3 Traditional Sauces for Christmas Pudding

Christmas Recipes

Cranberry almond and orange Christmas pudding recipe

The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

There is a debate every year over what is a traditional sauce to serve with Christmas pudding? There's little evidence about what this would formerly have been with the pudding dating back centuries, and some claims as to its origins and how it became the pudding of the British on the Christmas table. Given the rich, heavy steamed pudding comes at the end of the largest meal of the year—it's believed that Brits consume 7000 on this meal alone—sauces do not need to be heavy or overly rich. 

Brandy Sauce, which in essence is a light white sauce with a good splash of brandy or cognac is a favorite. Many like simple, plain custard with no spirit involved, and for children, ice cream which most certainly is not traditional is loved. Brandy butter is often thought not to like, but one look at the supermarket shelves at Christmas tells you it is one of the most popular. The sauces here are all considered classic combinations for a Christmas pudding. They're so easy to make, take very little time so why not indulge yourself and make them all, that way you can let your guests choose which they prefer. 

  • 01 of 03

    Brandy or Rum Sauce Recipe

    Christmas Brandy Sauce Recipe

    The Spruce

    The is the all-time classic sauce to slather over the traditional Christmas Pudding is a brandy sauce. A pudding already will have either brandy or rum in it depending on your taste, so a splash added to a lovely white sauce becomes a perfect partner. Make sure you partner the spirit in the sauce with the one in the pudding or the clash of flavors most certainly will not be work.

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    Brandy Butter Recipe

    Easy traditional brandy butter recipe

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

    The quickest and by far the easiest sauce to serve but also the richest of these three is a brandy butter. Use a good dairy butter whipped together with icing sugar and a slug of Brandy then pop a dollop on the served puddings, and as it melts it soaks into the pudding adding even further richness and sweetness. Don't forget if all else fails, a scoop of good, vanilla ice cream also works well. 

  • 03 of 03

    Custard Sauce Recipe

    Custard Sauce
    Custard Sauce.

    Getty Images

    Custard does make the perfect partner for most British puddings and desserts and especially a Christmas Pudding. As the pudding is so, so rich and heavy, a plain vanilla custard is the least obtrusive sauce to use, though traditionalist state this is not a traditional sauce. Custard sauce, as it is also known, is so easy to make‚just look at the recipe—and you'll discover there's no need to ever buy a jar or packet again