This recipe is very much inspired by the classic Christmas song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Even as a child, the lyrics around figgy pudding always perked my ears up.
I have been dessert obsessed my whole life, apparently. So if you are looking for a Christmas pudding dessert, try this easy figgy pudding recipe!
My goal with this recipe was to create a bread pudding-esque cake that heavily featured figs, but also just felt festive. The kind of Christmas dessert you might serve at the end of a fancy dinner.
The batter uses fig jam and dried figs, so if you can’t find fresh figs where you live (I couldn’t), don’t worry! The result is a sweet, nutty mini cake with a lightly spiced syrup.
While this recipe feels like a classic Christmas dessert to me, it does not resemble what would be traditional figgy pudding. My understanding is the traditional British dish is more like a steamed cake made with raisins, currants, and brandy.
I’ve also read that figgy pudding could even have referred to a savory dish made with fish. This is a different take.
This reminds me more of a Midwest “poke cake” in that I poke small holes throughout the cake before drizzling on the syrup which makes the inside moist and gooey (while still fully cooked).
Figgy Pudding Ingredients:
This figgy pudding recipe (or you could call it Christmas pudding, up to you) has three components:
Cake + Syrup + Cream = Christmas pudding
Each of these is important to the final dish. The cake portion is very easy to make—it’s just as simple as a muffin or baked donut recipe. The syrup is only three ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to make on the stove, but it’s essential.
Once the cake is baked, you must use a fork or toothpick to poke lots of small holes in the cake. Then, drizzle the syrup over it. The syrup will then ooze into these small holes you created, creating a moist and sort of bread pudding-type texture.
Last, you should serve this with whipped cream or even a scoop of vanilla (or egg nog) ice cream! This adds a creamy component that I think pairs well with the flavors and also just serves to make this dessert feel all the more special.
Tips for Success:
- I like to use both fig jam and dried figs (chopped up) in the cake batter. You can add chopped walnuts or another nut like pecans. All these add to the flavor and texture of the cake.
- Poking holes in the cake before drizzling on the syrup might sound trivial, but I promise it’s not! This is what reminds me of Midwest “poke cake,” which has such a great texture.
- I love to use a mini or decorative bundt pan for this! But if you don’t have one and don’t want to buy it for just this recipe, you can also bake these in jumbo muffin tins or a baked donut pan.
If you are looking to host a special Christmas dinner, this makes the perfect dessert. Here are some other recipes you might add to the menu:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is figgy pudding made of?
This recipe is a cake made with fig jam, dried figs, and walnuts. Then, a homemade glaze is drizzled over the top before serving.
Is figgy pudding the same as fruit cake?
No. Traditional figgy pudding is a British dish that is more like a bread pudding that may or may not include dried fruit like raisins. So although there are similarities for sure, they are not the same thing.
Does figgy pudding have meat in it?
While this dessert version does not, traditional figgy pudding (like from 14th century England) probably did, which may have been mutton, beef, or even fish.
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In a large mixing bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup butter and sugar.
Stir in the eggs.
Then, stir in the vanilla extract and fig jam.
Stir in the flour, chopped walnuts, and chopped dried figs until a cake batter forms.
In well greased mini bundt pan, jumbo muffin tin, or baked donut pan, spoon in the batter.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
Allow to cool before inverting onto a cooling rack.
To make the glaze, add the brown sugar and heavy whipping cream to a medium sauce pan and whisk together over medium heat.
Allow to come to a low boil and continue to stir for a couple of minutes until thicken, probably 2-3.
Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, which should quickly melt into the sauce.
Using a fork or toothpick, add holes all over the cakes. Then spoon the glaze over the tops of the cakes, so the glaze seeps into the holes.
Serve while the glaze is still warm, with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.