Greg Dupree | Source: Southern Living

The Christmas Desserts We’ll Never Stop Making

If Christmas dinner is lauded as the ultimate meal, then the most celebrated after-dinner treat must be the Christmas dessert. It’s a good job that no matter how much we eat, we somehow always have room for dessert.

There are many holiday traditions like putting up a real Christmas tree and singing carols, but there’s one that the food connoisseur looks forward to the most – getting stuck into a delightful Christmas dessert. Christmas is the season where most of us indulge a little too much and savour all the sweets. So if you’re in need of inspiration for what to create to impress the guests this year, here’s a list of traditional Christmas desserts.

Christams Pudding

The Christmas pudding may be the most famous Christmas dessert ever. Traditionally the pudding is served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK rumoured to be invented by George the first of Great Britain in the 17th century. The original ingredients included dried fruit, breadcrumbs, flour, eggs and spice, along with milk or fortified wine. Nowadays the Christmas pudding can be a much more elaborate production with vegans options available. Here is a recipe we are keen to try this year.


  • 3 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1½ cups dried mixed fruit
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 heaped cup sugar
  • 2 cups cold tea (strained or from teabags)
Recipe Courtesy of Southern Living


Mix all dry ingredients with two cups of cold tea and the melted butter.

For good luck and in keeping with an old Christmas tradition you can ask family members to each stir the pudding mixture and make a wish.

Once the ingredients are well mixed, pour them into a greased steamed pudding tin with a lid. Alternatively use calico fabric and tie it with string and place the calico bag into a large heat-resistant bowl and cover with foil. The mixture can also be cooked as two smaller puddings if preferred.

Fill a large saucepan halfway with water. Place the pudding into the saucepan and put the saucepan onto the stovetop. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer to steam the Christmas pudding for 1½ hours.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Tiramisu

The iconic coffee-flavoured dessert is believed to have originated in either the 1960s or 1970s in Italy. The popular dish is created with ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. Get into the holiday spirit by adding Irish cream liqueur to elevate this classic into the truly grown-up Christmas dessert category.


  • 4 large (pasteurized) eggs yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 12 ounces strong brewed espresso
  • ¼ cup Irish cream liqueur
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces ladyfingers, about 24 cookies
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, freshly grated/shaved
Recipe Courtesy of How Sweet Eats


  1. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and ¼ cup of sugar until the yolks are pale yellow in color and the mixture doubles in volume. This takes about 5 full minutes. You want the mixture to fall like ribbons from the beaters once it’s ready.
  2. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream, vanilla extract and remaining ¼ cup of sugar until medium peaks form. Add in the mascarpone cheese and beat just until combined and the mixture is spreadable. Scoop this mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks and gently fold them together until combined.
  3. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the espresso and irish cream liqueur.
  4. Place the cocoa in a fine mesh strainer. Sprinkle some all over the bottom of the baking dish until it’s covered.
  5. Take each ladyfinger and dip it in the espresso/irish cream until soaked through. Don’t oversoak, as the ladyfingers will fall apart. When I do this, I dip a ladyfinger, count to 3, and then flip it and count to 3 again. Place the ladyfinger in the dish and repeat with more ladyfingers, until you have a single layer of the soaked ladyfingers.

Vegan Apple Pie with Salted Caramel

The classic bona fide showstopper is a dessert staple that has been appeasing sweet taste buds for centuries. Baking a homemade pie should be on everyone’s bucket list and there’s no better time to give it a try than at Christmas. The fruity pastry dish is an easy one for the less kitchen initiated and is a brilliant all-around crowd-pleaser.

Recipe Courtesy of Wallflower Kitchen


Make the pastry

  1. Add the flour, icing sugar and dairy-free butter to a bowl and rub together with your fingertips (or use a food processor to gently mix) until well combined. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough clumps together. Add more if needed. 
  2. Turn the dough out onto a roll of clingfilm and roll into a ball. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the apple pie filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 340F and brush a 9-inch pie dish with a little melted spread. Set aside. 
  2. Peel the apples and chop into approx 1/2 cm slices. Add to a large saucepan with the spices and corn starch. Stir to combine then switch the hob onto a medium heat and let the apples stew for a few minutes until slightly softened. 
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the caramel sauce (save the rest for glazing and serving.)

