Log in Register

Follow Nigella on: Facebook Twitter Vimeo Pinterest Instagram

Christmas Cake Recipes

Baking a Christmas cake or a batch of mince pies, mixing up muffins or a meltingly mouthwatering chocolate cake may not carry any moral weight, and it’s not going to win you the Nobel Prize, but it makes you, and those around you, feel blissfully immersed in the sort of Christmas we’d like to believe in, all log fires, hushed snowfall and harmony.

Yet, if the picture-perfect Christmas is a dream, or an illusion, baking brings an irrefutable sense of satisfaction, and helps to bridge the wistful gap between fantasy and reality.

The Edible Christmas Tree Decorations you bake and ice and hang from the tree, the richly fruited, and gluten-free, Gorgeously Golden Cake you stir up, or the darkly dense Chocolate Fruit Cake you give to friends who drop in for tea – these are all real components of that Christmas we want to feel exists beyond the mania which threatens to envelop us at this time of year. I don’t promise you can cook yourself calm, but I believe it makes sense to snatch moments when you can quietly busy yourself in the kitchen – frankly doing nothing much more effortful than stirring – and give yourself up to the encompassing warmth that comes from a sense of purpose, the benediction of productivity.

Where else to start but with the traditional Christmas cake? My Easy-Action Christmas Cake is blissfully undemanding – it couldn’t be more simple and produces a cake that is as dense, aromatic and fruity as you could hope for. You can decorate however you like, but I feel you can’t go wrong with Smooth Hatbox Icing and some seasonal cutters.

This is after all the season of glorious indulgence, so I have to give you my utterly ravishing but easy and no-cook Italian Christmas Pudding Cake. This is a real showstopper and the pomegranates on top not only look beautiful but are also thought to bring luck – all in all, it’s an indispensable addition to your Christmas table. 

Another Christmas cake sure to give joy and impress is my Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake. Here, the tin does the hard work for you: and the cake itself is simple yet delicious. And feel free to spice it up, should you wish.

If it’s chocolate you’re after in your Christmas cake, may I recommend my Yule Log? It's easier to make than it looks and gives real festive flourish. Or Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake, a densely damp aromatic treat, which also happens to be gluten-free.

And why not start the Big Day off with Christmas Morning Muffins? They make Christmas morning special, without spoiling anyone’s appetite for the feast to come. And, what’s more, they fill your kitchen with seasonal cinnamon orange scents of Christmas. Let the aroma of Christmas baking fill the air and bring joy to your world. For Christmas, like charity, begins at home.

Posted by Nigella      Yield approx. 14 slices

This cake tastes like Christmas pudding – a very, very good Christmas pudding – the sort the Quakers (as I’m fond…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

There is no doubt about it, anything with chestnuts in it, even if they come vacuum-packed or canned and are perennially available,…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 12-14 slices

This recipe is my own but at the same time a conflation of a couple of Italian Christmas must-haves: the glorious, fruit-studded panettone…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Yield 10-14 slices

Most of the time I refer to this as my Cider and 5-Spice Gingerbread, but I changed the name out of concern for those who expect a…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 12 slices

This is a sleight of hand, or a trick of equipment rather than an act of brilliance. True, the cake does look incredibly complicated…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 12

I have never quite understood how people can go in for vast, rich breakfasts on Christmas morning.  I am hardly a modest eater…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 10 slices

This is the perfect cut-and-come again cake for any time of the year. It lasts for ages, but has the squidgy fabulousness of something…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8-12

On days when I want the warmth of the hearth rather than the hurly burly of the city streets I stay in and read cookery books, and…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 10-12 slices

There are few more popular ways to end a dinner party than with a fallen chocolate cake – the cakes are so called because they…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 8 slices

If you're going to get started, this is the cake you should begin with. Not just because it's simple - though it is - but because…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 10-12 slices

I just throw everything into a pan, let the heat from the stove send buttery rum and citrus juices permeating into the currants, sultanas…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes enough for a 23cm/8in cake

I love a plain white-iced cake: smooth icing, wrapping the cake almost like a hatbox. I am happy to have this decorated, but I'd just…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 10-12

Forget the name, this cake is heavenly. The crumb is tender, the filling and frosting luscious.  When I made it one friday, I…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 10-12 slices

This is another of my maternal grandmother's recipes. I've changed it a bit, not least substituting dark rum for her juice and zest…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 12 fat slices

I know the recipe looks finicky, and I can’t promise it’s a doddle, but it works easily and you will soon find you are…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 10 fat slices

This is the fruity blonde sister to that brunette temptress, my chocolate fruit cake from Nigella Christmas. It delivers, as promised,…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8-10

This is incredibly easy to make; even if you're stressed out, it won't topple you over into nervous collapse. It's such an accommodating…Read on

Browse for more easy Christmas desserts that will delight your guests.