Christmas Brandy Sauce

Christmas brandy sauce in a small pitcher

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
150 Calories
7g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 75mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 95mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

No British Christmas would be the same without the traditional and favorite Christmas pudding and a delicious sauce to drizzle on top. There are various sauces that work well with the pudding, but the most traditional of all is a brandy sauce. The Christmas pudding pairs perfectly with this boozy, rich sauce, which balances out the sweet and fruity dessert.

This brandy sauce recipe is so easy to make; it can also be made a day or two in advance, refrigerated, and then simply reheated when the pudding is ready. If you like it with a kick, add an extra splash of liqueur right before serving—only for the adults, though.

"This brandy sauce was thick, smooth, and utterly delicious. Traditional brandy sauce is the perfect topping for a slice of Christmas pudding, or drizzle it over a fruitcake, pound cake, fruit, or other desserts." —Diana Rattray

Christmas Brandy Sauce/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 1 pint (2 cups) milk

  • 2 ounces (4 1/2 tablespoons) fine or superfine sugar

  • 5 tablespoons brandy or cognac

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for brandy sauce gathered

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  2. In a medium nonstick saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.

    Butter melting in saucepan

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  3. Add the flour, stirring quickly to create a thick, smooth paste. Cook for 1 minute, taking care not to let it burn.

    Flour added to butter to create a roux in a saucepan

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  4. Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously. Continue whisking until a thick, smooth sauce forms; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Take care not to have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn.

    Milk whisked with the roux in the saucepan

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  5. Once the sauce is formed, add the sugar and whisk a little more, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat and gently cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.

    A whisk rests in the saucepan
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  6. Add the brandy or cognac, whisking into the smooth sauce.

    Brandy added to creamy Christmas sauce in a pan with a whisk

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  7. Before serving, add a tiny drop of brandy or cognac, if you like, to liven up the flavor. Serve the sauce poured over the top of individual slices of pudding.

    Christmas brandy sauce in saucepan with additional liqueur

    The Spruce Eats

Tips

  • This sauce does not have to be saved for Christmas. It is a good, basic, sweet, white sauce and it works well with many flavorings, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.
  • To get the best marriage of flavors, always use the same liquor in the sauce that you have in your pudding. So, if the pudding was made with rum, you can substitute rum for the brandy.
  • The sauce is delicious served hot or cold, so don't worry if you don't have time to reheat it before drizzling over the pudding.

Brandy Sauce Variations

  • For a vanilla-brandy flavor, add 1 split and scraped vanilla bean to the sauce along with the sugar. Remove the vanilla bean before adding the brandy.
  • Add a dash of nutmeg for a light holiday spice flavor. 

How to Store Brandy Sauce

  • This dessert sauce can be made ahead of time. Cool and transfer to a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent it from forming a skin. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator where it will keep for one week.
  • For longer storage, the brandy sauce can be placed in an airtight container and frozen where it will last up to four months.
  • When ready to serve, simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, taking care not to let it burn. If too thick, add a small amount of milk until you reach the desired consistency.