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Fruit Cake vs. Christmas Pudding — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 14, 2023
Fruit Cake is a dense cake with candied fruits and nuts; Christmas Pudding is a steamed dessert with dried fruits and spices, traditionally served at Christmas.
Fruit Cake vs. Christmas Pudding — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Fruit Cake and Christmas Pudding


Key Differences

Fruit Cake is a popular baked dessert known for its rich and dense texture, made with candied fruits and nuts. On the other hand, Christmas Pudding, is a traditional British dessert, typically served during Christmas festivities.
Fruit Cake can be enjoyed at any time of the year, and it often has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor. In contrast, Christmas Pudding is associated primarily with the holiday season and carries a spicier and more aromatic profile due to the spices.
While Fruit Cake is baked, Christmas Pudding is steamed, giving it a unique moist consistency compared to the crumbly nature of Fruit Cake.
Both desserts have a long shelf life, with Fruit Cake often being soaked in spirits to preserve it. Christmas Pudding, however, is flamed before serving, adding a touch of spectacle to the holiday table.

Comparison Chart


Dense and crumbly
Moist and sticky




Candied fruits and nuts
Dried fruits, spices, and often suet


Anytime, but popular during holidays
Primarily Christmas


Sweet and slightly tangy
Spicier and aromatic

Compare with Definitions

Fruit Cake

A long-lasting dessert due to its preservative qualities.
This Fruit Cake can last for months if stored properly.

Christmas Pudding

A steamed treat with dried fruits and spices.
The aroma of the Christmas Pudding filled the room.

Fruit Cake

A cake made with candied fruits and nuts.
I always look forward to Grandma's homemade Fruit Cake during the holidays.

Christmas Pudding

A dessert that can be made weeks in advance and reheated.
I made the Christmas Pudding in November and stored it until now.

Fruit Cake

A term for something or someone crazy or eccentric.
You're such a Fruit Cake with those wild ideas!

Christmas Pudding

A rich and dense dessert often served with a sprig of holly.
The holly on the Christmas Pudding is for decoration only.

Fruit Cake

A holiday treat often gifted during Christmas.
We received three Fruit Cakes as gifts this year.

Christmas Pudding

A traditional British dessert served at Christmas.
We light the Christmas Pudding on fire before serving.

Fruit Cake

A dense cake sometimes soaked in spirits for preservation.
I prefer my Fruit Cake soaked in rum for that extra kick.

Christmas Pudding

A dessert associated with festive holiday traditions.
It's not Christmas without the Christmas Pudding!

Fruit Cake

Alternative form of fruitcake

Common Curiosities

When is Christmas Pudding traditionally served?

During Christmas festivities.

Is it customary to light the Christmas Pudding on fire?

Yes, it's flamed before serving for tradition and flavor.

Why is Fruit Cake often soaked in spirits?

For preservation and added flavor.

What gives Christmas Pudding its moist consistency?

It's steamed rather than baked.

Can you make Christmas Pudding without alcohol?

Yes, there are non-alcoholic versions available.

What is the primary ingredient in Fruit Cake?

Candied fruits and nuts.

How long can Christmas Pudding be stored?

If stored properly, it can last for weeks or even months.

What kind of spices are typically in a Christmas Pudding?

Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, among others.

Can Fruit Cake be consumed immediately after baking?

Yes, but it often tastes better after aging.

Is Fruit Cake a holiday-exclusive dessert?

No, but it's particularly popular during the holidays.

Can you eat Fruit Cake and Christmas Pudding warm or cold?

Both can be enjoyed warm, but Fruit Cake is also delicious at room temperature.

Can I use any type of nuts in a Fruit Cake?

Typically, walnuts, pecans, and almonds are used, but variations exist.

Does every Christmas Pudding contain suet?

Traditional recipes use suet, but there are vegetarian versions available.

Why is Fruit Cake sometimes considered a humorous gift?

Its long shelf life and dense texture have made it a humorous holiday trope.

Is it possible to overcook a Fruit Cake?

Yes, overbaking can make it too dry and hard.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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