What is your favourite part of the holidays? You could say seeing old friends, spending time with family or opening presents. For us? We can’t get enough of the delicious Christmas meal.
There’s no better way to top of the festivities then with a Christmas cake. There are many variants of this cake, so let’s see how it all began.
The traditional Christmas cake is the evolution of two popular dishes, plum porridge and the Twelfth Night Cake.
First cited in 1573, plum porridge was traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve after a daylong fast. It wasn’t long before dried fruit and honey were added to the porridge mixture.
Not content with the current recipe, during the 16th century, oatmeal was removed and replaced with butter, wheat and eggs. Due to these new ingredients, the mixture became a cake like consistency.
Wealthier families with ovens began to bake the mix, adding spices, which were symbolic of the exotic eastern spices brought to Jesus by the Wise Men. Traditionally this cake was eaten on the Twelfth Night, instead of Christmas. Thus it was called the Twelfth Night Cake.
Yet, with the decline of Twelfth Night celebrations in the 1830s and the rise in popularity of Christmas festivities celebrated around or on 24th and 25th of December, bakers began to decorate Twelfth Night Cakes with wintery scenes, such as snow and Christmas trees. By the 1870s the Christmas cake had changed vastly from its humble beginnings as plum porridge to what we now think of.
All our Christmas cakes come in two flavours, fruit cake or sponge cake. They are layered with marzipan and have hand decorated Christmas scenes on them. And they are layered with Tiptree Jam and Buttercream. Is there a better way to end the Christmas meal?
Feel free to contact us for anything bespoke at 020 8340 1614.