There's something magical about Christmas and New Year celebrations. We all cherish the feeling after accomplishing a task, especially when we finally get the cake recipe right after hours of sweat and toil and the aroma of that perfectly-baked cake fills our home and enchants our senses. It is definitely an absolute pleasure to relish the fruits of your labour, but many a time there are occasions that call for a few shortcuts. When it comes to fixing your loved one's bad mood, or surprising them with a quick treat, you need to take out a cheat sheet and prepare something that is ready in a snap and is sure to spread much cheer and joy.
We bring you some of the most fuss-free cakes from around the world that are not only ready in a blink but will also ensure bringing an interesting blend of flavours and textures onto your plate.
Here Are 6 Classic Cake Recipes From Around The World:
1. Dundee Cake:
A cake with a back story in Scotland and a strong Indian colonial connection. Wahid's Confectionery in Asansol, West Bengal (established in 1888) continues to bake this cake. Britannia used to sell this cake till the early 1980s. Demand for this cake still peaks during Christmas in bakeries like Wahid's. This fruit cake was believed to have originally made for Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th Century and includes ingredients like blanched almonds, currants, orange zest and marmalade.
2. Stollen from Germany:
One of my favourite Christmas treats. In North Germany, it's known as "Weihnachtsstollen" or "Christstollen". It's actually a sweet bread of sorts with raisins, almonds, candied citrus peel, cinnamon and cardamom. There are different versions in Germany including one that's coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar with marzipan bits. One of the most famous versions of this cake is still baked in Dresden.
An Italian type of sweet bread that originated in Milan. It's typically in a cupola shape and involves a long process. The proofing process takes several days and lends this cake - which is typically baked with candied orange, raisins and lemon zest, its fluffy textures.
The Philippines' most famous cake is typically made for the Christmas season. This baked rice cake with ingredients like coconut milk and galapong (rice dough) is traditionally cooked in a terracotta oven line with banana leaves and is typically eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
5. Yule Log:
A long-standing tradition in countries like France and Belgium. It's a sponge cake base made to resemble an actual yule log. This basic sponge cake is finished with chocolate buttercream or a ganache or icing flavoured with a liqueur.
6. Dark Fruit Cake:
Recipe courtesy - Sarah Koshy: Baker, food Blogger and consultant
Bursting with the flavour of dry fruits, soaked in brandy, the traditional Christmas and party cake takes a bit of effort but each delicious bite makes it worth your while.
- 125 gm raisins
- 125 gm sultanas
- 50 gm glacé cherries
- 25 gm orange peel
- 25 gm candied ginger
- 50 gm blanched almonds, chopped
- 3 tbsp brandy or rum
- 250 gm butter
- 250 gm sugar
- 4 eggs
- 250 gm flour sifted with 2 tsp. mixed spice powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp caramel
- 4 tbsp brandy or rum
- Clean the raisins and sultanas.
- Halve the cherries, chop orange peel and ginger chips finely.
- Soak all the fruits, except the almonds, in your chosen liquor overnight.
- Prepare an 8" square baking tin by lining it with a double sheet of greaseproof paper cut to fit.
- Cut a double sheet of paper to fit over the top of the cake.
- Sieve together the flour and mixed spice powder.
- Toss all the soaked fruit with two tablespoons of the measured flour.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time and continue beating till well blended. Add in vanilla extract.
- Mix in the caramel alternately with the flour, in 3 batches.
- With a spatula, fold in the fruit and nuts.
- Scoop into the prepared tin, and level the top of the batter.
- Bake in a preheated 165-degree centigrade oven for about 1.5 hours.
- Halfway through baking, cover the top of the cake with a double sheet of paper to prevent the top of the cake from browning too much.
- Test 'doneness' about 20 minutes before the given time by pushing a skewer through the centre of the cake. If it is dry with no crumbs sticking on, the cake is done.
- Remove the tin from the oven.
- Poke holes over the top of the cake with the skewer and brush over the reserved liquor.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
- When cold, turn the cake out of the tin.
- Replace the top papers and wrap the cake in a sheet of greaseproof paper and then foil.
- Store in an airtight container for at least a week.
- Clean and pick through the raisins and sultanas.
- Dredge the fruits with flour to prevent them from sinking into the batter.
- All ingredients should be at room temperature for best results.
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.