Australian/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Recipes/ Super Simple

Show-Stopping Christmas Ice Cream Pudding

22/11/2021

Impress your guests on Christmas Day with this show-stopping Christmas Ice Cream Pudding! Just 10 minutes hands-on prep, you won’t believe how easy it is to make. Use our traditional Christmas pudding ingredients or customise with your own flavour combinations!

Christmas ice cream pudding on a cake stand surrounded by tinsel.

Why We Love This

This epic Christmas dessert is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! Full of the flavours of Christmas, it looks incredible on the Christmas table but is SO easy to make.

Ice cream pudding is a great alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding, especially for our hot summer Christmas Days in Australia! 

You can easily adapt the base recipe to suit your tastes and budget, with endless flavour combinations and gourmet upgrades (read on for more amazing ideas!).

Frozen Christmas Ice Cream Pudding on cake stand.

What is Ice Cream Christmas Pudding? 

Ice Cream Pudding is a popular Christmas dessert in Australia. Since our Christmas Days are so hot and steamy, we love cooling desserts like trifle, pavlova, jelly slice, or chocolate ripple cake as a sweet finish to the big Christmas feast!

Pudding ice cream has a similar flavour to a traditional Christmas pudding or Christmas cake, but is made with a base of ice cream instead of boiled or steamed cake.

P.S. If you love pudding flavours, try Laura’s Dad’s favourite treat – Chester Squares (Irish Gur Cake)!

Where We Learned This

This recipe comes from Sarah’s Mum from back in the 80’s! We love nothing more than reviving retro classics, and this dessert does not disappoint! Other nostalgic favourites of ours include coffee scroll biscuits and spinach cob loaf!

What You’ll Need

  • Ice Cream – Vanilla ice cream is the perfect base to add your Christmas flavours to, but you can use any ice cream you like. Try it with chocolate, English toffee, or specialty gourmet ice cream flavours depending on your budget.
  • Pudding Ingredients – Your favourites like blanched almonds, glacé or maraschino cherries, mixed fruit or fruit pie mincemeat filling, mixed peel or chopped dried apricots. If there are any ingredients here that you don’t like, just leave them out or swap for something you like better – see our variations section below for more ideas. 
  • Spices – Mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also use pumpkin spice. 
  • Spirit – Rum, sherry or brandy are traditional favourites for their Christmas spice flavours. Sub with your favourite liqueurs (coffee, hazelnut, almond or Irish cream would all be amazing!). Otherwise, use 1 tbsp vanilla essence for a non-alcoholic version. 
  • Edible Decorations – Chocolate sauce, or ice magic / melted milk chocolate, crushed nuts, glacé / maraschino cherries or even edible flowers!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Plan Ahead – This recipe is best made at least 1 day before serving so it has plenty of time to set overnight. 
  • Don’t Let the Ice Cream Melt – It should soften just enough to be easy to mix in the pudding ingredients, but avoid letting it completely melt as this will change the texture of the finished pudding.
  • Line Your Bowl – This makes it much easier to take the frozen ice cream pudding out of the container when you’re ready to serve. Instead of plastic wrap, we use aluminium foil which works just as well but is also easier to recycle. 
  • Turn Out the Pudding – Wrap a damp towel over the foil for a few seconds to help peel it off, if required. You can smooth out any wrinkles in the ice cream with the flat of a knife or frosting spatula if you like, but we think they actually add to the look!
  • Melted Chocolate – Be careful pouring melted chocolate over the top of frozen ice cream pudding, as it can cause the ice cream to melt quickly. 
  • Storage – Always store in an airtight container in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. If it’s difficult to slice, pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to soften slightly.

FAQs

What size bowl is best for this recipe?

This recipe best suits a medium-large mixing bowl or deep pudding basin (approx. 8 cups). We actually used the bowl of our KitchenAid stand-mixer to freeze the pudding. For a more decorative look, try it in a fluted dish or bundt pan.

If you don’t have any of these, just use any airtight container you can find. Instead of serving as slices, just scoop out and serve like regular ice cream and decorate each bowl individually.

Can I make this recipe in advance?

Yes, this recipe can be made a few days or more in advance. It’s essential to double wrap the ice cream pudding in cling wrap or aluminium foil, then store in an airtight container so it won’t take on any freezer flavours. Only decorate on the day or just before serving for the best presentation and flavour.

Variations

  • Traditional Flavour – Serve with custard for a traditional Christmas pudding flavour. 
  • Gourmet Upgrade Ideas – Make your own upgraded flavour combinations like cranberry and white chocolate or raspberry, orange rind and pistachio. Top the pudding with premium fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and mint. Add a splash of rose water or orange blossom water. Drizzle with honey. 
  • Neapolitan – Make it with layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream, just like a birthday ice cream cake. Bonus points if you garnish with 100s and 1000s / sprinkles. 
  • Sweet Tooth – Swap the nuts for your favourite combination of crushed chocolates or lollies, homemade cookie butter, choc buttons, marshmallows, honeycomb, cookies / biscuits etc.
Details of the chocolate and fruit on top of the Christmas ice cream pudding.