Make the pie

  1. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide in half. 
  2. Roll out one half to fit the bottom of the pastry dish. Don’t worry about any overhanging pastry bits.

Pavlova with Rhubarb and Strawberries

If you’re short on time and need a true crowd-pleaser, this classic Australian favourite is a savour. This proper Christmas dessert recipe is simple, efficient and quick to make with only a few ingredients. The core ingredients are eggs, sugar, vanilla essence, white vinegar, cornflour and berries and only takes two hours at most to prepare and make.


  • 1 lb. rhubarb, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed and quartered, unless very small
  • 1 Pavlova Shell or Kosher-for-Passover Pavlova Shell, baked and cooled
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
Recipe Courtesy of Fine Cooking


  1. Combine the rhubarb, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and ½ cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb mostly breaks down and the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wide bowl, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream just to stiff peaks, then fold into the cooled rhubarb purée, leaving streaks of red and white throughout. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Combine the strawberries with the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar, and let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the shell to a serving plate. Mound the rhubarb fool into the center of the shell. Top with the strawberries and their juices. Serve within an hour.

Baked Vegan Black Forest Cheesecake

It’s definitely worth bringing this showstopper out at Christmas dessert if you’re looking to impress. The popular dessert is a decadent dark chocolate cheesecake topped with cherries, whipped cream, and chocolate curls. The delicious recipe also looks beautiful – this is a must-try for chocolate and/or cheesecake lovers.


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 4 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • drop vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for 3-4 hours)
  • 1 packet good quality organic silken tofu
  • 6 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 Tsp tahini
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
Recipe Courtesy of Hazel & Cacao


  1. For the crust: add all the crust ingredients into a food prcessor and process until fine, sticky and resembling crushed biscuit texture.
  2. Press evenly on to the base and sides of a deep cake tin and set aside
  3. For the filling: place the frozen cherries on top of the crust base in the cake tin.
  4. Add all the other filling ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour over the frozen cherries on the base and bake at 180 C for about 30- 40 minutes. I kept checking and shaking the tin and removed once the filling had set and had a jelly-like consistency (no longer liquid)
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  7. Decorate with fresh cherries or whatever toppings you like

Curtis Stone’s Christmas Pavlova Trifle 

The popular layered dessert is a great addition to any meal and looks exceptionally wonderful on the Christmas table. The layers of custard and jelly mixed with cake, cream and fruit provide a great mixer of delicious tastes. A good way to save time is to buy the cake and custard ready-made but a homemade jelly tastes far superior.


  • 2 cups (500ml) thickened cream, whipped to form soft peaks
  • 100g Coles Vanilla Meringue Kisses
  • 100g Coles Flavoured Meringue Kisses


  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) full-cream milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) thickened cream
  • 5 extra-large Coles Australian Free Range Egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 tbs cornflour
  • 30g unsalted butter, cubed, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract


  • 250g cherries, halved, pitted
  • 1 white peach, pitted, cut into 2cm wedges
  • 1 yellow peach, pitted, cut into 2cm wedges
  • 1 white nectarine, pitted, cut into 2cm wedges
  • 1 yellow nectarine, pitted, cut into 2cm wedges
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
  • 250g raspberries
Recipe Courtesy of Curtis Stone


  1. To make the custard, place milk and cream in a medium heavy-based saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a large heatproof bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks, sugar and ½ tsp sea salt flakes for 3 mins or until very pale and light. Whisk the cornflour into the egg mixture, then gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture.

3. Return mixture to a clean saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 3 mins or until a few bubbles burst on the surface and custard is thick and glossy. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a shallow container. Quickly cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface of the custard. Chill for 2 hours or until cold and thickened.

4. To make the macerated fruit, in a bowl, toss the cherries, peaches, nectarines, lemon juice and sugar to coat. Stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for 30 mins or until juices form. Gently fold in the raspberries.

5. Spoon one-third of the cherry mixture into a 12-cup (3L) glass serving dish. Top with one-third of the custard, one-third of the whipped cream and one-quarter of the meringues. Repeat with remaining cherry mixture, custard, whipped cream and two-thirds of the remaining meringues. Chill for 30 mins.

