Black Forest Pudding

Black Forest Pudding is the perfect Christmas pudding alternative, liqueur soaked cherries top this steamed chocolate pudding – delicious!

Don’t you find there’s usually someone at the dinner table who doesn’t like traditional Christmas pudding ? Part of my preparations each year is the challenge to serve Christmas pudding and a tasty alternative rather than “Would you like some ice cream instead ?”

This year, with the chocolate and the liqueur soaked cherries in my retro Black Forest Pudding, I might have trouble choosing between traditional pudding and the alternative – perhaps I’ll resort to what some family members do every year and eat a slice of each. My sister and her family have “booked” this pudding for their New Year dinner so I might make an extra one at Christmas and pop it in the freezer as it does freeze well. You can cook this pudding in a steamer or a slow cooker.

Black Forest Pudding is featured in 10 Christmas Recipes with a twist at Foodies 100

Black Forest Pudding

  • 6 to 8


  • 1 large  jar cherries in syrup 680 g, drained weight 350 g
  • 4 tablespoons cherry liqueur or brandy (optional)
  • 120 g softened butter
  • 120 g caster sugar PLUS 4 tablespoons for the syrup
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 100 g plain flour PLUS 2 tablespoons for coating cherries
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso or coffee powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
  • A 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.


You will also need:
  • A large circle of greaseproof paper and baking foil, greased and pleated at the centre to give room for expansion.
  • String to tie the greaseproof paper and foil around your pudding bowl.
  • A large saucepan fitted with a steamer, half filled with hot water. OR
  • A slow cooker with baking foil scrunched up in the bottom (or use an upturned saucer) to keep the pudding bowl away from direct contact with the slow cooker.
  •  If using a slow cooker, turn it to the highest setting and have some boiling water ready.
  • Drain the cherries and save the syrup for later.
  • Soak half of the cherries in the cherry liqueur or brandy.
  • Chop the remaining cherries into halves or quarters so they are ready to stir into your pudding later.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the extra tablespoons of flour and caster sugar, into a large mixing bowl and beat together for a couple of minutes until smooth.
  • Check your mixture has a good dropping consistency by lifting your spatula or food mixer out of the bowl, if the mixture drops easily it is ready.
  • Coat the chopped cherries with 2 tablespoons of flour and gently fold into your pudding mix.
  • Pour your chocolate pudding mix into the greased and lined pudding bowl and cover with the pleated circle of greaseproof paper and baking foil.
  • (Rather than using two layers of greaseproof paper, I find shaping round the top of the bowl ready for tying is easier with one layer of greaseproof and one layer of foil)
  • Secure by fastening around the rim of the bowl with string.
  • Place into your steamer and cover.
  • Steam for 1½ hours on a gentle simmer – there should be plenty of water for 1½ hours if you have half filled your pan but do keep an eye on it.
  • OR
  • Place the pudding bowl into your slow cooker so it sits on scrunched up foil (or an upturned saucer) to avoid direct contact with the slow cooker.
  • Pour boiling water into the slow cooker pot until the water level is about half way up the pudding bowl.
  • Replace the slow cooker lid and cook for 3 hours.
  • Although mine was cooked after 3 hours, slow cookers do vary so check after 3 hours and cook for a further 30 minutes if necessary.
  • While your pudding is cooking, you can get on with your syrup.
  • Place the syrup from the jar of cherries in a heavy bottomed medium size saucepan over a medium heat to reduce the syrup by about half.
  • Remove from the heat and add 4 tablespoons of caster sugar. Stir until completely dissolved.
  • Put the pan back on a low heat until the syrup thickens to a runny jam like consistency – you need to be able to pour it over your pudding.
  • Check the chocolate pudding is cooked and carefully remove the pudding bowl from the steamer or slow cooker.
  • Remove the pleated greaseproof paper and baking foil.
  • Put a plate or a stand on top of your bowl and flip them over so the plate and pudding are the right way up.
  • Remove the pudding basin.
  • Take your cherries out of the soaking alcohol and spoon the alcohol slowly over the top of your pudding.
  • Decorate with cherries before drizzling with your thickened cherry syrup.
  • Pour the remainder of your syrup into a jug or bowl to be served with a spoon.
  • Serve with double cream, clotted cream or ice cream.

I’m entering Black Forest Pudding into a few challenges this month:

Black Forest Pudding has been linked to:

  • Becky’s Holiday Recipes Linky 2015 over at Cuddle Fairy.

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