An Alternative Christmas Cake

18th November 2022
An Alternative Christmas Cake

Anyone for a nice cuppa and slice of Christmas cake? This always used to be a bit of a tradition at this time of year, but it seems the once-popular fruit cake is falling out of favour. I’ve found that when my own clients are discussing what they’d like for their wedding cakes, fruit cake usually gets preference as a smaller cutting cake for Granny rather than the main star of the show. So, if fruit cake is becoming an outdated tradition – what are the alternatives to enjoy with a cup of tea this Christmas Day afternoon?

Supermarket shelves are bursting with Christmas-themed cakes, sweets and treats – often as soon as Halloween comes around! With so much choice, it’s hard to choose something special amongst the mass-produced goodies. As an independent baker, it soon becomes impossible to compete against such low prices – but what really sets special artisan goodies out from the rest? Quality, taste and that magical extra ingredient – creativity! I have something special for you this Christmas which I believe to be the best alternative, you won’t want to miss out on this year. But first....

An Alternative Christmas Cake Slice

Did you know that Christmas cakes started life as plum porridge to feed folks after their religious fasting for both Easter and Twelfth Night? As time went by other fruits were added, along with honey. This became more like the Christmas pudding we have today, although it evolved further still.

During the latter part of the 16th Century, when sugar became more readily available to the wealthy, sugar was added to the spices (representing the three wise men), oats were replaced with eggs and flour – turning the fruit pudding into a much richer cake. This was more recognisable as today’s traditional Christmas fruit cakes. For the wealthy to really show off, more sugar was added in the form of marzipan – then royal icing to top it off even more!

A little-known fact that may help you win a pub quiz one day: Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans banned feasting in the 1640s, stating there was far too much excess. They saw Christmas as a wasteful festival threatening Christian beliefs – unthinkable in this day and age! Thankfully, people rose up and the tradition of Christmas prevailed.

I wanted to create something really special to enjoy at Christmas time – to create a cake tradition that my family could follow every year and that I can share with you as well. As my sponge cakes are award-winning, I had to start there for inspiration.

I am proud to share with you all my amazing Cookie Combo Cake – established Christmas 2019 and a firm favourite ever since! I created a new recipe for a cookie sponge cake – opting for Maryland cookies in one layer, the next layer baked with chocolate Oreos and the final bottom layer using my always-popular delicious brownie. As if there wasn’t enough wow-factor in each layer, I then fill with Swiss meringue buttercream and salted caramel. All luxuriously decorated with buttercream, chocolate drips, homemade shortbread men and candy canes. What more could you want for a Christmas Cake Dessert!

I only make a limited number of these each year and only ever at Christmas. Many of my clients order these in advance (their own Christmas tradition!), so please get in touch quickly if you want to be part of something special this year.

I also offer other Christmas goodies – from the Welcome Back Elf cookie to Christmas Eve Treat Boxes and the always-popular Bake It for Santa jars where children can bake their own gingerbread to leave out for Santa, with a glass of milk for his special visit (our Santa prefers a glass of Baileys, can’t think why 😉)

Pre-orders are being taken from 1st December at or you can contact me via Instagram @sugarbowlbakes.