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Steamed Chocolate Pudding

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steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

Chocolate lovers, you’ve come to the right place!  Here is something extra special.  18th century chocolate meets 17th century pudding.  This decadent chocolate steamed pudding celebrates the rich heritage of a beloved and traditional dessert originating in England in the 17th century and brought to colonial America.

It was my mom who introduced me to steamed puddings.  It’s always been the tradition in my family for my mom to make a steamed pudding every year for Christmas and New Year’s (two different kinds and both equally amazing).  She’s been making them since I was a little girl and it’s something we all look forward to every year.

Steamed puddings have been a long-held Christmas tradition in England since the 17th century and this tradition was continued by the early American settlers.  The most common is plum or fig pudding, made in a special steamed pudding mold of various shapes and sizes.  (Think lyrics from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”:  “Oh, bring us a figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding…”)  If you’ve always wondered what on earth a “figgy pudding” is, now you know!  The method for making it is similar to this chocolate pudding only the ingredients (including chopped figs) are different.  Steamed puddings have traditionally been made using flour, breadcrumbs, or torn up pieces of bread.

Here is a very traditional Christmas pudding (aka, Figgy Pudding), often garnished with a sprig of holly.  Traditionally pumped so full of brandy as a preservative, and for flavor, that the pudding would virtually last years!  It is then lit on fire just before serving.

figgy pudding recipe christmas pudding best authentic traditional plum

Despite their popularity for so many centuries, it’s unfortunate that, though common in the colonial days of our country, they are relatively unknown today.  Yet another tradition that’s sadly been lost. I have yet to meet someone here outside my own family who has ever tried one, and most people have never heard even of them.  The only “pudding” widely known today is the custard/mousse kind.

So I’ve developed this recipe in celebration of a rich heritage of steamed puddings (thus the “heritage” in the title) and have added a modern twist – chocolate!  I’ve partnered, fittingly, with American Heritage Historic Chocolate to bring you a delicious, decadent dessert using the very best of the best chocolate available.

For the sentimental patriot.  And for anyone who loves chocolate.

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

Sink your teeth into this while I tell you a little more about this historic chocolate.

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

American Heritage Historic Chocolate is a subsidiary of Mars.  And something I never knew until a week ago is that the birthplace of Mars Chocolate is…Tacoma!  The first factory from the early 20th century is in downtown Tacoma, just 20 minutes away from where I live.  Now an abandoned building but with so much history behind it.  I’ve always been sentimental and knowing this made me even more eager to accept the invitation to try this chocolate.

I need to emphasize that I only write about products that I personally like.  And I usually don’t review them – I simply demonstrate how I use them in my recipes.  But I am particularly impressed with this chocolate and want to share a few of my thoughts about it with you.

Chocolate Pudding prep 2 vignette

This chocolate is made from an authentic 1750’s recipe.  Mildly spicy and slightly sweet, it’s flavored with a blend of spices and ingredients that were available during colonial times, such as  cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, orange, chili pepper, and vanilla.  It’s certified Kosher, made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives.  American Heritage Chocolate is available for sale at over 130 living history museums and sites across the United States and Canada and also on their website.  I’m thrilled that they’ve recreated this historic recipe in an effort to preserve a piece of our American heritage.

Here, have another slice for good measure – this time with some whipped cream sprinkled with more chocolate.

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

I’m really impressed with the flavor and texture of this chocolate.  I pulled out another brand of chocolate from my cupboard to do a side-by-side taste comparison – a very reputable, highly acclaimed brand of dark chocolate with the same cacao content.  There was no question in my mind which one came out ahead.  I had three other adult members of my family try both without knowing which one they were sampling.  The verdict was unanimous: American Heritage Historic Chocolate was the winner – by a long shot.

The other brand (like most dark chocolate brands I’ve sampled) had a sharp, fairly bitter, almost harsh flavor with a faint fruity aftertaste.  The texture was hard and waxy.  American Heritage has a smooth, almost velvety texture and a very deep, warm, even comforting flavor.  And not just one flavor – the longer you let it melt on your tongue the more layers of flavor come through.  I tasted – and so did my family – what seemed like a pleasant cherry-like flavor which was pronounced even in the steamed pudding. There are also warm spicy undertones – cinnamon, anise, nutmeg – that leave a slight tingly sensation in your mouth.  I sampled each of their products and these flavors are consistent throughout each product.  Somehow the flavor of this chocolate really is reminiscent of days gone by and for me elicits a feeling of nostalgia.  Perhaps it’s those “comforting” flavor combinations that bring back memories of my mother’s kitchen, grandma’s house, childhood…home.

