Friday 30 September 2022

The best Christmas cake recipe for beginners

This Christmas cake recipe is so good, that I was asked which posh London shop I had bought it from – which was nice because it was only the second Christmas cake I’ve ever made! The recipe is from BBC Good Food:  it’s so easy, I would recommend it for beginners. And if you are new to making Christmas cakes there might be one thing you don’t realise – yes it’s still a couple of months until Christmas, but you should make it now!

Christmas cakes are traditionally soaked in booze and you ‘feed’ the cake regularly over an extended period – so making it in October, or even earlier, is ideal. Of course, you don’t have to use alcohol and a good alternative is tea – I am also tempted this year to experiment with a flavoured tea of some kind, so that my four year old can have some of the cake. Though I am also tempted to make this recipe the same way that I did last year and just keep it out of her way, because it was amazing!

Instead of sherry, brandy or rum, I used amaretto – because I already had a bottle bought on a whim, and it’s not something I really drink. It gave the cake a lovely flavour – even though I made it quite late in the year, on 1 December (though it didn’t get eaten until January, as most of our Christmas plans in 2021 were cancelled due to our first (and only, touch wood) bout of Covid!

When it came to decorating, time was once again an issue. I had made it in a square tin so covered the cake with fondant that I then coloured gold with a packet of gold dust that came with the icing, and then cut out white fondant snowflakes using a plunger cutter to decorate the top. Everyone who tried the cake thought it was very good – myself included, and I don’t really like Christmas cake – though the best comment was from my sister, who said it was so good she assumed I had bought it, from an expensive London shop. So I think from now on this might have to be my go-to Christmas cake recipe, even if I switch up what I feed it with and how I decorate it!

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