Wartime 1915 Christmas puddings

November 26, 2015 8:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Here are two wartime Christmas pudding recipes, particularly appropriate for this time of year. They’re suitable for trying at home, or with children’s or community groups. See how they compare with the decadent creations available in the shops today – you might even find you prefer these!

Wartime Christmas cake recipes from 1915

Recipe 1: Wartime Christmas pudding

The first recipe uses a carrot to bring sweetness:

 ‘Although fruit, like everything else during the war, has gone up in price, every English household must have a Christmas Pudding, but today, when eggs are so very expensive, it is necessary to be as careful as possible to try and obtain good results with fewer in the pudding. The secret of success is in the boiling, and the longer a Christmas pudding is allowed to boil the richer it will be.’

(Taken from a recipe obtained by historyextra.com)


6 tsp flour

½ lb suet

½ lb currants

1 tsp sugar

1 large carrot


Boil the carrot and mash finely. Mix with the other ingredients, then boil the pudding, safely wrapped up, for five hours.

Recipe 2: rich wartime Christmas pudding

This one is a little richer and does include one egg, as well as mixed peel. Interestingly, it was NOT recommended to use figs instead of dates (although these too were available). It was felt that the seeds from the figs would be visible and give the game away!


From: The Times, December 8th 1915


‘We are using dates as far as possible in our puddings to replace raisins, and also in mincemeat as the supply of raisins in the country appears to be getting low…

To make a 4 lb. pudding the ingredients are: ½ lb suet or dripping, ½ lb flour, ½ lb breadcrumbs, ½ lb dates, 1 lb grated carrots, ½ lb currants, 4 oz. mixed peel, grated rind of lemon, 4 oz. sugar, one egg, and spice to taste.’

No method is given, but the wartime cook presumably knew exactly what to do with these ingredients!




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This post was written by Yzanne

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