The one week countdown is here! Only seven days left to wrap those final presents and prepare your home for the festivities. All the sprinting round shopping centres and stringing up decorations will be worth the stress come the big day. BUT YOU’VE FORGOTTEN THE CHRISTMAS CAKE! No need to panic, if you need a tasty treat in a hurry, then we’re here to help. This delicious looking version from The Cake Hunter is a great alternative to a traditional Christmas cake and takes a fraction of the time. It’s dense and packed with festive flavour but not as heavy on the stomach as the usual fare. You can mix it up if you prefer different nuts or more spice/booze. If you want to make this cake gluten free, swap the flour for ground almonds. It has a subtle sweetness that’s the perfect antidote to all those chocolates. We’ve got the exclusive recipe from Sophie, so stay indoors this weekend and whip up the perfect pudding in no time.
For the cake
- 100g parsnips, grated
- 200g carrots, grated
- 200g cooking apples, grated
- 100g sultanas, soaked overnight in 60ml brandy and the zest and juice of 1 orange
- 100g cranberries
- 100g walnut halves
- 6 eggs
- 300g light brown sugar
- 250ml olive oil
- 250g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- Extra brandy for feeding overnight (optional)
For the frosting
- 250g mascarpone
- 200g cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar
- Gold and silver lustre dust and snowflake sprinkles, to decorate
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Grease and line two 23cm spring form tins and set aside.
Grate the fruit and vegetables. Squeeze the juice out of the apples but keep 1 tablespoon and add that back into the veg mixtures.
Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk for 5-7 minutes until light and airy. Slowly add in the olive oil, whisking continuously until just incorporated.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and spices and fold into the liquid ingredients. Fold in the grated fruit and veg and then the sultanas, cranberries and walnut halves.
Divide evenly between the two tins and level out on top with a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. If you want it to be a little boozier, pierce the cakes with a cocktail stick and brush with brandy every 2 hours and leave overnight.
For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Spread ½ of the frosting on top of the bottom layer then place the 2nd cake layer on top and add the remainder of the frosting.
Decorate with silver and gold lustre dust and snowflake sprinkles. It will keep for about 4-5 days in an air-tight tin
Enjoy with a cuppa (or a glass or something stronger – it’s Christmas after all!) and put your feet up. You deserve it!