/ Food & Drink

Christmas pudding: what are the alternatives?

Are you a fan of the traditional Christmas dessert, or do you prefer to go for something else after Christmas lunch?

Christmas day is almost upon us… and for most that means a great deal of time spent cooking – and eating.

But while there’s generally consensus on what should be on your Christmas lunch plate, it’s slightly less clear what to serve up afterwards.

Christmas pudding is, for many, a not greatly anticipated afterthought to the main meal – something to force down without much pleasure.

For others Christmas pudding is a key part of the meal – for these people, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a traditional pudding.

Pudding prize

If you’re still in the market for a Christmas pudding (despite it being Christmas eve…) we named Iceland’s Christmas pudding the best in this year’s taste test.

Our experts said it was ‘pretty perfect thanks to its rich, boozy flavours and abundance of premium ingredients, nuts in particular, which some of the other puddings were lacking.’

Yum! But what are the alternatives for those who have just had enough of Christmas pudding?

Alternative desserts

Supermarkets have clearly noticed a gap in the market for non-traditional Christmas deserts, and are this year offering a range of weird and wonderful alternatives.

I’ve spotted Waitrose offering ‘Christmas Bubble Dessert’ – made up of a lot of chocolate, caramel and honeycomb, Aldi selling an elaborate sounding ‘chocolate bauble cake… filled and covered with Belgian chocolate buttercream’, while ASDA has come up with a chocolate and salted caramel ‘pyramid pudding’ – like a chocolate sponge pudding but with a caramel centre.

Homemade puddings

Not a fan of shop-bought offerings? Perhaps you prefer making your own Christmas dessert. Our Christmas pudding experts suggested a few options.

Black Forest gateau is a 70s classic involving a chocolate sponge, layered with cream and rich dark fruits to give it a Christmassy feel.

Next they suggested that old classic sticky toffee pudding – be sure to put it under the grill briefly before serving to get a delicious caramel glaze.

Finally, what about a cheesecake featuring mincemeat? One of our expert tasting panel said this dessert gives a milder hit of Christmas pudding flavours – and helps you use leftovers from mince pie baking.

So what do you prefer to eat after Christmas lunch? Are you a traditionalist or open to other options? And do you buy your Christmas dessert or make it yourself?


Have to admit I’ve never been a Christmas pudding fan – my favourite alternative was always the Heniz sponge puddings my family used to love, but were tragically discontinued!

I wrote about them for Convo a while back: https://conversation.which.co.uk/food-drink/discontinued-products-heinz-cadbury-nestle/

Ice cream and jelly goes down a treat.

It cleanses the palate and doesn’t do the heart so much harm.

If no-one wants their Christmas pudding there will be more for me. 🙂

We had a crumbled Mr Kiplings mince pie with plain yoghurt. Very refreshing after a turkey Xmas dinner minus the Yorkshire puddings.

We simply use a very richly fruited and ‘spirited’ homemade un-iced Xmas cake. We did try for many years the commercially available ones but were always disappointed!

Instead of the usual Christmas pudding we were served something unusual. I’m accustomed to a dark, heavily fruited pud like the one at the top of this page, but this was much lighter, with less fruit and covered with slices of glace orange. I suspect I could grow to like it.

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I have to admit to being a fan of Christmas pudding. So much so that a while ago we started studying recipes in order that we could try to make one. Our first attempt was amazingly successful and was as good as anything which could be purchased and better than most. A lot of spices go into a Christmas pudding and we had difficulty in running them all down until we discovered that Iceland had them in stock. Made 40 days before Christmas, stored as directed then covered in Brandy and set alight . . . . . . .what more could anyone ask for. . . . .?