the brandy or liqueur and the vanilla. Mix well, cover and leave to soak for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Beat the butter, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and treacle and the Tate & Lyle sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer for 5-8 minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs little by little, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour over the fruit mixture and stir well to ensure all the fruit is coated in flour. Add to the creamed mixture along with the breadcrumbs and stir well to combine.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan150°C, 325°F, gas 3.

Divide the mixture between the pudding basins and smooth the tops. Place in a deep baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the tin. Cover with a sheet of buttered parchment paper and then some foil.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1¼ hours or until firm when lightly pressed in the middle.

Make the brandy butter by creaming the butter and Lyle’s Golden Syrup together until very soft. Gradually beat in the brandy or liqueur. Spoon into a serving bowl.

Remove the puddings and leave for 5 minutes before turning out onto warm plates.

Gently heat the Lyle’s Golden Syrup in a small pan until hot then brush all over the puddings. Sprinkle with gold flakes, decorate with holly and serve with the brandy butter.

Do ahead
You can make the puddings and the brandy butter 1 month ahead and freeze them in a lidded container. Alternatively, make both 3 days ahead and store in the fridge. To reheat, place the pudding basins in a shallow saucepan half-filled with boiling water, cover with foil and steam for about 20 minutes or until hot. Or microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot.


1 thought on “Christmas Pudding in Decline. Half of Brits shunning festive dessert this year.

  1. Kim Carberry says:

    I’ve never made my own Christmas pudding but we’ll still be eating it….It’s a part of Christmas for us!! 🙂

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