Christmas steamed ginger pudding

A lovely warming alternative to traditional Christmas pudding without the heavy carb load. This GD friendly 'self-paired' spiced Christmas steamed ginger pudding is the perfect centerpiece for the Christmas dinner table, or for any celebration meal.
Christmas steamed ginger pudding

A lovely warming alternative to traditional Christmas pudding without the heavy carb load. This GD friendly, low carb and ‘self-paired‘ spiced Christmas steamed ginger pudding is the perfect centerpiece for the Christmas dinner table, or for any celebration meal.

Christmas pudding just can’t be made low enough in carbs

I’ve searched and searched over the years, but I’ve struggled to find a Christmas pudding worth sharing with you all. The Christmas puddings which are advertised as ‘sugar free’ still have a lot of carbs including wheat flour, breadcrumbs, fruits, dried fruit, fruit juices and alcohol which are still going to push blood glucose levels too high, even when paired with copious amounts of cream and nuts!

But for those that crave a lovely warm traditional steamed pudding, this recipe should help fulfil that craving and makes for a worthy Christmas pudding contender.

The benefit of steaming the pudding in a traditional way

Steaming this sponge pudding in a slow cooker or in a pan of water low and slow creates the best traditional sponge pudding, however you can make these in the microwave if you want to save time (but please note, they are much nicer when made the traditional way and steaming them!)

PLEASE NOTE: Microwaving these puddings can also be quite unpredictable with microwaves having different powers and each one cooking differently and so it is much more risky to make these in the microwave and may need some playing around to get the timings just right for your microwave. For this reason it may be beneficial to make small individual sized puddings cooked once at a time.

How to prepare & steam a sponge pudding

For a large steamed sponge pudding as shown in these images, I use a 16cm glass pudding bowl. However you can divide the mix into smaller individual puddings instead if you prefer. If you do this, please reduce the cooking time half and then check how well they are cooked by inserting a cake tester or cocktail stick. If the tester comes out clean the pudding is cooked, but if it comes out with batter attached, cook for longer as needed.

If you plan on making this pudding the best way for that traditional pudding texture and flavour then it is best to steam the pudding in a slow cooker or in a deep saucepan of water. To do this you need to know how to prepare and wrap your pudding. If you are unsure of how to do this, then please use this video by Mason Cash to help:

Christmas steamed ginger pudding

Christmas steamed ginger pudding

A lovely warming alternative to traditional Christmas pudding without the heavy carb load. This GD friendly 'self-paired' spiced Christmas steamed ginger pudding is the perfect centerpiece for the Christmas dinner table, or for any celebration meal.
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: British
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: cake, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, ginger, ginger cake, ginger pudding, pudding, steamed pudding
Free or Subscription Recipe: Free Recipe
Free from: gluten
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 331kcal
Author: Jo Paterson


  • 200 grams ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp xylitol or erythritol sweetener
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 115 grams unsalted butter plus extra for greasing (room temp)
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium lemon (zest only)
  • 1 large orange (juice & zest)
  • 2 cm fresh ginger peeled & finely grated
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp sugar free syrup (optional)


  • Grease the pudding bowl with plenty of softened butter
  • Line the top of a pudding bowl with a small piece of baking parchment paper and then grease with butter
  • Add the softened butter and sweetener to a bowl and mix well until combined
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time (do not worry if the batter separates, it will be come together fine)
  • Mix in the milk, vanilla extract and juice from one orange
  • Add in the ground almonds, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, the zest of a lemon & orange, fresh ginger and spices
  • Mix really well until fully combined
  • Pour the cake batter into the pudding bowl and smooth the top

