Leanne’s Sugar Free Christmas Pudding

Dec 8, 2021 | Recipes

Leanne’s Sugar Free Christmas Pudding

With Christmas just around the corner, Quest For Life’s Head Chef Leanne has shared an original and delicious gluten free, lactose free and sugar free Christmas pudding recipe.

Leanne – who forms part of the talented team who create the meals for our residential program participants – says this recipe provides a healthy and easy-to-make alternative for Christmas dessert, with no refined sugars added.

“A lot of people are always looking for that sugar free option,” Leanne says.

“You can bake or steam this pudding depending on your preference, although steaming is more traditional.”

We don’t want anyone with special dietary needs to have to sit and watch while their family and friends enjoy a traditional, rich Christmas pudding. With this in mind, we hope you enjoy this Christmas pudding suitable for people with a gluten sensitivity or who are lactose intolerant.

Although this recipe does not include any refined sugar as is, if you’d like to add some to yours, you can dust your finished pudding with icing sugar or even add a tablespoon of brandy to the batter before baking or steaming.

This dish can be garnished according to your individual taste or dietary requirements. The Quest team were treated to a taste of it earlier in December, when it was served drizzled with dairy free custard.

You can get always get creative with this recipe and tailor it to your individual preferences by experimenting with additional ingredients like plums, raisins, dried currants, sultanas, prunes, fresh apricots or figs (chopped), mixed peel (fresh or dried) and flaked almonds.

This recipe will serve up to 10 people.


• 500 grams of dried dates
• 150 grams of dried cranberries
• 1 cup of almond meal
• 1 cup of hazelnut meal
• ¼ cup of chickpea flour
• ½ cup of almond milk
• 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons of Nuttelex
• 1 level teaspoon of nutmeg
• 4 whole eggs
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 750ml of hot water


  1. Lightly grease a baking pan, muffin tray or pudding bowl.
  2. Soak dates in 500ml of hot water until cool.
  3. Soak dried cranberries in 250ml of hot water until cool.
  4. Soak dates and cranberries until cool, then strain separately.
  5. Puree dates after straining.
  6. Whip 4 whole eggs and cream of tartar together in a mechanical mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Fold the pureed dates and strained cranberries into the whipped egg mixture.
  8. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold everything together thoroughly until combined.
  9. If steaming (recommended), steam in pudding bowls covered in aluminium foil or a or a pudding steamer above a bain-marie filled with water in the oven for approximately 2 hours at 100 degrees Celsius, then remove the foil or lid and cook for another 10 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, place the mixture into a pudding steamer in a large saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the steamer and cover with a tight-fitting lid, then boil about 2 hours, replenishing water as necessary to maintain level.
  10. If using a baking tray, bake for approximately 35 minutes at 180 degrees.
  11. If using a muffin tray to create single portions, bake for approximately 20 minutes at 180 degrees.

Quest Head Chef Leanne and Chef Carol create the smorgasbord of delicious recipes that participants are treated to on our five-day residential programs at the Quest for Life Centre in beautiful Bundanoon, New South Wales.

Leanne says the kitchen team at Quest are always more than happy to accommodate individual dietary requirements or preferences for all of our program participants.

“We can always do multiple versions of the same dish, for example if you’ve got someone who’s lactose free, someone who’s vegan, or someone who just doesn’t like onions.

“Connection to self-care through nutrition is what our kitchen team love to see develop during your stay at Quest.

“We have a mindful commitment to supporting you through your stay by introducing ourselves to you when you check in and asking if you have any questions or food related information you’d like to share with us that is specific to you. This helps us to ensure, as much as possible, that any food related concerns you might have will be alleviated. If, during your stay, you remember any other dietary requirements, please just let us know.

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Quest subsidises all privately or self-funded places to ensure the cost of our programs remains affordable to individuals. This allows us to reduce the fee from $4,400 to $2,800.

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