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Saturday 25 May 2019
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What to do this Christmas: Have cake!

While the year-end festivities are often marked by carol singing and exchanging gifts with the family, Christmas is also about enjoying cake and other eats of the season.

Christmas is a time of much celebration and giving thanks for all the good things in your life. And nothing spells Christmas like a lovingly baked Christmas cake.

What is the history of Christmas cake?

The tradition of Christmas cake is said to have originated in Great Britain several centuries ago. On Christmas Eve, families would have a ‘Christmas porridge’ with sweetened milk and a few fruit pieces and sugar added to oatmeal. This would line the stomach after a day of fasting.

Over time, spices and honey were added to the porridge. But in the 16th Century, oatmeal was removed from this Christmas pudding recipe, to be replaced by wheat flour, eggs and butter. It soon became a version of boiled fruit cake. Soon, the families that had wood fired ovens began baking the cake instead of boiling it on the stove. The cake was made using seasonal fruit, dry fruit and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Today, baking an easy Christmas cake is the norm for families observing the festival around the world. Whatever its other ingredients, the Christmas cake is essentially a simple fruit cake to be enjoyed by family and friends on Christmas Day.

The types of Christmas cakes you can make

You can make an easy Christmas cake using any number of variations on the traditional fruit cake recipe. In the West, the Christmas cake is made at least two weeks before December 25, with holes made through the main body of the cake, and kept upside down in a glass container. Traditionally, variants like the Whisky Dundee cake use Scotch whisky in the ingredients. Other Christmas cakes are routinely ‘fed’ sherry or brandy through the holes made in the cake, every few days till December 25, so that the cake becomes moist and saturated in time for actual eating.

In India, some Christmas cake recipe may include rum or brandy. However, easy Christmas cake recipe only use the usual cake ingredients, spices, honey, topping cream, and fruit pieces.

You can celebrate Christmas in a special way this year

Making an easy Christmas cake should be your objective this year if you want to get into the right spirit of things. And it’s really simple to do as well, provided you have the right kitchen tools and perfect ingredients to make your cake a success.

We find that using condensed milk in cake recipes lends a dense and moist texture to the final product. You should try it too – look up the Milkmaid website for their easy Christmas cake recipe using cinnamon, nutmeg, Milkmaid condensed milk, and chopped dry fruit. The eggless cake provides a delectable hit on the senses, and is an ideal dish to serve when friends and family come calling.