Figgy Pudding

You can find tons of great Holiday Treat ideas here and on my Christmas Pinterest board...
Soooo, I thought for the last few weeks of this month I'd feature some traditional Holiday Foods from around the world!
Last week, Little C's teacher mentioned to me that she's like the class to try Figgy Pudding. My first thought was "Rum? Figs? Suet? Spices? Hours of baking?! This NOT a kid-friendly recipe!" However, we put together our own from many of the recipes out there and I sent it off to school...Little C came home happily reporting that the class LOVED it and she wondered if there was any more at home....!
So, here's our "kid-friendly" Figgy Pudding recipe. If your kids haven't tried Figgy Pudding yet, make a batch together, download Bing Crosby's version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and enjoy!

Figgy Pudding
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dried figs
1/2 cup dried currants (can substitute dates)

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F. Whip butter until creamy then add molasses and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Add buttermilk and mix well. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest. Mix well. Add flour and mix well. Remove any stems from figs and chop figs and currants into fine pieces (I used the food processor!). Add figs and currants to batter mixture.
Bake in ramekins (25 minutes at 325 degrees), mini muffin tins (15 minutes at 325 degrees), or a large tube pan (1 hour at 325 degrees). You will know the cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with Ginger-Rum Whipped Cream (optional).

NOTE: We found that this actually tasted better the second day! The flavors had some time to combine/mellow and the cake had a nice texture.

Ginger-Rum Whipped Cream
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon rum extract
4 Tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped

Beat cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in rum extract and ginger. Serve on top of Figgy Puddings.
A few fun facts: Figgy Pudding dates back to the 15th century but was most popular during the 1800s. It's traditionally made with suet (an animal fat found near their kidneys) but butter works for us. :) Steaming was the traditional way of cooking and would take 3-4 hours!