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Instant Christmas Cake
A simple cake batter filled with all the flavors and spices of Christmas that you can whip up with basic equipment all done in under 90 minutes. There is no soaking of fruit and no wasting time, this is a classic cake with a makeover.
If you know me, you’d know that this Cake would be everything I am against. Why do I say this? I am that person who soaks her dried fruit for a year. I make my cake weeks in advance and brush it with brandy sparingly until christmas. I am about the marzipan and fondant/custard buttercream covering. Going over the top for Christmas is my thing and I do a good job at it (or so I am told). So, if I am that person and I am endorsing this Instant Christmas Cake recipe, you best believe that this cake is worth your time.
This recipe is not the same as the classic, I mean the classic Christmas cake is called classic for a reason. We are not here to mess with tradition. We are here to ensure that we make a delicious, tender crumb, fully spiced, christmas cake that is filled with booze. There is absolutely nothing traditional about this recipe and I am not apologetic about it as it works well. Don’t make this recipe comparing it to what your nan or mum makes. This is a recipe for you to make for yourself and not worry about soaking fruit a year in advance, baking the cake for hours on end, brushing the cake with brandy, decorating it etc.
What ingredients do you need to make this Instant Christmas Cake?
This cake calls for a lot of ingredients. We use butter, dark brown sugar (this gives it flavor and color), white sugar, eggs, mixed fruit (including peel), spices, flour, almond flour, cocoa powder (trust me), honey, baking powder, baking soda, brandy (alcohol of your choice) and a pinch of salt.
Let us talk about the Mixed Fruit, I like using a mixture of dates, raisins, sultanas, currants, dried blueberries, dried cherries, dried cranberries, orange peel and golden raisins too. You can use any fruit you like but these work well. I like to add a little hot water in a bowl with the dried fruits and add some brandy in the beginning. This plumps the fruit up really well before hand.
What equipment do you need to make the Instant Christmas Cake?
You need a large stock pot and spatula. The batter gets mixed over the stove top and hence using a large pot from the beginning saves on wash up later. You need a brush to line the tin with soft butter. I use a christmas tree bundt tin to make this cake as it is perfect (linked here) but you can use any bundt tin of your choice. You can bake this in a regular round or square tin but it will take longer to bake.
What substitutes can you use in this recipe?
This recipe is already pretty convenient, hence I wouldn’t recommend using anything else from the given ingredients but here are a few options incase you cannot find some of the ingredients. Instead of butter you can use vegan butter spreads or margarine, it wouldn’t taste the same though. I have used 2 types of sugars here, dark brown and white sugar, you can use either or. To make the cake eggless replace the eggs with flaxseed eggs (3 tbsp flaxseed powder and 9 tbsp water). I have used all spice, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, ginger powder for the spice mixture but you can use any you like. I would recommend getting all spice and using that. This recipe calls for all purpose flour you can use cake flour, gluten free flour mix, self raising flour. I have used a little almond flour here as it adds moisture to the cake. I use cocoa powder here not because I want a chocolate cake but because I want the dark intensity of cocoa powder. The honey in this cake adds for sweetness but also for a moist texture once baked. I used a combination of brandy, bourbon, dark rum and orange liqueur in this cake, you can use any alcohol you choose but brandy works best. If you want to make it NON ALCOHOLIC swap out the alcohol for dark grape juice or grapefruit juice. Make sure you use a fresh juice with no added sugar as this will make the cake extremely sweet.
How to make and bake the cake?
We start by browning the butter until it smells nutty and delicious, add the sugars and stir around. Add the plump mixed dry fruit and stir again. Add the alcohol and stir to combine. Take off the heat and let it cool for for a few minutes. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add them little at a time to the butter mixture. Keep stirring well as we don’t want the eggs to scramble. Add the flour, almond flour, spices, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and stir to combine. Line your bundt tin by brushing it with soft butter and dusting it with cocoa powder. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50-55 mins until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. I like to let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 mins before gently turning over. If you are baking the cake in an 8 or 9 inch round cake tin it will take 60-65 mins. If you are baking the cake in an 8×8 square tin it will take 55-60 mins. I would recommend checking the cake once it has touched the 40 mins mark.
Serving the cake
I like to serve the cake once it has cooled down completely. I cover the top pine tree peaks with a simple glaze that drapes down the sides. I also like to dust some icing sugar on the cake to give it the snowing effect. A few pearl sprinkles add to the snow white effect.
Storing the cake
Once the cake is baked, it can be stored for 2 weeks at room temperature in an air tight container. However I like to cut the cake and wrap each slice with cling film and then aluminum foil. This ensures the cake doest dry out. You can freeze the cake for upto 2 months as well. However as this cake is so simple to make, I would recommend making a fresh one if needed.
Now that we have talked about the details of this Instant Christmas Cake, let us actually make it. Happy Baking Ninjas!
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Instant Christmas Cake
- Stock pot (large)
- Small bowl
- Bundt tin
- 750 gm Mixed fruit (Check note)
- 180 gm Butter
- 90 gm Dark brown sugar
- 90 gm Castor sugar
- 180 ml Honey
- 140 ml Alcohol (Check note)
- 1 tbsp Vanilla
- 3 Eggs (Beaten)
- 1 tsp All spice
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg (Grated)
- 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp Coffee powder
- 170 gm Flour
- 50 gm Almond flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Baking powder
To line the cake tin
- Cocoa powder
For the icing
- 200 gm Icing sugar
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- Icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ and lien you bundt tin by brushing it with soft butter and dusting cocoa powder in it to cover every inch. Set it aside.
- In a large stock pot on medium we start by browning the butter until it smells nutty and delicious.
- Add the sugars and stir around. Add the mixed dry fruit spices, vanilla and stir again.
- Add the alcohol and stir to combine. Take off the heat and let it cool for for a few minutes.
- Add the honey and coffee powder, stir well.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them little at a time to the butter and fruit mixture. Keep stirring well as we don’t want the eggs to scramble.
- Add the flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and stir to combine and there should be no flour pockets.
- Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50-55 mins until tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 mins before gently turning over.
- While the cake cools, make the icing by stirring the sugar and lemon juice together until thick and gloopy. If it is too runny add more sugar, if it is too thick add a little more lemon juice.
- Drape the tops of the cake with the icing and let it set. Throw some sprinkles on top and dust with icing sugar. Slice and serve.
- Mixed fruit - Raisins, Golden raisins, Currants, Sultanas, Mixed peel, Dates, Dried cranberries, Dried blueberries
- Alcohol - Brandy, Bourbon, Dark rum, Cointreau
- Your baking Ime will vary depending on the size and type of tin you use, check the write up above for more information
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