6. Decorate the trifle with remaining meringues to serve.

Mince Pies

Another Christmas dessert staple, the mince pie is sweet pastry pie filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices. Of English origin, the mince pie works wonderfully as either a dessert on its own or as a Christmas snack in between meals. The versatile treat can be consumed at room temperature or from the oven with ice-cream, cream or brandy sauce.


  • 350 g plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 175 g cold butter cut into 1cm / ½inch cubes (plus extra for greasing)
  • A little cold water (roughly 6-8 tablespoons)
  • 250 g mincemeat (I use Marks and Spencer Classic Mincemeat)
  • A little milk
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
Recipe Courtesy of Easy Peasy Foodie


  1. Grease the holes of 2 cupcake trays (24 holes in total), using a little butter on some baking paper. Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F.
  2. Place the flour in the bowl (you can sieve it if you like, but I never bother) and add the cubes of cold butter. Rub the butter and flour between your fingers (as if you are trying to rub the flour into the butter) until it resembles breadcrumbs. (See Note 1.)
  3. Stir in a tablespoon of cold water and stir into the butter/flour mixture thoroughly. Add another tablespoon of cold water and stir in thoroughly. Repeat this process until the mixture just starts to come together. I usually find this happens after about 6-8 tablespoons but it does vary. Don’t add too much water!
  4. As soon as your pastry starts coming together, stop adding water and use your hands to squish the pastry together into a ball.
  5. Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and pop your ball of pastry on top. Roll your pastry out as thin as it will go. (It might be easier, depending on the size if your work surface, to split the pastry into 2 balls and do them 1 at a time.)
  6. Using a circle shaped cutter, cut out 24 circles and place them into the greased holes of you cupcake trays.
  7. Put 1 teaspoonful of mincemeat in the centre of each circle.
  8. Squish together the pastry, roll it into a ball and roll out thinly again. This time cut out 24 stars, using your star shaped cutter, Place each star on top of the mincemeat, roughly in the centre (this is a bit hit and miss with children!) and press down slightly so the star sticks.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush over a little milk. (Not strictly necessary, but it makes the mince pies go a more golden colour.)
  10. Put the mince pies in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the mincemeat is bubbling and the pastry is golden on top.
  11. Take your mince pies out of the cupcake tin and place them on a wire rack to cool – I find it easiest to lever the mince pies out with a dessert spoon – take care not to burn yourself as they will be super-hot!
  12. While the mince pies are still warm, put a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar into a sieve and dust the icing sugar over the mince pies. (You can use an icing sugar dredger if you prefer.)
  13. The mince pies can be eaten warm or cold, on their own or with cream or custard.
  14. When the mince pies are completely cool they can be stored in a cake tin, or other air tight container… that is if there are any left!

Mulled Wine Mince Pie Brownies

There’s nothing quite like a warm mulled wine at Christmas. Pair that with the rich chocolate taste of a great brownie and you’ve got a fine Christmas dessert. The festive take on the classic brownies uses red wine and spices like cinnamon and ginger mixing with the traditional chocolate. The final product is a flavoursome treat that also fills the home with some fragrant Christmas aromas.


  • 2 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 100g + 50g dark chocolate, broken up
  • 90g vegan butter or margarine
  • 100ml oat milk or other plant-based milk
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 225g plain flour or GF plain flour
  • 50g cacao powder
  • 150g caster or coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of ground clove
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100g mincemeat
  • Sprinkles, optional
Recipe Courtesy of Nourishing Amy


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line an 8-inch square tin with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the ground chia/flax seeds and water to form a gel, leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt 100g of the chocolate and vegan butter/margarine and warm up the oat milk slightly.
  4. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cacao powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg, ground clove and a pinch of salt.
  5. Whisk the chia/flaxseed gel, oat milk and orange zest into the melted chocolate mixture. Now pour into the flour mix and stir to a thick batter. Fold in the 50g chocolate.
  6. Pour into the lined tin, smooth over the top and evenly spoon over the mincemeat, pressing down slightly. Bake for 22-25 minutes until firm around the edge and softer in the middle. They will continue to cook after you remove them.
  7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove and cool fully on a wire rack before slicing. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

For more inspiration on what to make during the Christmas season, you will enjoy our coverage of How to Master the Perfect Pavlova, Every Time and Traditional French Dishes Perfect for the Holidays.

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