• Christmas Day pudding (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel
For those who stand by a traditional end to Christmas Day feasting with a fruitcake or pud, here are our 10 best recipes.
16 Dec 2019 - 2:13 PM  UPDATED 16 Dec 2019 - 2:13 PM

These defining questions will influence which fruitcake or pudding you choose:

  • What fruit do you want in your cake or pudding? Can't stomach glacé, then go the dried route.
  • What's your booze of choice? Pretty much anything goes! Are you a planner or an impromptu-ist? Some fruitcakes and puddings require soaking overnight and long baking/steaming times. Don't worry, though, we've got recipes to suit all levels of organisation.
  • Is a frozen version the smarter choice for a 30°C day? Let’s be honest. Sometimes you just want something cool.


1. For the all-in traditionalist

This trad rich, boozy fruit cake carries all the usual suspects: glacé ginger, pineapple and cherries, golden syrup, sultanas and Nana’s secret ingredient - rum. It's the quintessential Christmas fruitcake - it even croons Jingle Bells when you cut into it.

2. For a native ingredient upgrade

Our cherry and macadamia fruitcake is dense with brandy-soaked fruit and spices, with the addition of sour dried cherries, macadamias and orange zest and juice.

3. For those who like their cake more boozy than fruity

This Colombia version, torta negra, is dense with prunes, raisins and figs, generously spiked with both rum and port.

4. For gin lovers

This Dutch fruitcake is loaded with gin-soaked raisins. It's a lighter-style fruitcake with only raisins as the star - finished with an apricot jam glaze (and glacé cherries to decorate are optional).

5. For whisky lovers

A light whisky fruitcake that still packs a punch, fragrant with orange rind and easy-to-make oven-dried orange slices.

6. For those who want a fruitcake they've never tasted before

Could the best Christmas cake you’ll ever eat come from Sri Lanka? It's much closer to a flourless cake or a brownie than some of the rock-hard missiles that pass for Christmas cake - the secret is choko preserve. However, you should have started this late November to let the flavours develop, but you can still give it a go. Start now!

7. For those who've left their pudding to the last minute 

This Christmas Day pudding is for you. Aptly named, this fruity number can be made on Christmas Day itself! Don’t be fooled by the quick cooking time, this pud might be easy, but it’s also wonderfully impressive.

Christmas Day pudding

8. For the pudding lover

This brandied sago pudding a lot simpler to make than traditional plum pudding - it still uses suet and breadcrumbs for texture, with dried cherries adding some glamour. You need to soak the cherries in brandy overnight, but chalk this up as an easy pud to make.

9. For those who don't want to miss out on their pudding but want to stay cool

Enter the frozen summer fruit semifreddo pudding. We've given the chilled Italian custard a decidedly summery feel with mangoes, passionfruit, pomegranate and peaches. 

10. For the big kids in us all

These boozy Christmas pudding popsicles, laden with brandy and plenty of spice, come with a melted chocolate shell and a maraschino cherry on top! No ice-cream machine needed!

Festive feels
Don't like pud? Try one of these festive bakes from around the world
Sheeple, take off your pudding goggles! Here are 15 sweets to make other than moisty steamed Christmas pud.
Pickled Christmas: 13 gifts in a jar
For when you want to preserve your friendship, because food gifts are the best gifts.