Have Your (Christmas) Cake and Eat It

It’s nearly Christmas! People are decorating their Christmas trees, shopping at Christmas markets, and wrapping all their presents in preparation for the big day.

But some preparation started months ago.

In the UK, Christmas cake is usually baked 1-2 months before Christmas, and is very different to Japanese Christmas cake! In Japan, Christmas cake is usually a sponge cake with lots of whipped cream and fresh fruit. In the UK, Christmas cake is made with lots of dried fruit, sugar and spices like cinnamon and cloves. It also has brandy in it. After it has been baked, it is kept in a cake tin for 1-2 months until Christmas, and more brandy is added every 2 weeks. This makes the flavour stronger and also keeps the cake moist.

Just before Christmas, the cake is covered with marzipan and fondant icing. So the inside and the outside of the cake have quite different flavours. The inside has a rich, alcohol flavour that is a little sharp. The outside is very sweet.

Children don’t usually like the taste of traditional Christmas cake, but it’s very popular with adults. If you ever get the chance, please try some! If you want to make your own, you can find a recipe here. Don’t forget the brandy!



cloves (n) – a kind of spice
marzipan (n) – a sweet made from sugar and almonds used in making cakes
moist (adj) – a little bit wet. Not dry