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3 Incredible Alternative Christmas Pudding Recipes

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As the big day gets closer, you may be finalising your menu. And that’s perfectly okay! What’s not okay is saying “cheese board counts as pudding” when we all know you have both. However not everyone likes the traditional Christmas pudding, and that’s okay. So today I wanted to share 3 alternative Christmas pudding recipes with you to give you some options.

I love a good Christmas pudding. And to be honest, I make a decent one. I mean, I always feel it could have more nuts through it, but everyone else appears to like the ratios I use. So while you could serve up the Santa Sweet Sleigh I’m sharing over on Christmas With Katie today, I wanted to share 3 alternative puddings for you today.

No matter what you eat at Christmas, we can at least agree that one of the highlights is whatever Christmas dessert you serve up. Can’t we? As I was saying, I cannot say no to a Christmas pudding. However, for most of our at-home Christmases, Mum will make a trifle as an alternative Christmas pudding.

3 Incredible Alternative Christmas Pudding Recipes Life With Ktkinnes
Rachel’s “Alternative Christmas Pudding” Trifle

Please believe me when I say her trifle is nothing like the one Rachel makes in that infamous episode of Friends! Instead it’s a delicious mix of raspberries, custard, sherry, banana, cream, chocolate and almonds. And it’s only in recent years that I’ve found myself liking it – I’ve never been a big sherry fan, or cream… or banana… but I was converted! However the recipe is a family secret, so I can’t share that with you, sorry. But I’m excited for these three alternative Christmas pudding recipes!

Alternative Christmas Pudding Ideas

The highlight of any Christmas dinner is when the Christmas Pudding comes out covered in blue flames. You may feel like making your own isn’t worth the hassle, but trust me when I say that a homemade Christmas Pudding is far superior to any shop bought one you may have. Christmas Puddings today are not at all similar to how they started out. The original dish was a type of pottage or porridge. It tended to be a soupy and savoury dish made with beef, mutton, prunes, raisins, spices and wine. In less affluent households, sometimes a thick version of this dish was eaten to fill stomachs before a meagre serving of meat, including at Christmas. But that’s not what you’re looking for. You’re here looking for an alternative Christmas pudding recipe. So let’s get to it, right?

photo of glasses with pudding
Photo by Jana Ohajdova on

Christmas Pudding Alternative 1: Sticky Toffee Pudding

I first made this recipe when at university, and it was actually a friend who taught me this recipe. I’ve tweaked it over the years but the below is the best way yet. So if you want a baked pudding that’s an alternative to a Christmas pudding, then this is the one for you. To oven bake this, I recommend using a 1 litre loaf tin, or at least anything over 500ml anyway! And remember to grease it… I didn’t… so I’ll remind you again in the method! Oh and yes, this recipe serves 8 portions of sticky toffee pudding.

alternative Christmas pudding of sticky toffee pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serving Size:
Serves 8

Ingredients: The Sponge

  • 175g pitted dates
  • half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons coffee essence
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g butter (plus extra for greasing the tin)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour

Ingredients: The Sauce

  • 50g pecan nuts, chopped
  • 235g soft brown sugar
  • 145g butter
  • 8 tablespoons double cream


