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Christmas Cakes

British-Style Christmas Cake

British-Style Christmas Cake
© Denzil Green

Christmas Cakes can be either light or dark cakes with fruit in them that may or may not be iced or glazed.

Most British Christmas Cakes are first covered in marzipan, and then iced with Royal Icing on top of that. Most North American cakes tend to be just left plain.

Christmas Cakes are a lot of work, with a lot of chopping and some very heavy stirring to be got through.

Australians devised a method of boiling the fruit first before baking the cake. Given that Christmas comes at high summer in Australia, women wanted to reduce the amount of time the oven was on during sweltering temperatures.

During the Second World War in Britain, many resourceful people made their Christmas Cakes with carrots to sweeten them, as sugar was of course rationed.

Many other cultures also make Christmas cakes, but if it's anything other than a North American or British style cake, it will usually be described as such: e.g. "German" Christmas Cake, etc.

History Notes

Christmas Cakes are quite recent. Up until the end of the 1800s, puddings were made for Christmas, and the cakes were made for Twelfth Night. The transition to the cakes being for Christmas began sometime around 1870 or 1880.

See also:


Aboukir; Alaska Florida; Angel Food Cake Day; Apple Potato Cake; Baked Alaska; Banbury Cakes; Boston Cream Pie; Boston Favorite Cake; Bundt Cakes; Cake Boards; Cake Flour; Cakes and Ale Day; Cakes; Carrot Cake; Cassatelle di Ricotta; Cheesecake Day; Cheesecake; Chocolate Cake Day; Chocolate Cake; Christmas Cakes; Clafoutis; Coconut Squares; Coffee Cake Day; Coffee Cake; Devil's Food Cake Day; Eccles Cakes; English Madelines; Flan; Galettes; Gâteau St-Honoré; Gâteaux; Genoa Bread; Genoa Cake; Icing & Frosting; Kugelhopf Cakes; Lamingtons; Marzipan Potatoes; Melton Hunt Cake; Muffins; Mustacae; Napolitain Cakes; Parkin Cake; Pasta Margherita; Pasta Paradiso; PET No-Bake Festive Fruitcake; Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day; Pineapple Upside-Down Cake; Pithiviers; Pound Cake Day; Pound Cake; Queen Elizabeth Cake; Royal Icing; Sheath Cakes; Sheet Cakes; Simnel Cake; Slab Cake; Sly Cakes; Sponge Cakes; Stir-up Sunday; Swiss Roll; Tipsy Parson; Tranche Napolitaine; Twelfth Night Cake; Twinkies; Unrefined Icing Sugar; Upside-Down Cakes; Whirlin Cakes; Wycoller Cake; Yule Log; Zuccotto

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Oulton, Randal. "Christmas Cakes." CooksInfo.com. Published 11 January 2004; revised 18 February 2011. Web. Accessed 03/19/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/christmas-cakes>.

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