The best leftover Christmas dessert ideas
Even after Christmas and Boxing Day, there's always room for dessert! Discover our clever recipes for leftover cake, stollen, panettone and Christmas pudding.
Christmas desserts are (quite rightly) often rich and indulgent – and after a day of festive feasting, the prospect of ploughing through mince pies and the last slices of Christmas pud may be more than you can stomach. Luckily, any untouched goodies from the big day leave way for many more treats in the days that follow. Maximize the joy of the season with our guide on what to do with leftover Christmas cake.
Christmas pudding and cake will often keep for several months, provided they’re sealed and stored somewhere cool. However, other items, like enriched breads, have a much shorter shelf life. Turn them into desserts anew with our clever recipes, sure to help you keep the party going a little while longer.
Browse our selection of indulgent desserts below, then check out our leftover Christmas pudding recipes for more inspiration.
How to use... leftover Christmas pudding
Combine two classic desserts to make a luxuriously creamy cheesecake. Blitz leftover pud with brandy to make a purée, then fold it into the cheesecake mixture. Spicy, creamy and sweet, the crunchy ginger biscuit base and caramelised clementine topping make this a dazzling dessert sure to convert the most ardent Christmas pudding haters.
Christmas pudding is so versatile it can even be incorporated into cookie dough. Rye flour gives these soft and buttery biscuits a deep nutty flavour, which balances perfectly with the sweet, fruity pudding. Sandwich the cooled cookies with clotted cream or ice cream to make a decadent dessert.
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Christmas pudding freezes well and can be turned into an ice cream as easily as stirring some pieces into fresh custard (which can be homemade or shop-bought). This version has a hint of almondy amaretto and is best served with hot toffee sauce.
Not for the faint-hearted, this pudding combines leftover chunks of Christmas pudding with Jamaican ginger cake and stem ginger. Combine with a hot caramel sauce and you've got yourself one spicy pud to wake up the tastebuds.
Looking for something really special? Rework your leftover free-from Christmas pudding into a stunning ice cream bombe, drizzled in dark chocolate and topped with dried cranberries, glacé cherries and holly or bay leaves. This impressive dessert is gluten-free and can easily be made ahead and stored in the freezer. Perfect for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
Throw a box of ready-made filo pastry into your Christmas shopping trolley, then use it to wrap up your pudding leftovers for a Boxing Day centrepiece. This log is best served warm from the oven with brandy butter, festive ice cream or hot custard.
Need a speedy post-Christmas dessert? Rustle up this sumptuous trifle in just 15 minutes, featuring a base layer of Christmas pudding topped with Grand Marnier-steeped oranges, custard and whipped cream.
For more ideas, watch our video on how to use up leftover Christmas pudding.
Just about everyone can enjoy these chocolate brownies, which have been given a festive makeover with the addition of crumbled shop-bought free-from Christmas pudding and dairy-free chocolate chunks.
Leftover Christmas cake
Unlock the magic of leftover Christmas cake with our creative ideas. Since it’s packed with lots of fruit, nuts and booze, Christmas cake can keep for months on end. However, if you don’t want yours lingering on until summer, use it up in this meringue dessert. The combination of hot topping and cold ice cream is a treat for the senses.
Indulge in post-holiday delights with our leftover Christmas cake recipes. Reinvent your leftover fruit cake or Christmas pudding in these light and fluffy soufflés. Pour a warm caramel sauce into each pot and watch as they magically melt in the centre.
Leftover mince pies
Bored of plain mince pies? This marvellous festive creation incorporates them into gooey chocolate brownies for an utterly moreish sweet treat. Once you've tried these squidgy squares, you won't go back.
Over-stocked on mince pies this year? Don't let them go to waste! Why not give them a delicious second life by adding into the base of this cheesecake. A stroke of culinary genius, if we do say so ourselves, plus a brilliant way to beat Christmas food waste.
This simple sundae uses up leftover mince pies and panettone by layering them with no-churn ice cream. We've used shop-bought salted caramel sauce, and you can swap mince pies for Christmas cake, pudding or crumbled yule log, if you like. Bashed biscuits, such as ginger nuts or shortbread, or chopped nuts and chocolate truffles, can also be used instead of toasted panettone. Top with chocolate sauce or raspberry coulis, if you like.
Once this Italian fruit loaf is taken out of its decorative box, it goes stale quite quickly. Save it from the dustbin by soaking in a mix of eggs, cream and vanilla, then bake it. If that’s not decadent enough for you, serve with softly whipped cream.
Bake your own panettone for Christmas with our best panettone recipes.
Transform leftover panettone into an indulgent brunch by coating it in a spiced clementine and almond egg mixture before frying to make French toast. Drizzle in maple syrup and scatter over pomegranate and clementine slices for a final festive flourish. It's delicious served with yogurt or leftover brandy butter.
Already the champion of leftovers, we've given banana bread a festive twist by flavouring it with mincemeat and mixed spice, then serving with a whipped cinnamon butter. Make it for a delicious breakfast or afternoon tea treat over the Christmas holidays.
Empty that half-used jar of mincemeat in the back of the cupboard by making these Christmas cookies. Simply beat a few tablespoons of mincemeat into the dough, scoop onto baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. These crunchy cookies make a great last-minute addition to a Christmas dessert spread, or an edible gift for a loved one.
Transforming a jar of mincemeat into a pavlova might not be the first idea that springs to mind, but it's a winner. Fold mincemeat into a rum-infused cream, then spoon this over meringue along with clementines, pistachios, mint and dark chocolate. This would also make a great centrepiece for New Year's Eve.
Find creative recipes that make the most of the ends of a jar of mincemeat with our 10 new ways with mincemeat.
Marzipan is a dry storecupboard ingredient that’ll last much longer than breads and cakes, but if you have a little left over and want to save the cupboard space, use it to enrich these Lancashire-inspired puff pastry bakes.
For a lighter dessert option, serve baked apples with spoonfuls of mincemeat. Using only four ingredients, they're so easy to make – and if you crave more indulgence, pour over lots of custard or fresh double cream.
Put this traditional Christmas bread to good use in a good, old-fashioned baked pudding. This recipe also uses up leftover amaretti biscuits for the topping, leaving regular bread & butter pudding with a serious image problem.
Leftover biscuits and sweets
The best part about this festive rocky road? You can adapt it by using whatever treats you have. Transform any leftover Christmas sweets and biscuits into this no-bake rocky road in just 25 minutes. This is a great recipe for getting the kids involved, too.
See more of our best rocky road recipes.
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Which desserts do you like to make with Christmas leftovers? Leave a comment below…