It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me until I make some of my festive bakes. And these are the exact same recipes I pull out year after year. After all, why fix something which ain’t broke?
First up, I always, always make my boiled Christmas fruit cake.
It has such an unfortunate name, but that’s because it’s magic lies in boiling all the dried fruits in a lovely fruity, boozy and spicy liquid.
If you know anything about making a traditional fruit cake, you know you’d have to start months in advance, steeping the fruit for a really long time, baking the cake, then continually feeding it with alcohol to keep it fresh and moist. I think by the time Christmas rolls around, you’d have lost any desire to actually cut into it and eat it.
For my fruit cake, which I’ve made every single Christmas without fail for the last five or so years, you cut away all that steeping simply by boiling all the fruit. Plus, the prunes keep the cake nice and moist, even after baking for 2 hours.
And making this cake feels magical. I feel like a wizard throwing in a myriad of strange ingredients into a large pot (cauldron?) and boiling it up. And somehow, after baking, that fruity, Christmas-scented sludge transforms into cake!
My second must-bake Christmas recipe has to be my chocolate yule log cake.
I love that it looks complicated to make, but really, I can make a log cake in an hour flat. (And I have!)
The batter is so quick to pull together (15 minutes!) and it bakes so quickly (12 minutes!) and doesn’t require any decorating skill because it’s supposed to look scraggly and uneven. It’s a log!
In past years, I’ve filled and iced my log cakes with chocolate buttercream. But this year I’ve gotten into ganache, so I filled this season’s log cakes with a white-dark (50-50) chocolate ganache, topping still with buttercream (because ganache is expensive!) and the results were beyond spectacular.
Once I’ve made these bakes, I feel like Christmas is properly on its way.
Be sure to check out my other Christmas bakes for other festive recipes and great gift ideas!