Your Christmas, sorted: desserts, cakes and puddings

by Great British Chefs 1 December 2021

It's essential that a Christmas dinner ends on a high. That's why your dessert deserves just as much thought as the main course. These are our picks of the best Christmas dessert, cake and pudding recipes.

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Whilst the roast and all its trimmings is undeniably the main event when it comes to Christmas dinner, having a great dessert to round things off is also essential – after all, Christmas is a time to indulge! There are a whole host of different Christmas desserts to choose from, ranging from the classics to the more modern. These are just some of our favourite festive dessert, cake and pudding recipes.

North Pole Christmas cake

This fun take on a classic Yule log is a real showstopper of a pudding. Topped with a marshmallow snowman, candy cane and crispy stars made from butternut squash, this North Pole Christmas cake does require a bit of advance prep but it's more than worth the effort for the final effect. The perfect activity for impatient kids on Christmas Eve. 

Clementine and gingerbread trifle

Trifles are always guaranteed crowd-pleasers, particularly at Christmas time. This contemporary spin on the classic from Alyn Williams is no different. Featuring a light and fluffy gingerbread foam, a clementine jelly and granita and cubes of sponge, this is a comforting dish that's packed with different flavours and textures.

Christmas black pudding with sherry custard

Using black pudding in a dessert may sound pretty unusual but in this recipe, James Cochran uses it to bring an added depth to his Christmas pudding that balances out the sweetness of the dried fruit. Finished with a sherry custard, this is a fun take on an absolute Christmas classic.

Panettone bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding is one of the ultimate comfort desserts and here its given an extra Christmassy spin by using panettone – a sweet Italian bread traditionally served at Christmas – instead of bread, for added indulgence. A great way of using up any leftover panettone from Christmas morning.

Bûche de Nöel

This classic yule log has a swirl of chestnut cream running through its centre and is decorated with stunning meringue mushrooms to make it look extra special. A real showstopper.

Trifle terrine cake

Selasi Gbormittah's trifle terrine cake doesn't just offer up layer after layer of sponge, chocolate mousse, chestnut cream and rum-soaked raisins, but it also looks wonderfully elegant on the plate. It may take a bit of time to make all the different elements and assemble, but it's well worth it for the final effect.

Three-chocolates Christmas pudding

It may not be the most traditional thing ever to put chocolate in your Christmas pudding, let alone three different types. But that's exactly what Paul A Young does in this recipe – and we're certainly not complaining.

Mulled wine trifle

Simon Jenkins adds an air of festive sophistication to the classic trifle in this recipe by making a mulled wine jelly and then serving individual portions of the trifle in wine glasses. These are also a great pudding to make in advance.

Choose the rest of your Christmas dinner: