Looking For an Alternative To Christmas Pudding? Try This Festive Bread & Butter Pudding

Published 30/11/2021

Looking for an alternative to Christmas Pudding this year? Or just fancy having more than one dessert and why, not it is Christmas after all. Private Chef, Christopher Warwick has shared his recipe for Christmas Bread & Butter Pudding.

'Christmas Pudding done correctly is truly a rich delicious treat and better served in small quantities with only a little brandy sauce. By the time this traditional pudding arrives I am usually full as a stuffed turkey and so are my guests. I have learned my lesson in previous years and so now opt to serve this lighter Christmassy take of a British classic: the humble Bread & Butter Pudding.'


Serves 6

3 Slices of thick white bread

40g Softened unsalted butter

500ml Whole milk

500ml Double cream

6 Egg yolks

2 Vanilla pods

1 Pinch of salt

250g Caster sugar

200G Apricot jam (warmed)

40g Mixed dried fruits, orange peel, sultanas, lemon peel, currants, raisins

10g Mixed spice

10g Grated nutmeg


1 X Earthenware Dish 13” long- 8 ½” wide (correct size of dish is important, see photo for reference)

1 X Set of weighing scales 

1x Heavy based saucepan

1 x Mixing bowl 

1X Whisk

1X Baking tray with deep sides which is large enough to fit the earthenware dish

1 X Sieve


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 155℃ 
  2. Line the earthenware dish with a thin layer of soft butter and scatter the dried Christmas fruits along the bottom of the dish.
  3. Cut the slices of thick white bread into triangles and fill the base of the dish with the triangles in lines and slightly overlapping each other. 
  4. To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl very lightly. In a heavy based saucepan bring the milk, cream, vanilla pods, nutmeg and mixed spice to the boil. Then pour over the egg and sugar mix using a whisk to emulsify before passing the custard through a fine sieve to remove any debris from the egg and vanilla pods.
  5. Slowly pour the custard mix while warm into the middle of the bread-lined earthenware dish and continue until the triangles of bread almost reach the top of the dish. Slightly push the bread under the custard mix so that it can absorb the custard.
  6. Place the earthenware dish into the baking tray and create a Bain Marie by pouring boiling water between the earthenware dish and baking tray, being careful not to spill any water into the custard. 
  7. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the custard has just set. Then remove the earthenware dish out of its Bain Marie and toast under the grill until it is golden all over. 
  8. Glaze with the pre-warmed apricot jam and leave in a warm area - preferably the top of the oven. 
  9. When it comes to serving, use a serrated knife to cut a generous circle out of the pudding and serve on warm plates with rich double cream. 

Check out Chris' recipe for a Winter Roast Lamb Shoulder with Gratin Dauphinoise.