Anyone who says they don’t like Christmas pudding hasn’t tried this! This brilliant gluten-free orange cake, served up with pudding ice-cream, makes a perfect festive dessert, and it’s a lot faster than traditional pudding, too.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (179 votes)

I love Christmas pudding, but it does take quite a while to do. Cinnamon and ginger add festive flavours to this cake, which is a million times quicker than a traditional Christmas pudding – you can even do this on Christmas morning. It's also a a great way to use up leftover Christmas pud. 



  • 3 oranges (you will need 450 g of cooked orange)
  • 300 g ground almonds
  • 300 g sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Plum sauce

  • 1.5 kg plums
  • 150 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Juice of one lemon

Pudding ice-cream

  • 1 litre vanilla or clotted cream ice cream (or make Tom’s clotted cream recipe, see Note)
  • 500 g crumbled Christmas pudding 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Allow freezing time for ice-cream. 

1. For the cake, put the unpeeled oranges in a pot with and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours.

2. Drain and, when cool, cut each orange in half and remove the seeds. Then chop everything finely — skin and fruit — in a food processor.

3. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 22 cm round spring-form cake tin. 

4. Weigh out 450 g of the orange pulp and discard what’s not needed. Place back in food processor with all the  dry ingredients and mix,  adding eggs one by one until a batter is formed. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for one hour to one hour 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Check the cake after 40 minutes: you may have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning.

5. When cooked, leave to cool on a rack, in the pan. The cake can be removed from the pan when completely cooled.

6. Meanwhile, for the plum sauce, halve the plums and remove the stones. Add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer until the plums go soft and are almost a puree.

7. Remove the cinnamon stick. Blend sauce until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl and keep until needed. If the puree is thicker than you'd like when you go to serve it, add a little water.

8. For the ice-cream, if using purchased ice-cream, remove from freezer and stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes – the ice-cream should soften, but not melt completely. Place the crumbled pudding in a bowl, scoop the ice-cream on top, and mix.  Place back in freezer to firm up again.

9. Serve the cake with ice-cream and sauce. 



• To make your own clotted cream ice-cream, place 375 g milk and 375 g cream in a saucepan and to the boil. Whisk together 110 g sugar and 150 g egg yolks until pale. Pour on the milk and cream. Whisk together and then place back into a clean pan and cook to 82°C or until the mix coats the back of a spoon. Add the 25 g glycerine (this is optional; the glycerine acts as an anti-freeze which will stop the ice cream crystallising and make it extra smooth). Pass the hot custard over the crumbled Christmas pudding and stir to mix. Pour into your ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.