We don’t want to alarm you, but Christmas will take place in a matter of weeks, whether we’re ready or not. And of course we are not ready. We are never really ready…
No matter, we’ve got every festive busy bee covered in a Christmas cake to your liking. Some need a free afternoon and plenty of ‘ripening time’, others can be prepared in the morning. Some are jam-packed with fruit and some are deliciously fruit-free, so even traditional fruitcake haters will be lining up to get their fill.
However you make yours, a Christmas cake is a must to cap off a good day with your nearest and dearest. So enjoy the preparation and remember to keep it simple. That way, you’ll just keep getting it year after year!
start off right
Start your morning with a Filipino Christmas gift. Bibingka is traditionally cooked by street vendors nine nights before Christmas, but go ahead and make them every night.
A brandy-soaked fruitcake gets a modern twist with the addition of dried cherries and crunchy macadamias. This one is especially good served with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
light and bright
Christmas cake does not have to be rich and dense, brightness and light are also welcome. You can make this citrus cake on the 25th, although you will need to make the festive dried orange decoration the day before.
A wild food beauty
How’s this for a gorgeous Aussie twist on an old standard? Raisins, sultanas and dates meet quandong, macadamias and wild tomatoes and let’s just say brolgas dance merrily.
This rich and boozy number is so traditionally Christmas cake that it’s practically singing Christmas carols while it bakes. Or maybe we were too generous with the rum?
Filled with gin-soaked raisins and candied cherries, this Dutch kersttulband recipe is a much lighter version of a traditional Christmas cake.
The Italian version of Christmas cake is a welcome sight this time of year. You can pick up boxed versions of panettone everywhere, but it’s a lot easier than you might think to make your own.
Another traditional Christmas ‘bread’ cake is German stollen sprinkled with sugar. Originating in Dresden in the 15th century, it has transformed from a simple oatmeal bread to a rich, buttery loaf.
A richly spiced chocolate cake covered in sumptuous chocolate frosting is assembled like a gingerbread house. At last, a gingerbread house that everyone will eat.
Ginger can feel like a ‘winter’ spice and border on too spicy for an Aussie Christmas, unless…unless you put it in a sponge roll, top it with praline, and then top the whole thing with marshmallow frosting. Dive in!
And here is the traditional French version of the bûche de Noël for you to tackle. Quietly, it sure beats a fruitcake.
A gluten-free orange tart slips into the holiday spirit when accompanied by pudding ice cream.
cheerful and light
Now, here’s how to lighten things up: a fruity ricotta cheesecake. It has all your favorite glazed fruits on board, without the traditional heaviness of fruitcake.
The Sri Lankan version of Christmas cake is perfect for fruitcake haters. It’s much closer to a flourless cake or brownie than a standard Christmas cake. But there’s a catch: you need to do it now to allow the flavors to develop and the moisture in the cake to increase.
If it’s glazed fruit you’re after, it’s bishop’s pie you’re after. Also known as stained glass cake, when thinly sliced light penetrates the pieces of glazed fruit, resembling stained glass windows in a church.
If you like your Christmas cakes crowded with spices and fruits, a Colombian black cake is the ticket to vacation. It is enriched with rum Y port, dulce quemado, or molasses provides its characteristic sweetness and color.
Quickly becoming Australia’s own ‘traditional’ Christmas cake (Hush Kiwis, we know), we couldn’t finish the list without a pavlova. Crisp your meringue, apply the cream and pile on your summer fruits. Merry Christmas!