Christmas cake does seem to be the marmite of Christmas time, as for every person who loves the sugary sweet richness of this dessert, there is someone who absolutely hates it. My whole family, aside from myself, falls under this category.
So what do you have instead of Christmas cake? Here I have a few alternatives for you, some pre-made and some recipes that you’ll have to cook up yourself for the purists among you.
First of up is something homemade, and while it sounds just as powerfully sweet as the traditional Christmas cake, it still might be a bit more appetising to your pallet if you’re not a fan of Xmas cake, or if you’ve had enough of it after having to eat it for years on end at family gatherings.
It’s a pomegranate, cranberry and white chocolate cake. The reason I picked this one, is it sounds as if the tang of the pomegranate and cranberry will complement the chocolate and sugar, and also give it some subtle flavours rather than just being overpoweringly sweet. It doesn’t look too complex (but it does look delicious), so check out the recipe here.
The next cake is something pre-made, but it looks delicious and the sizing is actually pretty generous. When you’re dealing with family or other guests, having a cake which stretches further is pretty critical. It seems to be a pretty well-liked cake as well, with the Telegraph claiming it “tastes homemade”. Also, in my home, the chocolate log and custard is the go to replacement for the marzipan coated Xmas cake. Get it in store.
For some, it’s the dried fruit that adds to the “blech!” factor, and if that’s where you fall, you might like this tunis cake. It’s a madeira sponge topped with thick chocolate and marzipan fruits (sorry, marzipan haters). You can easily tart this one up with some Christmas-y decorations (both edible and inedible) so it doesn’t look out of place on the Christmas table.
If you’re after something quite different, but really tasty, then you might want to get a but more adventurous with cardamom stollen. Stollen is absolutely gorgeous and doesn’t last long in my house, so even if you just go with the plain Jane variety, it’s still 100% worth the valuable stomach space. It’s a traditional German cake that can also be made Christmas-y with a bit of white icing dust and some well placed decorations.
After two cakes that require some work and elbow grease, let’s finish up with one final homemade one. We’ve had a lot of chocolate on this list, so let’s finish up with something for the people who aren’t overly keen on chocolate cake. (I know there’s dozens of you out there, it would be rude for me not to include you.) This is Betty’s Christmas fondant party cake, which is very pretty looking and helpfully already divided up into portions. When the Christmas booze is flowing, not having to deal with sharp knives and still getting a well regarded cake sounds like a bargain to me! This does have marzipan however, so if that’s your bug bear with Christmas cake, you’re out of luck.