To steam the pudding in a slow cooker or saucepan

  • Cover the pudding with greased baking parchment paper, tin foil and tie on top with string (make sure you fold a vent in the middle so that it can rise) and create a handle for lifting the cooked pudding out of the slow cooker/saucepan
  • Place a small saucer upside down in the base of the slow cooker or deep saucepan (the slow cooker/saucepan needs to be big enough for the pudding bowl to sit inside with the lid on top)
  • Place the wrapped pudding inside the slow cooker or saucepan on the up-turned saucer, then fill with hot water to halfway up the pudding dish and cover with the lid
  • Cook on high in the slow cooker or simmering on the hob for approx. 4 hours
    PLEASE NOTE: It is important to keep an eye on the water level and top up with hot water as necessary to keep the level up to halfway
    After 4 hours test the pudding by inserting a cake tester or cocktail stick through the cover into the middle of the pudding. If it comes out clean then the sponge is cooked. If it comes out with batter sticking then continue to cook until done

To microwave

  • Alternatively you can steam this pudding in the microwave but instead of covering the pudding with buttered baking parchment paper & foil, *DO NOT PUT FOIL IN YOUR MICROWAVE!* cover with just buttered baking parchment, ensuring to fold to create a vent for the pudding to rise and use a large piece of kitchen roll to cover over the top, tucking the edges under the bottom of the bowl at both sides
  • Place in microwave on high for approx. 5 – 7 minutes for a large pudding, or 1 – 2 minutes for small individual sized puddings
    PLEASE NOTE: Microwaves vary in power and how well they cook the puddings and so it is hard to get the timing right. Please cook for a half the amount of time, stop, check with a cake tester or cocktail stick and continue to cook as needed

To serve

  • Carefully lift the pudding out using the string handle, unwrap and run a knife around the edges to loosen the sponge. Place a plate over the pudding bowl and carefully but quickly turn over (be careful as the pudding bowl will be very hot, so a tea towel around the pudding bowl edges will help!)
  • Lift the bowl to release the pudding, remove the baking parchment from the top of the sponge if it is attached.
    Drizzle with a sugar free syrup if desired as shown in this pic (and topped with a sprig of holly for that Christmas pudding look)
  • Slice and serve with real custard, or real cream (single, double, whipped, or clotted) to help the pair the sponge even more (helping to make it even more well tolerated). Or serve a low carb ice cream! This pudding is at it's best served warm, so make sure you serve straight away, or cover and reheat as desired.
    The pudding in this image is drizzled with sugar free syrup and topped with clotted cream, a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon


The brand of xylitol that I use and is most widely available in larger supermarkets is Total Sweet. To find a local stockist, please check this link. It is important to note that xylitol, although a natural sweetener, is highly toxic to dogs, so no sharing your GD treats with your furry friends!
Total Sweet xylitol natural sweetener packaging
The brand of erythritol I use is NKD Living powdered erythritol, however you can use xylitol if you prefer.
If you suffer with IBS you may find that you need to use erythritol instead of xylitol. Or a great alternative to use in this recipe is Sukrin Gold brown sweetener which is an erythritol based sweetener which tastes just like brown sugar which really adds to the flavour.
Artificial powdered sweeteners such as sucralose (like Splenda) or aspartame (like Canderel) can be used in the cake but may cause high blood glucose levels and alter the taste.
For a drizzle when serving you need to use a sugar free, low carb syrup. These may be hard to find in local stores, so you may need to order this online. The brand I like to use is NKD Living NKD syrup. I like this particular syrup as it is very sweet and much thicker than many other sugar free syrups I’ve tried. The ingredients are: Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO), Barley Malt Extract, Stevia glycosides (Stevia). I buy mine from Amazon. Another low carb alternative is the Skinny Food Co. Golden syrup which is much more runny and a sucralose based syrup. Either work well in this recipe, but please note that the Skinny Food Co. syrup is very runny!
If you would like to add a sugar free icing drizzle to this cake, then you can make this easily with 3 x tbsp of powdered erythritol sweetener and 2 x tbsp of lemon juice. Mix together the lemon juice with 1 tbsp of powdered erythritol, add the other tbsp of erythritol to thicken to a runny icing consistency (you can also add full fat Greek yogurt, double cream or cream cheese to create a thicker icing if you prefer)
For the best outcomes with this recipe it is best to use the ingredients recommended and in the quantities stated.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 28g | of which saturates: 10g | Fibre: 5g | of which sugars: 5g