The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Christmas cake

A British Christmas just isn’t the same without a moreish Christmas cake taking centre stage on the table!

Here we’ve listed a few of our favourite recipes to help you create the perfect cake…

Bake like a pro

The baking legend and former Great British Bake Off judge, Mary Berry, is the go-to for many when it comes to creating the perfect Christmas cake.

Her recipe for Christmas cake boasts an array of tasty ingredients, including raisons, glace cherries, sultanas, currants, a little brandy (or sherry if you prefer), muscovado sugar, butter and the zest of two oranges.

On top of this, you’ll need to ensure you have free-range eggs, blanched almonds, black treacle, plain flower and a hint of mixed spice. For the inner layer, use a few tablespoons or apricot jam, marzipan and icing sugar, and for the ‘Royal Icing’ finale; free range eggs, lemon juice, glycerine and icing sugar.

Combine all these ingredients following Mary Berry’s easy, step-by-step method, and you’ll be sure to impress your guests!

For the finishing touches, you may wish to tie a festive ribbon around the cake, or adorn the icing with a handful of retro robins or cute reindeers.

Follow Mary Berry’s recipe here.

A classic Christmas cake

Looking for a Christmas cake recipe that has been passed down through the generations?

Look no further than Delia Smith’s original Christmas cake, which is taken from her first book – and is a combination of her grandmother and mother’s recipes, with a few tweaks of her own.

For best results, it’s recommended you pre-soak the ingredients the evening before.

The full recipe can be found here.

 

Christmas cake with a twist

For a delicious fruitcake that is sumptuous, rich and brimming with an array of moreish dried fruit, Jamie Oliver has the recipe for you!

For best results, get started on this fruitcake a few weeks before Christmas, and feed it on a daily basis with brandy or sherry. This will ensure it’s moist and full of flavour come Christmas day!

The full recipe can be found here.

christmas cake

How to line a round cake tin

For best results, you’ll need to invest in some non-stick baking parchment paper. Begin by folding the paper in half. You’ll then need to draw around the tin by resting it on top of the paper. Use scissors to cut out the circle and place to one side.

To cover the sides, lay the tin on its side and wrap the baking parchment around it so it’s fully encased.

How to add marzipan to a fruitcake

Using a palette knife, apply a thin, even layer of cooled apricot jam to the entire cake. This method ensures the marzipan sticks securely to the fruitcake.

Using icing sugar to dust down your work surface and to prevent the marzipan from sticking, knead until pliable and then add to the top of the cake.

How to test whether a cake is cooked

There are three simple tips to use to test whether a Christmas cake (or any cake for that matter) is cooked.

The first stage requires inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Another tip involves checking the edges – if just starting to pull away from the pan; your cake is good to go.

Alternatively, you can use a thermometer! Cakes are complete at about 210 degrees F.

Tips for decorating a Christmas cake

From simple, festive adornment to more advanced Christmas themes; there are a number of ways to decorate a Christmas cake….

Starry Christmas cake: Using a sheet of icing sugar and star cutters, create a series of different sized stars to add to the top of your Christmas cake.

Use silver or gold food colouring to add a festive hue to the shapes before sticking them down with apricot jam. Finish the look by tying a gold ribbon around the cake and placing on a gold plate or wooden board.

Golden wreath: Instead of creating a wreath solely for your door this year, why not add one to your Christmas cake?

Using a selection of colourful baubles, gold stars, ribbon and a wooden wreath, simply lay the finished design on top of the cake. This can be removed and used as a decoration when it comes to devouring this dish.

Penguins and polar bears: If you wish to make something a little more fun, opt for a cake brimming with a series of characters!

This is a great recipe for the kids to help with.

Fashion polar bears and penguins out of coloured icing and use glacier mints to create the illusion of ice.

Sources: goodhousekeeping.co.uk

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