Hard sauce

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Hard sauce
Christmas dessert including hard sauce (lower centre) for pudding (and on tarts at upper left)
Place of originEngland
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredientsButter, sugar, flavouring (rum, brandy, whiskey, sherry, vanilla or other)

Hard sauce is a sweet, rich dessert sauce made by creaming or beating butter and sugar with rum (rum butter), brandy (brandy butter), whiskey, sherry (sherry butter), vanilla or other flavourings. It is served cold, often with hot desserts.

It is typically served with plum pudding, bread pudding, Indian pudding, hasty pudding, and other heavy puddings as well as with fruitcakes and gingerbread.

In the U.K. brandy butter and rum butter are particularly associated with the Christmas and New Year season and Christmas pudding and warm mince pies, serving as a seasonal alternative to cream, ice cream or custard. At Cambridge, it is also known as Senior Wrangler sauce.

Rum butter specifically is typically found in Cumbria and is not common in other regions of the U.K.; while Brandy butter is found nationwide and is a more commonplace Christmas accompaniment.[1]

Though it is called a sauce, it is neither liquid nor smooth, with a consistency more akin to whipped butter. It is easy to make and keeps for months under refrigeration. It can be pressed into a decorative mold before chilling.

Under European Community regulations, to be called rum/brandy/sherry butter, it must contain at least 20% butterfat.[2]

Brandy butter

See also[edit]



  • Black, William. (2005). The Land that Thyme Forgot. Bantam. ISBN 0-593-05362-1. p. 350


  1. ^ "Cumberland rum butter". 2005-11-12.
  2. ^ "Commission Regulation (EC) No 445/2007 of 23 April 2007 laying down certain detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 2991/94 laying down standards for spreadable fats and of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1898/87 on the protection of designations used in the marketing of milk and milk products" [1]