Christmas Cake – Traditional And Alternative
I think, in common with several other years, I won’t be making a full, rich Christmas cake this year – but nor will I be buying one. The fact is, no one in my family much likes the really rich fruit cake that normally constitutes a Christmas cake – and in the past a good chunk of the cake has remained uneaten.
Since I am very keen to have zero food waste (or as near to it as I can manage) it does not seem right to bake a cake that has a high risk of going uneaten – especially at Christmas time when the potential for food waste is so much greater. It is so easy to get dragged into doing things out of tradition – rather than out of joy and enthusiasm for making delicious food and sharing it – for which Christmas is an ideal time.
This does not mean that I won’t be baking a cake at all. I will be making a Dundee Cake, based on Mary Berry’s recipe. It is much lighter than a traditional cake and it will be left – well naked – so to speak, without the icing. And I also will be trying out Chris’s Stollen Cake next week, in time for my parents visiting
I have included on my blog a Christmas cake recipe from a very experienced Christmas cook too.
Memorable Christmas Cake Icing
I do have such happy memories of Christmas cake from when I was young, but this was not from the cake itself, but from the ‘snow scene’ icing on top. There was a small forest of snow covered fir trees, a Santa and a snowman, so the cake top was a potential play ground to keep my imagination going, about Christmas.
I recreated this for my children when they were small too. But this could be done as a snow scene, without the cake!
The Best Christmas Cake Recipes
For those who do love a good, rich Christmas cake, I have sought out recipe recommendations. Unsurprisingly perhaps, one such recipe is Delia’s Christmas cake recipe. Another is one from Angela Nilsen both as baked by my cooking Twitter friend Diana Stavely @Stavers These are written with clear instructions and notes.
A light but very tasty, fruity alternative are Christmas Muffins. These are delightful eaten alone and are also wonderful with cream or ice cream. I may well serve them as a Christmas pudding substitute on Christmas Day
What ever your taste preferences, I do think there is something rather wonderful about baking special food at Christmas time. But this could be baking your favourite cake, whether it is Dundee cake or Coffee Cake – and sharing with friends and family. And if it means that children get a go at baking, or anyone experiences the joy of cooking from raw ingredients through to a delicious end product, then something really good has happened.
I love recipe sharing – and at Christmas time there are so many traditions that grow up and stay within families, some of which are around food. I ask people to share their delicious recipes by sending them in via the Contact page. Your recipes will always be acknowledged as by you and will carry a link to your website if you have one. Sharing recipes allows us all to learn from one another.