In Johanna Burkhard’s “What Cooking” column, which I clipped from The Montreal Star’s food section (November 2, 1994), she answers a request by one of her readers to get the iconic recipes for Murray’s Steamed Fruit Pudding and accompanying Vanilla Sauce.

Montreal Star newspaper clipping from November 2, 1994 where Johanna Burkard reveals the Murray's Steamed Fruit Pudding recipe in her What's Cooking column.
Column by Johanna Burkhard in The Montreal Star

Ever since that article was published, I have regularly made the recipe. Even before the restaurant closed its remaining location in 2009, I made it for friends and family.

Since the restaurant closed, many on social media have searched for the recipe for Steamed Fruit Pudding on their menu from Canadian Thanksgiving Day (the second Monday in October) until Mother’s Day (the second Sunday in May), and I have gladly shared it.

Picture of Murray's Restaurant in Sudbury, Ontario
Picture of Murray’s Restaurant in Sudbury, Ontario
Postcard containing a map of locations of Murray's restaurants in Toronto
Postcard containing a map of locations of Murray’s restaurants in Toronto (available at

Over the years, I have also refined the Steamed Fruit Pudding recipe to make it less unhealthy. At first, I used Beef Suet (found occasionally in the supermarket’s fresh or frozen meat section, as seen below). The original recipe in The Star offered butter as a substitute. More recently, I discovered the Atora brand vegetable shredded suet, which was much more pleasing, less oily than butter and with less guilt.

Package of Atora Vegetable Suet
Package of Atora Vegetable Suet
Package of frozen beef suet found at the local butcher shop
Package of frozen beef suet found at the local butcher shop

I have also steamed the pudding over the stove and in my Instant Pot most recently. I will share all variations on the site, but I am starting here with the one I make most often.

When I first saw the recipe in 1994, it was already on the menu that year, so I could more easily compare mine using this exact recipe versus what I could order in the restaurant. Surprisingly, the taste and texture were indistinguishable from how it was served at Murray’s.

Each portion seems to have been individually steamed in the restaurant, while the at-home version is steamed together in a single mould. I have purchased individual moulds and will share how that turned out.

Before attempting the recipe the first time, I was more than intimidated. I had never attempted any pudding steaming. Later in life, I learned that “pudding” is the British word for most desserts. Steamed Fruit Pudding is more of a warm steamed cake with a sauce poured over it than what we think of as pudding here in North America.

Mixing the ingredients was the most challenging part of the entire recipe, as integrating them is essential for the proper texture and presentation.

Murray’s used the mincemeat made by Rose and Laflamme Ltee per the article; however, the company is no longer in business.

Most of the year, I usually find Robertson’s in my local grocery store. This Steamed Fruit Pudding recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd. If you double it, use an eight-cup 2 L) mould or bowl and increase steaming time by about one hour.

Murray’s Steamed Fruit Pudding

This is the actual (i.e. direct from the source) recipe for the iconic Murray’s Steamed Fruit Pudding that was served each year during the cooler months in the restaurants in Montreal, Quebec and Ontario, Canada
Prep Time20 minutes
Active Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English Canadian
Keyword: desert, dessert, hot desert, pudding, steamed fruit pudding, steamed pudding, thanksgiving dessert, xmas
Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 Pudding Mould or heat-proof bowl such as Pyrex
  • 1 string to attach the foil to the bowl
  • 1 Aluminum Foil to cover the pudding mould while steaming
  • 1 Parchment paper to place in between the pudding and the foil


  • 75 ml 2% milk may be fat free or non-dairy
  • 1 large egg
  • 250 ml Mincemeat I use Robertson’s, but I have used other brands when Robertson’s was not available
  • 125 ml fine bread crumbs I use Kikkoman Panko
  • 75 ml all-purpose flour I use unbleached wheat or oat flour
  • 50 ml granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 50 ml Atora Vegetable Shredded Suet  you may use butter or beef suet in the same quantity


  • In a bowl, whisk together milk and stir in mincemeat until evenly blended.
  • Stir in the mincemeat mixture until combined. Use a pastry cutter, if you have one.
  • Pour into a well-greased 1.5 l pudding mould or heat-proof bowl.
  • Pour in boiling water to reach two-thirds up.
  • Take a large sheet of aluminum foil and a piece of parchment and cut them large enough to cover the bowl fully with some overhang. Place the parchment (I spray it with cooking spray on both sides to avoid sticking) under the foil and press the foil around the sides of the bowl.
  • Tie a string around the foil to reduce the moisture getting into the bowl. Leave no more than about two inches of overhang of foil and parchment.
  • I use a pasta pot that has a removable strainer that I can use to extract the bowl when the pudding is fully steamed. You can use string, silicone grabbers or a foil sling.
  • Cover and steam for about 2.25 hours, adding water (check every 20-25 minutes) to maintain the level or until the tester comes out clean.
  • When ready, cut the string around the bowl. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator (pudding can be made ahead and frozen).


To reheat, place the pudding back in the mould and cover it with a lid or foil tied with string. Place in a pot with boiling water (in the same direction as above) and steam for one hour or until hot. Place the pudding in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it, and microwave it at Medi­um (50 percent power) for five to seven minutes or until hot.

Here are some pudding steaming tips from Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking (one of my go-to recipe sources)

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Since Murray's Restaurant closed, many on social media have searched for the recipe I am sharing various versions
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