Recipe for Figgy Pudding

StockFood/Richard Jung Photography/Riser/Getty Images
  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 8-by-4-inch dish (12 servings)
Ratings (22)

You probably remember the term "figgy pudding" from the old Christmas song, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." You may not think figgy pudding is a real thing, but figgy pudding is an actual dessert that is still enjoyed today—and it's quite delicious if you are willing to put the time and effort into making it

All About Figgy Pudding

Figgy is a spice-like souffle made with figs and walnuts. Some versions contain plums, but they aren't necessarily a must. In some cases, figs aren't used in it at all, though the recipe below contains figs. The cake is moist, delicious and fairly easy to make.

Americans may not be as familiar with it as British folks, as it is a common holiday dessert in Britain. In more recent years, it is served as a steamed cake that contains currants, raisins, and brandy. This could be why it is still so popular!

Fun fact: The dessert traditionally is served around Christmas and has quite a bit of Christian symbolism to tie in with the holiday. It contained 13 ingredients, which represented the 12 apostles and Jesus Christ. The cake was also adorned with a holly sprig on top to represent the crown of thorns Jesus wore in the Bible when he was crucified. Variations over the years have changed, but that is how it was originally prepared and presented. 

"The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas" by Jeff Smith

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 cups dried figs (about 1 pound, stems removed, chopped fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Garnish: whipped cream

How to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In an electric mixer, cream the butter until it is fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and molasses and beat again.
  4. Add the figs, lemon peel, buttermilk, and walnuts. Blend for one minute.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend until everything is incorporated completely.
  6. Grease and flour an 8- by 4-inch soufflé dish and pour in the batter.
  7. Bake it in a 325 F oven for 1 hour. You will know it is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  1. Spoon the pudding out onto plates or cut it into wedges.
  2. Garnish with whipped cream.
  3. You can also pour some brandy over it. In some cases, the alcohol is set on fire briefly to char the outside of the cake.​

Recipe Source: by Jeff Smith (Wm Morrow)
Reprinted with permission.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
272 Calories
14g Fat
36g Carbs
4g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)