Friday, 16 November 2012

A Christmas Cake with a Difference

It's about that time to start making Christmas cake so that it has time mature for the festive season.  
I have written about this so many times over the years:

In 2008 I shared cakes from before the Home Baked blog ever existed, when I was over on Myspace, and made a disastrous attempt at royal icing as part of my 101 things in 1001 days

In 2009 I wrote about enjoying the process even if we end up feeding it to the birds (and gave a long explanation for my Christmas obsession!). That year we got creative with sugar syrup and edible glitter. 

2010 was low key.

Christmas cake 2010

In 2011 I went for a gingerbread man theme inspired by Pinterest.

Gingerbread man christmas cake - close up

My own recipe for a smaller and lighter, yet still quite traditional, Christmas cake was published over on the Groupon blog when I was a regular there.  I love this recipe, it's absolutely fool-proof and has never let me down or given me reason to look for reasons to change anything other than the decorations.

This year I wanted to do something completely different.  Although I always try to do something new each year, my cake is usually baked in the same tin and so has a samey-ness about it, however it is decorated.  I was all ready to go with a square tin when I remembered this...

vintage gingerbread house cake tin 4

I wrote about this last year - my incredibly lucky find of a vintage house-shaped cake tin!  My immediate thought was how fabulous it would be to decorate our Christmas cake like a festive gingerbread house and so I went ahead and baked my usual recipe in the vintage tin (lined this time!).  The mixture didn't quite fill the tin but it still looks house-shaped so I'm not too worried and the shape will be enhanced when it's covered with marzipan anyway.

Gingerbread House Christmas cake 2012 stage 1

I'm super excited about decorating the gingerbread house cake when the time comes - I can just imagine a pretty little cake amongst our usual cheer - but for now it's enjoying a rest and a weekly feed of brandy.

Do you make your own Christmas cake?  What ideas are you thinking about incorporating this year?


  1. Hi Hannah, I began making my own Christmas cakes 3 years ago, and it has become a bit of a tradition that my (almost 7 yr old) daughter helps me with it. The first year was a simple plain white iced round cake with shop bought plastic cake toppers. Last year we made 2 large ones, one fed with Glayva, which went too stodgy and one fed with sherry, they were decoreated with fondant holly and berries. We also made some baked bean tin mini cakes (seen on to give as gifts. We made this years cake last week and are feeding it with sherry again (with just a little Glayva in the cake mixture this time). I sometimes catch my daughter with her nose at the cake tin just sniffing with a big smile on her face!

    1. Haha - I love that! I sometimes visit our cake for a quick sniff of festive cheer, too!

  2. love the shape, I made a cake last year but was far too big and ended up being a waste, I'm going to check out your recipe, am tempted to try again

  3. I can't wait to see what you do with it. I used to help make a Christmas cake each year with my Dad. Never done my own though, I really must give it a go.

  4. I've never made a Christmas cake, excited to see how your cake is decorated. Love the star filled with silver balls from your previous years - really effective.

  5. I've never made my own Christmas cake either, not with my Mum being the wizz she is!

  6. I like to make Christmas pudding, but your Christmas cake looks stunning and all that feeding with brandy... mmm it should be delicious!
    You're very very talented in decorating cakes!!!!

  7. Here goes .... we don't make Christmas cake ... none of us like it. We do have a Christmas log and a fruit and nut ring (nothing like a cake, it is masses of whole nuts and fruit with only enough batter to hold it together). I did make a cake one year and in February I fed it to the chickens!


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