  1. Start with the sponge ingredients only.
  2. Chop the dates into smaller chunks, sieve the self-raising flour into a bowl, beat the eggs, and ensure the butter is at room temperature.
  3. Grease your loaf tin well, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  4. Boil up your kettle and pour 175ml boiling water over a bowl of the chopped dates.
  5. Stir in the vanilla essence and bicarbonate of soda, and set the bowl to one side while you work on the rest of the mix.
  6. Find a large baking bowl and cream the butter and sugar together into a pale, light and fluffy mixture. I did this using my electric hand whisk, but you can use a magimix or whatever to get it beaten together.
  7. Slowly add the beaten eggs a little at a time, and beat the mixture well between each addition.
  8. Lightly fold in the flour to the mixture, making sure to completely fold it in without being too rough. This will help make the mixture lighter.
  9. Fold in the date mixture, including the liquid, until it is fully combined. Don’t worry if the mixture looks far too wet and sloppy, it’s meant to!
  10. Pour the complete mixture into your greased loaf tin and bake in the centre of your oven for about 25 minutes. If the top begins to burn before the mixture is fully cooked, place a bit of baking paper over the top.
  11. When the sponge is cooked, run a knife around the edges, and leave to cool before turning out onto a pyrex plate or onto something to cut it. Here you have your sticky toffee pudding minus the toffee sauce, which we are about to make.
  12. Gather the ingredients for the sauce.
  13. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.
  14. Heat very gently over a low heat until the sugar has fully melted.
  15. Keep heating until it begins to bubble around the edges.
  16. To serve, slice your sticky toffee pudding sponge into your desired portion sizes and put into bowls.
  17. Use a ladle or a serving spoon to smother your sponge in the toffee sauce.
  18. This is optional, but you can pour some extra cream on top, or if you’d prefer you can add some ice cream!

There’s recipe one as an alternative to your Christmas pudding! What do you reckon? Is this the one you’ll go for? If you’re not sold yet, keep reading,

Alternative Christmas Pudding chocolate mousse

Alternative Christmas Pudding 2: Christmas Chocolate Mousse

Serving Size:
Serves 4
Very Easy


  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100ml whipping cream


  1. Grate 50g of the chocolate and set it to one side.
  2. Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl before stirring in your alcohol if you are using it.
  3. Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks.
  4. Spoon in half the sugar, whisk into stiff peaks again, add the rest of the sugar and whisk again.
  5. Whip your cream in a separate bowl.
  6. Fold your melted chocolate into the egg and sugar mix. Once fully folded in, fold in the cream and two thirds of the grated chocolate.
  7. Spoon the final mixture into individual cups and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
  8. Serve with the remaining grated chocolate sprinkled on top, and if you’re feeling fancy add a strawberry or some raspberries!

This chocolatey Christmas dessert is perfect for a palette cleanser, and as a starter to those festive chocolates many of us hide under the tree.

The final dessert is one I used to love to make at university. In fact, I’m pretty sure if Jason, Mary or Nuala still read my blog, they’ll be able to guess what the final dessert option is for this post. We l loved it as an alternative to a heavy pudding, and I made a point of serving it at our two Christmas dinners along side any other group meal I could. Please consider this one fact though, it is pure sugar.

Alternative Christmas Pudding CItrus Crush Sorbet

Alternative Pudding for Christmas 3: Citrus Crush

Serving Size:
Serves 4-6


  • 250g caster sugar
  • 300ml water
  • 2 grapefruits (halved)
  • 4 oranges (halved)
  • 2 limes (halved)


  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a pot on the hob. Remove the sugary water from the heat and leave to cool.
  2. Juice the fruit and sieve the juice into the now cooled sugar water.
  3. Pour this into a container, roughly pour in 2-3cm in depth but I find this doesn’t overly matter.
  4. Freeze this for 2 hours. Remove, and ‘fluff’ (I mash) it with a fork.
  5. Return it to the freezer and now fluff every half hour between now and serving. I tend to forget so I don’t think it overly matters but just as long as you give it a chance to fully freeze. Mash it before serving though!

These three alternative Christmas pudding ideas are definite favourites of mine, and can be made to look very fancy if you’re looking to impress family or friends this festive season. If you choose to use any of them, let m know in the comments below! They also work brilliantly throughout the year, so perhaps you’ll enjoy these at some stage!


  • Jeanette

    Mmm these all look delicious, I have never made mousse before, and I will try your recipe, thanks for sharing

  • ktkinnes

    Hope it goes well for you Jeanette! The secret to it is making sure your egg whites are well and truly beaten – if it’s not enough, the mousse is quite runny but still delicious! 😃 good luck!

  • ktkinnes

    Definitely recommend giving it a try! Makes a good dessert all year round to be honest, but definitely worth a try

  • Caroline

    I don’t like Christmas pudding so these alternative recipes are perfect for me. I particularly like the look of the chocolate mousse x

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