Not that I was born in the 18th century (though there are days I sure feel like it!), but you get the drift.

Chocolate Pudding prep 5

Bottom line:  This dark chocolate is superb.  The flavor is unique and unlike any other dark chocolate I’ve tried.  Once you’ve tasted it you would recognize it again.  The flavor is unmistakable.  And it’s the best I’ve had.

Now, what I am a little disappointed about is that they don’t currently make a pure cocoa powder. The Chocolate Drink Powder, which is blended with sugar, says it’s also for baking (and I used it in this recipe along with their Chocolate Block) but for the sake of greater versatility, I really hope they’ll come out with a pure cocoa powder product in the near future.

Okay, the time has finally come…*drum roll*….This Daring Gourmet all-original Heritage Steamed Chocolate Pudding!

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

Steamed Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!

It’s going to take a long time for the water to heat to a boil, so start heating it now in a large stock pot.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir in the American Heritage Chocolate Drink powder (or regular any other good quality cocoa powder).

Chocolate Pudding prep 6

Cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Chocolate Pudding prep 7

Add the eggs, vanilla and rum extracts and beat until thoroughly combined.

Chocolate Pudding prep 8

Melt the chocolate.  I melted the chocolate over a boiling steam bath (double boiler).  If you’re doing it that way you can get it started at this point.  Otherwise you can hold off until the last step if you’re microwaving it.

The Daring Gourmet

Alternately stir in the flour and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

Chocolate Pudding prep 11 Chocolate Pudding prep 12

Ohhhh, yes…the melting chocolate is coming along beautifully…

Chocolate Pudding prep 13

Pour the melted chocolate into the pudding batter.

Chocolate Pudding prep 14

Oh my…

Chocolate Pudding prep 15

Ooooh, look at those luscious chocolatey swirls…

Chocolate Pudding prep 16

Now it’s time to put the batter in the pudding mold.  (I know, that’s all there’s to it!  So easy, right?)

You’ll need a steamed pudding mold for this recipe.

I use a pudding mold that I bought in Germany before I moved to the U.S.  It holds about 1 1/2 quarts (whatever you get doesn’t have to be exact).  It’s aluminum, which is preferable when it comes to anything baking-related, including this steamed pudding.  Take good care of it and it will last you forever. (And I’m going to be posting more fabulous steamed pudding recipes, so you’ll make good use of it!)

Heritage Steamed Chocolate Pudding

Generously butter the pudding mold.  Spoon the batter into the mold.

Chocolate Pudding prep 17

Secure the lid.

Chocolate Pudding prep 18

Get out a large stock pot and fill it with enough water so that it comes up to just over halfway to the pudding mold.  You must avoid letting the pudding mold touch the bottom of the pot and you need to ensure the mold is standing up straight the whole time it’s boiling, otherwise you’ll end up with a lop-sided pudding (it’ll still taste just as good though!)  You can either crumple up aluminum foil and set the pudding mold on top of that or, what I usually do, fold a dish towel and place it on the bottom of the pot (it’s better at keeping the mold standing straight).  Bring the water to a boil, place the pudding mold inside, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Chocolate Pudding prep 19

Carefully remove the pudding mold from the pot and let it sit unopened for 5 minutes (I know you’re anxious to peek, but just hold on.)  During that 5 minute wait prepare the chocolate glaze by combining the ingredients in a small pan, bringing it to a boil, reducing the heat to medium and simmering for 5 minutes.

Okay, you can open it now.

Hello, gorgeous!

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

Invert the pudding onto a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet.

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

While the pudding is still warm, brush the glaze all over the pudding, then carefully transfer it to a serving plate.

Doesn’t this remind you of something out of Little Women or Anne of Green Gables (an all-time favorite)?

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english


Steamed puddings are best served warm (reheat the pudding by pudding it back in the mold in boiling water for a few minutes – this will help it retain its moistness).  Serve with your choice of whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, or even ice cream.

