Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding with Salted Caramel and Whipped Sour Cream

Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding | The Sugar Hit


I’ve got one word for you:




Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding | The Sugar Hit


I mean, would you take a look at this pudding? Is it a stunner or what? And it’s mainly just a brown lump! That’s no easy feat! But it’s the taste that’s important. If you’re not a fan of traditional Christmas pudding, I totally understand, and *confession* I feel the same way.


It’s often too heavy, too rich, too dense and too packed full of chewy dried fruit. Well, Christmas pudding haters, hear that sound? It’s me galloping to the rescue, with this recipe.


Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding | The Sugar Hit


This Christmas pudding has all the delicious, rich Christmassy flavours that are non-negotiable, but without the dessicated dried fruit, and dense gluey pudding surrounds. The dried fruit is a mixture of velvety prunes, caramel-scented dates and golden sultanas, which have all been soaked in Pedro Ximinez sherry. If you haven’t heard of it, PX sherry is basically Christmas in liquid form.


The dried fruit is then suspended in a batter made light with hazelnut meal, bread crumbs, and just the tiniest amount of flour, but that’s not all – cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and – wait for it – chocolate chunks, mean that the cake component of this pudding is nothing short of decadent.


Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding | The Sugar Hit


As if a chocolate Christmas pudding wasn’t enough, I decided that plain old Hard Sauce or Brandy butter, as delicious as they are, well, they just weren’t cutting the mustard. It had to be salted caramel. Salted caramel…and whipped sour cream. It’s Christmas, baby!


The salted caramel cuts a swathe of buttery bitterness through the rich, aromatic pudding, and the whipped sour cream adds just the right amount of acidity, and feather-lightness. It’s…heavenly. Which is all too appropriate at this time of year!


Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding | The Sugar Hit


So, can I tempt you, Christmas Pudding haterz? If I haven’t then believe you me, it’s my fault, not this pudding’s. This pudding, is a very special addition to my holiday recipe collection. I have a feeling we’re going to be friends for years.


Are you making an over-the-top dessert this Christmas? And have you tried whipped sour cream? I’m almost as in love with that as I am with this pudding…and the salted caramel…and all three of them together…


xx Sarah.

Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding | The Sugar Hit


Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding with Salted Caramel and Whipped Sour Cream


An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit

Serves 6


notes: The ingredient list looks long here, I know, but the method is SUPER easy. It’s a melt and mix recipe, and the steaming is not nearly as daunting as you think. Trust me, you can handle this, no problem.



For the pudding:

4oz/100g prunes

4oz/100g dates

2oz/50g golden sultanas, or mixed dried fruit

1/3 cup/ 75ml Pedro Ximinez sherry, plus more for soaking

1/2 stick / 60g butter

1 1/2oz / 35g breadcrumbs

1 1/2oz / 35g hazelnut meal

2 tbsp / 15g cocoa powder

1 1/2oz / 35g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

50g brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1 small apple, peeled and grated

1 egg

1/4 cup / 65ml buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

4 oz/ 100g dark chocolate, chopped


Grease a 1 1/2 litre pudding basin. Place the dried fruit, sherry and butter into a sauce pan, and place the pan over a low heat. Cook this mixture slowly until the butter is melted and the fruits are soused with liquer, Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Place the grated apple, egg, buttermilk and vanilla into a small bowl and whisk together. Dump the buttery dried fruit mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Next, add the apple mixture and the chopped chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined, before pouring into the greased pudding basin, and smoothing the top. Cover the pudding basin with a layer of baking paper, and then a layer of tin foil, tying the sides in with string.


To cook the pudding, place it in a large pot, and fill with boiling water to come halfway up the pudding basin. Boil for 2 1/2 hours, topping the pan up with more boiling water regularly as it cooks. Once cooked, the pudding can be kept in a cool place or in the fridge for up to a month, believe it or not, and it just gets better with age. No matter how long you keep it, make sure you pour over a few tablespoons of extra sherry each day. To serve the pudding, steam it again for an hour and a half, before turning it out and serving with Salted Caramel Sauce and Whipped Sour Cream, recipes below.


Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 1 cup / 250 ml



1 cup / 225g caster sugar

3 oz / 75g unsalted butter

1/2 cup / 125ml cream

1 tsp flaky sea salt


Place the sugar in a medium saucepan with a splash of water and place over a medium heat. Cook the mixture without stirring, until the sugar reaches a light copper colour – you can swirl the pan if it is not cooking evenly. Once the colour is right, take the pan off the heat and add the butter and cream in. It will bubble up furiously, but just stir gently until it settles in, before putting it back on the heat for another 30 seconds or so, or until it comes up to a bubble. Stir through the sea salt, and set aside to cool slightly before serving.


Whipped Sour Cream



2/3 cup / 160g sour cream

1/3 cup / 75ml double cream

1 tbsp powdered sugar


Place all the ingredients into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form, adding more sugar to suit your taste.


  1. Holy moly! I am not a lover of traditional christmas pud but this sounds amazing!

    I had planned on a boozy bourbon apple pie with brandy ice cream for dessert, but I may just have to change my mind after seeing this!

    • Thanks Nelly! I am a sucker for pie, too, though…

  2. I’ve never even HAD Christmas pudding so I’m not sure I can call myself a hater. But I’m always up for a good showstopper dessert…and you’ve definitely piqued my interest!

  3. I must admit, I’ve never actually had Christmas pudding so I have no idea if i like it or not. But this is stunning!

  4. Christmas pudding is definitely not traditional in the US, but who wouldn’t want a slice of this? I love how it’s packed with every single tasty ingredient possible. :)

  5. Last year my good friend’s boyfriend came over from the UK for Christmas and brought a Christmas pudding with him (though it almost didn’t make it through customs). I was so excited to try it, but oh man, was it ever an overwhelming faceful of density and dried fruit. It even had a whole candied orange inside. Needless to say, I am officially afraid of Christmas pudding, but I think your version could convince me otherwise ;)

  6. I dont have that much of a sweet tooth but this sounds so amazing! And no matter what I have to try whipping sour cream. Gorgeous job, Sarah! Perhaps this needs to appear on our final holiday party-of-the-year’s menu?!

  7. Girl, you have totally outdone yourself! I’ve only had Christmas pudding once (it’s not traditional here) and was NOT a fan. But the way you’ve described this, and those insane pictures?! Sign me up and send me two!


  9. Oh man that is gorgeous! I love everything about it! That salted caramel is perfection. Merry Christmas Sarah!

  10. Made this pudding yesterday.
    Big fan! Fruity, chocolaty, moist, rich comfort in a bowl.
    Thank you for the great recipe :)

    • I’m so glad you liked it!! Thanks Stephanie – happy holidays!

  11. Oh my word. I am definitely a Christmas pudding hater; cannot stand the stuff. This however, looks right up my alley, so I’ve got a trial run steaming right now to test on my brother’s family tonight! I’ve replaced sultanas with cranberries (hate sultanas, hate raisins), and the sherry with Jack Daniels Honey whiskey, since that’s what I have on hand and I couldn’t be bothered going to the bottle store for a bottle of sherry that’ll take me a million years to use :P Just the mixture alone smelled heavenly so I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • Hell yes! JD Honey is an AWESOME idea for a substitute! I can’t wait to hear what you think of this when it’s done! Keep me posted!

      • Yes, yes, a million times yes!! It was so good! Will definitely be making this again on the first of December for my Christmas spread! And the JD Honey was an excellent substitute! This pudding was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be :D

        • Victoria!! You have totally made my week with this. I’m so psyched that you tried this, tweaked it to your taste and loved it! Also, I’m totally stealing your JD honey idea this Christmas, ’cause it sounds awesome. Thanks for trying this out, and letting me know the results too! You rock.

  12. I’m not a fan of the traditional christmas pudding but this recipe sounds delicious, especially with the salted caramel. I want to make this but i don’t have a pot that’s large enough for a pudding basin :( Is there any other way i can cook this? I saw a recipe where they baked it in a water bath, will this work or will the texture turn out different (here’s the link to the other method ) Looking forward to making it, i better make it soon though , because it’s only Christmas in 11 days (oops) :)

    • Hey Sarah! I’ve never tried steaming a pudding in the oven, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work just fine. Try and get a nice deep roasting dish so the pudding basin is submerged about halfway up, and get a good seal around the roasting dish and the basin so the steam is trapped inside. But other than that, I think it’ll work fine. Let me know how it goes!


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