'When to make a Christmas cake' is the question on many bakers' lips at this time of year...which gives you a big clue as to the answer. Autumn is the perfect time to get started. By baking one (or two... or a few) well in advance of the big day, following these simple pointers from our very own Morrisons chefs and choosing the right recipe, you’ll be able to create a traditional Christmas treat with bells on.

Christmas Cake Tip #1: Make it well in advance of Christmas

It’s best to get baking around two or three months before Christmas. This gives you plenty of time to let it mature and 'feed' your Christmas Cake regularly as the big day approaches. Giving it a good amount of time to firm up will also improve its flavour and appearance when the time comes to slice your cake - if you eat your Christmas Cake too soon after baking it, you'll find that it crumbles. 

Christmas Cake Tip #2: Put a full day aside to enjoy making it

The more time you devote to your Christmas Cake, the better it will look and taste. The basic baking time is around 4 hours, but taking your time over it will ensure you don’t miss out important steps or forget to add key ingredients.

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Easy Five-Ingredient Christmas Cake Recipe

Making your own Christmas Cake can be easy as well as rewarding. This five-ingredient option makes a great gift, especially with its simple but eye-catching Christmas decoration.

 

View the recipe and get started >>

Christmas Cake Tip #3: Make more than one

Christmas Cakes are a great idea for a Christmas gift - and it’s something you can do every year as a special touch for those you love most. You could give the cake as part of a hamper along with speciality cheeses, festive tipples or chutneys.

Visit our The Best range for Christmas Hamper ideas >>

Christmas Cake Tip #4: Get family and friends involved

Baking a Christmas cake is a lovely way to get the kids baking, or spend time with other members of your family. You could start it as a new tradition - giving each person a particular job to do or adding a quirky finishing touch as a signature decoration each year which could even become a bit of a family heirloom.

Christmas Cake Tip #5: Give your kitchen an autumn 'spring' clean

Clearing the worktops can be therapeutic any time of the year, but having a spring clean in autumn really sets you up for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas gatherings. You’ll need a place to store your cake(s) too, so October is a great time for clearing away unused appliances. Plus, it means you have less tidying and cleaning to do when the time comes to prepare Christmas Dinner or a festive buffet.

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Starburst Christmas Cake Recipe

This iced Christmas Cake is a great option for those who want to serve up their seasonal slice with a touch more festive decoration - great as a centrepiece for those Christmas parties.

 

Have a go at this Christmas Cake recipe >>

Christmas Cake Tip #6: Feed your Christmas Cake every two weeks

Once you’ve made your cake, you can make it taste as Christmassy as possible by ‘feeding’ (adding a drizzle/rub of sherry, rum or brandy to it) it at regular intervals. This also helps it to mature and firm up, so you’ll get a rich, moist slice rather than a crumbly serving.

How do I feed a Christmas Cake?
Chef’s Tip: Unwrap the Cake and then using your favourite alcohol (Brandy, Rum or Sherry) brush the top and sides generously with the alcohol using a pastry brush. Then re-wrap in greaseproof paper, foil and then store in an airtight container.

Christmas Cake Tip #7: Mix things up with the Christmas decorations

We recommend that you Marzipan the cake a week before you ice it. This allows the cake to dry out a little, so the decoration will stick well and look great. Our Starburst Christmas Cake and Gingerbread Men Christmas Cake are fun ideas for gifts or centrepieces. You could go simple with our Easy Christmas Cake or just make up your own decorations on a Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake.

Christmas Cake Tip #8: Buy all your ingredients at the same time

Christmas cakes need quite a few ingredients - and some that you probably don’t keep in your cupboards as a rule. It’s a good idea to buy everything you need at once (online 'recipe ingredients' shopping is a good way to get everything you need and tick it off the list) and keep it together until you’re ready to bake.

Christmas Cake Tip #9: Wrap and store your cake well

Wrap your Christmas Cake in greaseproof paper and secure it with an elastic band or string (this leaves the top open for feeding with sherry, brandy or rum every two weeks).Then, put it aside in a cool and dry area of those worktops we talked about earlier, or in an equally cool and dry cupboard or larder. To keep 'feeding' the cake, unwrap the Cake and then using your favourite alcohol, brush the top and sides generously with the alcohol using a pastry brush. Then re-wrap in greaseproof paper, foil and then store in an airtight container.