Christmas Pudding Cakes

When Vegan Life launched in September, I don’t know if anyone anticipated just how well the magazine would be received. It was such a hit that it won this year’s VegfestUK Awards for best publication, and that accolade was purely based on the first issue!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Issue 2, and was especially excited that it would be the Christmas edition. When it arrived, I was hoping to savour it over a few days but alas, once I got started I couldn’t put it down.

Vegan Life Issue 2 300

Just like the first issue, this one is packed with articles that I found both inspiring and thought-provoking. One feature in particular that caught my eye was the debate on whether vegans should feed pets meat. This is one issue that I’ve been struggling to get my head round. The Vegan Life article prompted a lively debate amongst my Twitter friends. I think I’ve finally decided my stance, but it’s a very tricky issue, and definitely one that people need to decide for themselves ;o)

I’m looking forward to trying all the recipes in Issue 2, but the one that immediately grabbed my attention was the Christmas Pudding Cakes by Harriet Emily. I love Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake, but I’ve never had a Christmas Pudding Cake before! I was intrigued to see how it would turn out. I had a quick scan down the recipe and it didn’t look too tricky at all.

Vegan Life Issue 2 - Christmas Pudding Cakes

The recipe is gluten free, cane sugar free, dairy free, egg free and soy free, so it ticks lots of allergy friendly boxes. It does include almonds, but I’m sure these could be subbed to make it nut free too.

The recipe uses two of my favourite ingredients – coconut sugar and coconut butter. I tend to buy these online as they’re not always available in my local health food shop. If you’re not so fussed about making these cakes super healthy, then I’m pretty confident you could sub them with cane sugar and non dairy spread. The recipe also calls for millet flour which I couldn’t find locally, so I used buckwheat flour instead. It worked absolutely fine. I’m sure you could use regular whole wheat flour too if you didn’t need to make it gluten free.

And the verdict?
I was so happy with the way the cakes turned out. They were moist and flavourful, plus they made the house smell amazing while they baked! They were a huge hit with the family. Hubbie has already requested another batch, and Lil’ L said they were absolutely delicious (and this is someone that usually avoids dried fruits!)

Hubbie preferred his pudding cake straight up with no toppings, while Lil’ L and I enjoyed it drizzled in salted caramel. We used the Considerit Special Edition Salted Caramel from November’s The Vegan Kind Box, but Harriet Emily also shared a recipe for home-made salted caramel, which looks super easy to make.

Christmas Pudding Cake

The treats certainly live up to their name. I really can’t decide whether they are a cake or a pudding. Definitely somewhere in between. They’re baked in ramekins, so you could serve them straight out of the oven, more like a pudding …

Christmas Pudding Cake

Or you could pop them out of the ramekins and serve them like cake. I did find that the portions were a little on the large side. While hubbie easily devoured a whole cake, I couldn’t manage a whole one by myself (and believe me I tried). Next time I make them, I’ll try baking six instead of five and see how the size compares.

Christmas Pudding Cake

I did make a few tweaks to the recipe. I subbed a couple of ingredients that I didn’t have on hand, and adjusted the spice quantities (I used ¼ tsp nutmeg instead of 1 tsp as I find the flavour of nutmeg really strong, plus I omitted the allspice as I didn’t have any). I also reduced the baking temperature from 200C to 180C and the baking time from 40 to 30 minutes. They came out perfect, so I’m guessing the recipe is pretty flexible.

Big thank you to Harriet Emily for sharing her fab recipe If you’re interested in vegan, sugar free and gluten free cooking, definitely go check out her blog. I can’t wait to try her Chocolate Caramel Tarts. They look amazing!

Products used in this recipe (UK sources)

Biona Organic Coconut Sugar
Tiana Organic Coconut Butter (Aroma Free)
Clarks Original Maple Syrup
Doves Farm Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour (this does contain traces of gluten so use Doves Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour or Millet Flour for a 100% GF option)

In Vegan Life, Harriet Emily also shares a recipe for Caramel Sauce, which uses coconut sugar as its base. I’ll update this post once I’ve had a chance to try it (sadly I’ve run out of coconut sugar, but it’s on order).

I also have two caramel recipes by The Vegan 8 bookmarked, both of which I’d love to try with these Christmas pudding cakes. The first one – Caramel Sauce – has melted coconut butter as its base, and the second one – Salted Caramel – is made with sweet potato and coconut milk! It sounds weird but it’s received rave reviews so I’m excited to try it!

