Christmas Cake

One of the problems with going on an Autumn holiday and not getting home until Christmas is only a shout away is that everything becomes a rush to catch up. However, I have today at last made my Christmas Cake and have just extricated it from the oven.

We don’t eat a lot of cake these days so I don’t do much baking, but Christmas is that bit special and I usually make a point of making my own. Last year I didn’t get home from our Autumn vacation until early December, giving me even less time, so I admit I cheated and bought one. It was nice, but this year I was determined to do it myself once more. (Sorry, no picture as it is still cooling down in the tin and won’t be decorated until nearer the time.)

In the past I have made a recipe inherited from my mother but this has caused a few problems in recent years. It requires the cake to be put in a cold electric oven which is then turned on and the cake baked for however many hours, then you turn it off and leave it in until the oven is cold. I usually arranged to turn it off just before I went to bed and it could then stay there cooling down until morning. The first problem with this is that the recipe was devised pre-fan ovens and although my oven is electric it is a fan oven. This simply fact actually alters the required cooking time and I never managed to perfect the adjustment so sometimes the cake came out just a little too well done around the edges – still nice in the middle though. The other problem is that most of my family are not actually over-fond of rich fruit cake (I love it!) and now the offspring have all-but left the roost this particular recipe makes a cake that is far too big for my current needs, and again, with the cooking problems it presents too much of a problem to half the quantity and re-adjust the cooking time – it’s not as if it is something I do on a regular basis so that I can practice variations, it needs to be right first time.

For the last several years I have been thinking of trying a different recipe to make a smaller cake and have from time to time researched in various recipe books. Just before we went away and conscious of the fact that I am trying to edge towards a wheat/gluten-free diet (see previous post here) I found a couple of recipes in two gluten-free cook books I have acquired and decided to try one of those. Gluten-free? The only discernible difference from your average rich fruit cake recipe is that it uses rice flour rather than wheat flour.

I have made the one that I thought sounded easiest, though there was not much to choose between them. If I am sufficiently well organised I might make some notes on what I think of it and maybe try the other one next year so that I can decide between the two which one to favour in the future. I can’t wait to try it.



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. julespaige
    Dec 04, 2017 @ 16:47:29

    I’ve just come back from pricing mailing my some of my holiday packages out of town. I may end up switching to gift cards! Sometimes the postage is more than the product in the package. But then some have photos and well those are priceless 😉

    Enjoy your holiday cake 🙂


    • Libby
      Dec 05, 2017 @ 14:51:11

      Sadly too true. I have to really think about what to send – small, light packages are the best! Gift cards are always good to fall back on.


      • julespaige
        Dec 06, 2017 @ 14:55:54

        I used to think gift cards were so impersonal. But at least the person getting them has some control. Though I read some where that maybe even up to 40% of gift cards get lost or are unused.

      • Libby
        Dec 06, 2017 @ 14:58:57

        Yes they do seem like the easy way out, but better someone buys what they want rather than receive something they don’t! I’m sure quite a lot get forgotten and lost though, which is a bit sad.

  2. elaine patricia
    Dec 04, 2017 @ 18:32:19

    I am nowhere near anything festive here yet. Finances are low and so is my spirit. Hope fully a few more posts as positive as yours Libby will encourage me along the way.


    • Libby
      Dec 05, 2017 @ 14:56:48

      Sorry to hear that Elaine. I’m not very organised yet and can’t seem to get in the mood either. Making the cake has helped but I am beginning to panic – not helped by the fact that I now have another painful attack of sciatica and walking round the shops looking for presents is uncomfortable to say the least! Hubby has also had a recent health scare but I’m doing my best to stay positive and I shall love the holiday season when it arrives.


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