Figgy Pudding

Figgy Pudding

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
327 Calories
12g Fat
50g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 327
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 433mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 28g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 157mg 12%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 595mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 2 cups figs, 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

  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Figgy Pudding ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In an electric mixer, cream the 1/2 cup of butter until it is fluffy.

    In an electric mixer, cream the 1/2 cup of butter

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the 2 eggs and 1 cup of molasses and beat again.

    Add 2 eggs and 1 cup of molasses to the butter

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the 2 cups of figs, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon peel, 1 cup of buttermilk, and 1/2 cup of walnuts. Blend for 1 minute.

    Add the figs, lemon peel, buttermilk, and walnuts to the butter mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Blend until everything is incorporated completely.

    pudding batter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Grease and flour an 8 x 4-inch soufflé dish and pour in the batter.

    Grease and flour a soufflé dish and pour in batter

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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.

    baked figgy pudding

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Spoon the pudding out onto plates or cut it into wedges. Garnish with whipped cream.

    Figgy Pudding piece

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variation

  • 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.​

All About Figgy Pudding

Figgy is a spice-like soufflé 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.

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.

This recipe comes to us from "The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas."