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6 Alternatives to Traditional Christmas Pudding

by Elizabeth Young

published on 12 December 2014

Let’s be honest, as wonderful a tradition as it is, Christmas Pudding isn’t everyone’s favourite way to top off a heavy Christmas meal. And though the drama of bringing a flaming booze-soaked dessert to the table is most certainly spectacular, many of us just aren’t that sold when it comes to the eating part!  If you want to venture beyond the traditional Christmas Pud this year, look no further than these delicious alternatives.

Banoffee Alaska Almond Pastry | Dessert

Banoffee Alaska Almond Pastry, Caramel, Bananas & Vanilla Ice Cream from Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook by Jamie Oliver

This impressive dessert is enough to make any Christmas Pudding blush. Nutty, buttery pastry encases cool and creamy ice cream, rich and sweet caramel, lime-spiked bananas and a delicious crown of meringue. For such a breath-taking pud, it’s easy to assemble and elements can be prepared in advance. 

From the book

Lighter Christmas Pudding | Christmas Dessert

Lighter Christmas Pudding from Crumb by Ruby Tandoh

This pudding strikes a fine balance between the sort of stodginess we’ve come to expect in a Christmas pudding and the lightness required if we’re actually going to be able to stomach the thing. Because it’s suet-free, it’s far spongier than the old-fashioned types. It’s not nearly as alcoholic either: just a splash of sweet white wine to soak the fruits (save the brandy for the post-dinner drinking).

Get your copy of Crumb here.

Chocolate and Irish Cream Roulade Mary Berry | Christmas Dessert

Chocolate and Irish Cream Roulade from Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect by Mary Berry

One of Mary’s all-time favourite, make-ahead desserts. This fabulous roulade is perfect for the chocoholics at the table. It freezes beautifully (un-iced), then you simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and drizzle over the icing just before serving. Watch the how-to video.

Get your copy of Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect here.

St Nick's Pudding | Christmas Dessert

St Nick’s Pudding from Great British Puddings by The Pudding Club

A nice change from the usual Christmas pud, this lighter alternative is also much quicker to make as – unlike the traditional recipe – it doesn’t need to be left for weeks to mature. Definitely one for those who’ve left their Christmas preparations until the last minute!

Get your copy of Great British Puddings here.

Meringue Roulade with Rose Petals Ottolenghi | Christmas Dessert

Meringue Roulade with Rose Petals and Fresh Raspberries from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Light, pretty, festive and special, this elegant dessert is the perfect way to end a Christmas day feast. The crisp, white meringue and crimson rasperries evoke thoughts of a snow-covered yule log with festive berries.

Buy Plenty More here

Sticky Toffee Cake | Christmas Dessert

Gloriously Sticky Toffee Cake from Miranda Gore Browne’s Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can

Sticky toffee pudding in a cake – need we say more? To serve as a pudding, warm the caramel for the topping gently to create a hot toffee sauce – serve with scoops of good-quality vanilla ice cream.

Buy Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can here.

…And if you’re still not convinced, see our delicious recipe for a traditional Christmas Pudding from The Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen.

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