Did you get Vegan Life Issue 2? If so I’d love to know what you thought of it. Have you tried any of the recipes yet?


24 thoughts on “Christmas Pudding Cakes

  1. These are adorable and sound utterly scrumptious! Thanks for sharing your spin on the recipe Sharon. Definitely a must-make.
    P.S. I highly recommend the Vegan 8 sweet potato caramel! The muffins Brandi serves it with are excellent too.

    1. TY Emma ♥ This is a fab recipe and really easy to adapt to personal tastes. I can’t wait to try the sweet potato caramel. From the pics I’ve seen, it looks a lovely consistency & I’m totally intrigued to find out how it tastes. Will definitely check out Brandi’s muffins too x

  2. Dear Sharon, always is a delight to read and learn about your new recipes, this pudding cake looks so delicious …i will try to make them as soon as posible!
    Hugs and love…Maria

    1. Thank you for your kind words Maria ♥ It’s always a joy to hear from you!
      These ‘pudding cakes’ are really easy to make & fully of yummy Christmassy flavour. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do xx

  3. I haven’t eaten breakfast (porridge!) yet and this is making my mouth water! One question, did you use a cooking or eating apple?
    I was planning to make them in a muffin tin, do you think that’d work, I never bake, so I am a real novice in the cake department.

    1. Ah porridge ♥ I’ve actually eaten two bowls today – one this morning & one for an afternoon snack. It’s such a great comfort food & so warming!
      In this recipe, I used an organic eating apple. Next time I make them, I’m thinking I might just whizz the apple & water with my stick blender rather than bothering to peel it, cook it down and mash it.
      The cakes should bake fine in a muffin tray… be sure to grease it well or use muffin liners so you can easily pop them out. I must admit, they do look cute in ramekins though 😉

    1. Oh wow you’re getting a dog! That’s so exciting! The dog food issue sure is tricky. Last Friday night, we had a big discussion on Twitter about it and all kinds of for/against arguments came up. It got quite heated, but it did really help me to get my head round it all. I then discussed it with my hubbie & we’ve pretty much resolved our stance on it. It’s certainly not a straightforward decision though!

  4. I’m going to try these this weekend because they will be ideal fro Christmas. I always have to make 2 (1 SCD & 1 Vegan) and I love the sound of this recipe. Prunes bought!! Thank you for sharing!

    I think this recipe will also work steamed like a pudding but I’ll try it in the oven first.

    1. Brilliant! Do let me know how they work out for you. The original recipe calls for 40 mins at 200C, whereas I did 30 mins at 180C. I’m not sure whether my oven’s just hotter than others though, so it would be great to get your feedback. I really love how cute these pudding cakes look in the ramekins. Such a novel way to serve them!

  5. Nice! At our VegFest (in Washington State) I signed up as a member of Vegetarians of Washington: as part of that I’ve been getting Vegetarian Times magazine. Not vegan, but lots of good recipes. I also like using coconut sugar– so much flavor– and coconut butter. Fortunately, where I live it’s easy to buy. The pudding cakes look healthy and out of the ordinary (at least for here, where people don’t often make Christmas puddings). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Mary! Lovely to hear from you! Coconut sugar and butter are wonderful aren’t they? It’s lucky that they’re easily available where you live. I’m hoping they become more mainstream here too.
      Christmas Pudding is the classic dessert that we have after Christmas Dinner. I didn’t realise that it was specific to our country though! I’m intrigued now… what’s the traditional Christmas dessert in the US?

  6. Sharon, these look stunning!! I think any guest would literally be soo thrilled upon getting one of these beauties on their plate at Christmastime. Christmas cake or fruitcakes aren’t too big in North America as they are in the UK and NZ but I’ve always loved the idea of them. They are soo festive and I’m a big fan of the flavours. You’re really extending my baking list here…sheesh! 😉

    1. I loved these Christmas Pudding Cakes so much! I’m definitely going to be making another batch this week.
      I only discovered this year that Christmas Pudding & Cake isn’t a big thing in the US and Canada. What do you tend to serve as your Christmas Day dessert?

      1. It’s funny, isn’t it! Pecan pie is very popular in Canada and butter tarts. Lots of people go with apple pie as well or even like pumpkin cheesecake or something! Its different!

    1. Hey Suzanne! No I’ve haven’t tried freezing and re-heating them yet. So far, I’ve only kept them in the fridge for a few days. If I get time, I’ll test them out next month and let you know.

      I really like these mini Christmas cakes! I didn’t make them last year and missed them. They’ll definitely be back on the menu this Christmas 😊

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