More amazing Australian Christmas dessert ideas:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Festive Christmas ice-cream pudding set and ready to eat.

Show-Stopping Christmas Ice Cream Pudding

Impress your guests on Christmas Day with this show-stopping Christmas Ice Cream Pudding! Just 10 minutes hands-on prep, you won't believe how easy it is to make. Use our traditional Christmas pudding ingredients or customise with your own flavour combinations!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soaking / Chilling Time: 11 hours
Total Time: 11 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 12 serves
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10-$15

Equipment

  • Pudding Basin or Large Bowl (For Freezing)
  • Aluminium Foil

Ingredients

  • 125 g blanched almonds finely chopped
  • 125 g glace cherries sub maraschino cherries
  • cup mixed peel chopped, sub chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried fruit sub sultanas
  • ½ cup rum sub sherry or brandy, 1 tbsp vanilla essence + ¼ cup water for non-alcoholic
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 ½ L vanilla ice cream slightly softened

To decorate:

  • chocolate sauce or ice magic / melted chocolate
  • crushed nuts
  • glacé or maraschino cherries

Instructions

  • Combine almonds, glacé cherries, mixed peel, dried fruit, rum, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Stir well, cover and allow to soak and chill for a 2-3 hours in the fridge. Optional: Stir once or twice in between to make sure everything is coated well with the spices and rum.
    125 g blanched almonds, 125 g glace cherries, ⅓ cup mixed peel, 1 cup dried fruit, ½ cup rum, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Line an 8 cup pudding basin or large bowl with aluminium foil, pressing out any wrinkles.
  • Add slightly softened ice-cream into the fruit mixture and mix well. Spoon into the lined pudding basin or bowl, cover and freeze until firm (6-8 hours). Note: For best results, freeze overnight
    1 ½ L vanilla ice cream

To Serve:

  • Turn out onto a chilled serving plate. Note: Wrap a damp towel over foil for a few seconds to help peel off, if required.
  • Decorate with your chosen toppings (such as chocolate sauce, ice magic or melted chocolate, crushed nuts and glacé or maraschino cherries) and serve immediately.
    chocolate sauce, crushed nuts, glacé or maraschino cherries

Recipe Notes

  • Ice Cream – Vanilla ice cream is the perfect base to add your Christmas flavours to, but you can use any ice cream you like. Try it with chocolate, English toffee, or specialty gourmet ice cream flavours depending on your budget.
  • Pudding Ingredients – Add your favourites like blanched almonds, glacé or maraschino cherries, mixed fruit or fruit pie mincemeat filling, mixed peel or chopped dried apricots. If there are any ingredients here that you don’t like, just leave them out or swap for something you like better – see our variations section below for more ideas.
  • Spices – Mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also use pumpkin spice.
  • Spirit – Rum, sherry or brandy are traditional favourites for their Christmas spice flavours. Sub with your favourite liqueurs (coffee, hazelnut, almond or Irish cream would all be amazing!). Otherwise, use 1 tbsp vanilla essence for a non-alcoholic version. 
  • Melted Chocolate – Be careful pouring melted chocolate over the top of frozen ice cream pudding, as it can cause the ice cream to melt quickly.
  • Plan Ahead – This recipe is best made at least 1 day before serving so it has plenty of time to set overnight. 
  • Don’t Let the Ice Cream Melt – It should soften just enough to be easy to mix in the pudding ingredients, but avoid letting it completely melt as this will change the texture of the finished pudding.
  • Line Your Bowl – This makes it much easier to take the frozen ice cream pudding out of the container when you’re ready to serve. Instead of plastic wrap, we use aluminium foil which works just as well but is also easier to recycle. 
  • Turn Out the Pudding – Wrap a damp towel over the foil for a few seconds to help peel it off, if required. You can smooth out any wrinkles in the ice cream with the flat of a knife or frosting spatula if you like, but we think they actually add to the look!
  • Storage – Always store in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. If it’s difficult to slice, pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to soften slightly.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Show-Stopping Christmas Ice Cream Pudding
Amount per Serving
Calories
390
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
20
g
31
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
61
mg
20
%
Sodium
 
112
mg
5
%
Potassium
 
378
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
45
g
15
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
37
g
41
%
Protein
 
9
g
18
%
Vitamin A
 
529
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
196
mg
20
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Show-Stopping Christmas Ice Cream Pudding

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