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

Be sure to also try our Figgy Pudding!

steamed chocolate pudding recipe traditional british english

Steamed Chocolate Pudding

A traditional steamed pudding with a modern twist - chocolate!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British, english
Servings 8


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces quality chocolate , I'm using 62% cocao), cut into chunks
  • For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Fill a large stock pot with enough water to cover the pudding mold just past the halfway point. Start bringing it to a boil now.
    Generously butter a steamed pudding mold
  • In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate powder.
    In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and rum extracts and beat until thoroughly combined. Alternately stir in the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
    Melt the chocolate bar chunks (either in a double boiler or microwave). Pour the melted chocolate into the batter and stir to combine.
    Spoon the batter into the prepared pudding mold and secure the lid.
  • Place a dishtowel that's been folded several times in the bottom of the stock pot, positioning it with a long spoon if necessary. You must avoid letting the pudding mold touch the bottom of the pot and ensure that it remains standing straight throughout the steaming process. Do not let any water get into the mold.
    Place the pudding mold on top of the folded towel, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
    Remove the pudding mold from the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
  • To make the glaze, combine the three ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
    Invert the pudding onto a wire rack positioned over a cookie sheet. While the pudding is still warm, brush the chocolate glaze all over then carefully transfer to a serving plate.
    Serve warm with whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, or ice cream.
    To reheat, place the pudding back in the mold, cover, and boil again for a few minutes until heated.


Top quality dark chocolate is imperative to the flavor outcome of this pudding.
Keyword Steamed Chocolate Pudding
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating

5 from 3 votes


  1. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I hope you don’t mind a little modification, I used it as a base for a black forest pudding for christmas dinner, simply adding some brandy soaked cherries to the batter, and some additional dark chocolate in place of the chocolate powder. I boiled it in a pudding cloth and used some of the cherry-infused brandy in the glaze, it was absolutely amazing.

  2. The America. heritage chocolate products can be found on Amazon. Not but some. Good luck. I haven’t ,add the pudding yet, but will and share it with my neighbors.

  3. Any tips on not having puddings stick to a vintage mold? I have my mother’s which is very similar to the Dr Oetker one you showed and also from Europe. I think it’s either aluminum or tin. I buttered the heck out of it and still the Sticky Toffee Pudding I made in it was completely stuck. I did not know about keeping the lid on for 5 minutes after steaming. Would that help with the release? I’ll take any advice!

    1. Hi, letting it sit for the 5 minutes won’t impact how well it comes out, no. Generously buttering it is the standard way to do it. If your mold is contoured like mine is, then it becomes all the more important to make sure you get the butter everywhere inside each of those creases as well or that will prevent the pudding from coming out. You can also slide a knife along the sides of the pudding mold to loosen it first.

  4. I did this using a silicone bundt pan put in a big pan (the kind I use for turkey and ham over the holidays) and I put boiling water in and put it in the oven at 350F and it turned out good, I would like to get an actual pudding mold but I figured out a way to do it without. I didn’t made the glaze because I kind of made this as spur of the moment and luckily had everything on hand. I served it cold because I made it on Christmas eve so I had it for Christmas dinner and it was a a huge hit, this is so going to be a yearly recipe.

  5. This is the second go with this and both times I have ended up with a tasty chocolate… Cow pie. I will give this another go, but so far I am not sure making steamed pudding is for me.

    1. I made this last night, and also had the cow-pie result. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I _think_ it’s either a) water somehow got into the closed, latched tin, or b) I didn’t have the water simmering warmly enough for the ingredients to steam properly. Did you ever figure it out?

  6. I grew up on Plum Pudding every Thanksgiving and Christmas until my dad passed away in 1999. He made the traditional hard sauce with a pound of butter and a box of confectioner’s sugar and a little brandy or rye whiskey what ever he had on hand he whipped it up dusted it with a little nutmeg and put it in the refrigerator. We grew up watching the pudding light up after having a little more brandy poured on top of the hot pudding which was now on a plate and lit on fire. It was a beautiful sight. My children grew up watching the same thing every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plum Pudding was made three weeks ahead and aged. There was usually enough for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today we know it is a heart attack on a plate literally. However my dad lived to be 86 yrs old. It was like a hot fruit cake with that delicious hard sauce melting all over the slices of each piece. It was a glorious tradition of our childhood. Today I will make this chocolate steamed pudding for my grand children it does look delicious. I also have made a steamed cranberry pudding with a caramel sauce that was also delicious.

  7. Hi Kimberly,
    I have a steamed pudding mold that used to be my mom’s. The size is 8″ dia. across the lid, and about 5 3/4″ in height. I’d love to find something just a little bit smaller. I’m getting so frustrated after looking at many online. Would you have any idea where I might possible find it?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Nora, yes, it’s hard finding anything smaller unless it’s much smaller, like for one or two servings. The Mrs. Anderson Pudding Mold is “slightly” smaller across, 7.25 inches, but basically the same in height, 5.5 inches. The Patisse Pudding Mold says it’s only 1/2 liter, which doesn’t seem possible, and one of the reviews said it’s actually 1.6 liter capacity (the same as Mrs. Anderson), however its dimensions are smaller: 6.5 inches across, 4.5 inches high.