Easy and Customizable Vegan Holiday Pudding

Vegan Holiday Pudding in bowl

This easy-to-make Vegan Holiday Pudding is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah. It's can be altered to your tastes, using whatever ingredients you have on hand.

This easy-to-make Vegan Holiday Pudding is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah. It’s can be altered to your tastes, using whatever ingredients you have on hand. Change up the fruit, cake (or cookies), nuts and creams.

Cranberries for the Vegan Holiday Pudding

Stress Eating

Monday, the day before Election Day, I asked two friends to join me in making calls to voters. Our message was simple, “Voting is a privilege and an obligation. Please go out and vote.” I took Florida, Deanna picked Texas, and Betsy called Georgia.

Apple Slices for the Vegan Holiday Pudding

I warmed a simple pot of rice and beans with greens for a working lunch and set out water, tea, and of a plate of cakes and truffles. We went to work. About 100 calls were made in 3 hours by the time we signed off.

After dinner, I made Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles for the students at Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy in New York City,  as a treat after presentation Tuesday afternoon. As the evening went on, I felt nudgy in the way I get when occasionally the possibility of overeating sweets turns loud. I figured it had to do with the election calling; Iie: stress eating.

Pieces of cake for the Vegan Holiday Pudding

I pulled some bits of desserts from my freezer onto the counter (this cake was left from my Halloween blog) and sat a 3-cup 3×6-inch glass bowl nearby. Thin slices of the chocolate cake, some glazed with ganache, were trimmed to fit the bottom of the bowl. I covered the still frozen cake with about 3/4 cup of Vanilla Pastry Cream. What I wanted was a dessert that was more fruit than cake, though.

Making Vegan Holiday Pudding

Here’s How I Made my Vegan Holiday Pudding:

  • Set oven to 400F.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh orange juice, and a pinch of zest, both left from making the Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles, and 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) pure maple syrup into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Add 2 cups of frozen cranberries (I did not defrost them).
  • These needed 20 minutes to roast until they were softened but not mushy. The roasting liquid was bubbling and thickened.
  • I used a slotted spoon to remove them from the baking dish and found 2 cups has reduced to 1 cup. The crimson roasting juices were so pretty and tasted good I decided to look for more fruit to roast.
  • Pears would have been my first choice, but mine were rock hard, so I cut an apple into medium-thin slices. I sprinkled them with cinnamon and added them to the baking dish, turning them to make sure they were coated with the cranberry juices. The apples roasted to perfection in about 15 minutes.
  • Looking at the components on my counter, I saw an easy, super flexible holiday dessert coming together. Crunch was needed. I thought about seeding a pomegranate, but it was late and I didn’t feel like it.
  • Instead, I broke about 3 tablespoons of pecans over the cream, followed by about 2/3 of the cranberries and the apple splices. I spooned the thickened roasted juices over all.
  • I stepped back to have a look. On my cutting board were a few odd slices of cake. I punched out small rounds and almost got all the way around the bowl with perfect rounds. The rest of the cake trimmings were cobbled together to make quasi-round shapes

Vegan Holiday Pudding in a glass

Cravings Satisfied

I’d made a vegan Holiday Pudding that looked pretty, was thrift, and fast to do, and certainly could feed 4 or 5 people, but I wondered how it would taste.

It seemed counterintuitive that making and eating just a few spoons of a dessert knocked off the stress eating I’d felt coming on, but that is what happened. The process of making the dessert took care of my craving in this case, and the resulting few bites dessert.

Vegan Holiday Pudding in bowl from above

Creamy and crunchy, and a bit more tart more than sweet–  was happy with this home-style, thrifty, use-what-you-have dessert. It deserved a pretty serving dish. The champagne glass of Election Night Holiday Pudding looked lovely. I gave it to my neighbor Janet, who told me she was voting early in the morning.

I voted, too, yesterday before I left for New York City. The election results were so close in many of the races, hopefully reminding us that each and every one of our votes do count. Remember that. And, do enjoy making colorful, creative desserts from bits of what you may already have. Learn technique and this becomes a piece a cake.

Vegan Holiday Pudding in bowl

  • Fran, thank you for the idea. I have cranberries frozen in the freezer from last Thanksgiving that need to be used. I have 5 cases of apples from my neighbor (she has a 50-tree orchard), that’ll make a nice cranberry-apple compote. I do have a can of coconut milk chilling in the fridge I can make a cream from. I won’t make a chocolate cake, I’ll just keep it simple with chopped walnuts or pecans on top. Simple and refreshing. I live 1.5 hrs from the nearest town (remotely in Idaho), so improvisation is my daily routine.

    • Five cases of apples– how wonderful. I eat at least 2 apples a day this time of year, just because I love the taste. I love hearing from someone who is not afraid to improvise. The dish in your mind sounds excellent!
      Thanks for sharing this with us.
      Kind regards,

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