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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37 thoughts on “Black Forest Pudding

    • Thanks Becky, always good to get feedback on instructions, you never know whether you’re including to many or making them too complicated. A pleasure to link up with your holiday linky x

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  4. Wow, this sounds perfect for me and my Dad…the only ones in the family who don’t like charismatic pud, and yes, we normally end up with ice cream!! I’ll be making this on the 25th, he’ll be so surprised!

  5. Pingback: 10 Christmas recipes with a twist! | Foodies 100

    • Wow, I’m so pleased Black Forest Chocolate Pudding is featured at Foodies 100, thanks to Helen from Fuss Free Flavours for choosing it in her Top 10 favourite Christmas recipes with a twist.

    • Thanks Zoe, I’m not sure I would be very tempted by a traditional Christmas pudding in summer. We have family coming over from Australia for Christmas & the children are really looking forward to the winter weather in the UK.

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    • Thanks Camilla. I’m hoping Black Forest Pudding will go down well with my family too. Taking one tonight to a friend’s house , we’re having an early Christmas get together.

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