Christmas cake

Christmas cake
A heavily iced Christmas cake
A neatly decorated Christmas cake.

Christmas cake is a type of fruitcake served at Christmas time in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Philippines and many Commonwealth countries.

A Christmas cake may be light or dark, crumbly-moist to sticky-wet, spongy to heavy, leavened or unleavened, shaped round, square or oblong as whole cakes, fairy cakes, or petit fours, with marzipan, icing, glazing, dusting with icing sugar, or plain. If a Christmas cake is covered in icing, it is quite common for it to be decorated - models of houses, of fir trees or of Santa Claus may be in the array of decorations.

A particular favourite of many is the traditional Scottish Christmas cake, the Whisky Dundee. As the name implies, the cake originated in Dundee and is made with Scotch whisky. It is a light and crumbly cake, and light on fruit and candied peel—only currants, raisins, sultanas and cherries. This Christmas cake is particularly good for people who don't like very rich and moist cakes. As with all fruitcakes, the almonds (or other nuts) can be omitted by people who don't like them or those with severe nut allergies.

At the other end of the Christmas cake continuum, the apple creme Christmas cake is a rich mix of finely sliced apples, raisins and other fruit, with eggs, cream cheese, and heavy whipping cream.

In the middle of the spectrum is the mincemeat Christmas cake, which is simply any traditional or vegetarian mincemeat mixed with flour, eggs, etc., to transform it into a cake batter; or it can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.

Coins were also occasionally added to Christmas cakes as well as Christmas puddings as good luck touch pieces. The usual choices were silver 3d piece, or sixpences, sometimes wrapped in greaseproof paper packages.

In Northern England, Christmas cake, as with other types of fruit cake, is often eaten with cheese, such as Wensleydale.[citation needed]


Christmas cake in other countries

In Japan, Christmas cakes are traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. They are simply a sponge cake, frosted with whipped cream, often decorated with strawberries, and usually topped with Christmas chocolates or other seasonal fruit. A single woman over the age of 25 may be referred to in Japan as a "kurisumasu keki" (Christmas cake)[1] based on the belief that, like a Christmas cake which becomes nearly worthless after December 25, she is "shomikigen-gire" or past the "sell-by date."

In the Philippines, Christmas cakes are bright rich yellow pound cakes with macerated nuts or fruitcakes of the British fashion. Both are soaked in copious amounts of brandy or rum mixed with a simple syrup of palm sugar and water. Traditionally, civet musk is added, but rosewater or orange flower water is more common now, as civet musk has become very expensive. These liquor-laden cakes can usually stay fresh for many months provided they are handled properly.

In Germany, stollen, a traditional German fruitcake, is popular. During the Christmas season, it's also called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen.

In the United States, some people give fruitcakes as gifts at Christmastime, but they are not called Christmas cakes.[2]

In Cyprus, it is served on Christmas day. It is the first treat the locals serve to their guests. Cypriot Christmas cake is much like the UK equivalent.

See also


  1. ^ Shoji, Kaori (June 2, 2005). "Better Left on the Shelf". Japan Times Online. Retrieved March 03, 2011. 
  2. ^ Robert Sietsema (November 20, 2002). "A Short History of Fruitcake". The Village Voice.,sietsema,40011,15.html. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Christmas cake — Christmas cakes N VAR A Christmas cake is a special cake that is eaten at Christmas in Britain and some other countries …   English dictionary

  • Christmas cake — n [U and C] a special cake that people eat in Britain at Christmas …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Christmas cake — Christmas ,cake noun count or uncount BRITISH a heavy FRUIT CAKE eaten at Christmas in the U.K …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Christmas cake — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ a rich fruit cake covered with marzipan and icing, eaten at Christmas …   English terms dictionary

  • Christmas cake — noun a rich fruitcake (usually covered with icing and marzipan) and eaten at Christmas • Regions: ↑United Kingdom, ↑UK, ↑U.K., ↑Britain, ↑United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ↑Great Britain • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Christmas cake — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Christmas cake : singular Christmas cake plural Christmas cakes British a heavy fruit cake eaten at Christmas in the UK …   English dictionary

  • Christmas cake — ➡ Christmas * * * …   Universalium

  • Christmas cake — noun A rich fruit cake covered with marzipan and icing traditionally eaten at Christmas …   Wiktionary

  • Christmas cake — noun Brit. a rich fruit cake covered with marzipan and icing, eaten at Christmas …   English new terms dictionary

  • Christmas cake — noun (C, U) a special cake eaten in Britain at Christmas …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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