At Home Christmas Baking

Hidden Christmas Tree cake

Christmas is the perfect time of year to start baking – it’s a sure way to impress family and friends (alongside a glass of mulled wine, of course), plus you get the joy of a whole home filled with the scent of freshly baked festive treats.

I’ve been baking a lot over the past few weeks, and I was surprised when I saw quite a number of the recipes I’d been following appeared on this year’s Great British Bake Off Christmas specials. I thought: Hey, if it’s good enough for the GBBO show, it’s worth telling the #AtHomeBaking community a bit more about how you can create these show-stopping sweet treats at home, with fun and ease.

The Surprise Cake

Let’s dive into the surprise cake (figuratively).

I first made one of these at Easter with a little chick hidden inside, but I figured it would work just as well with a Christmas tree. This style of cake is so simple to make, yet each piece looks incredible when sliced and served.

  1. Make a small chocolate sponge cake mixture in a shallow square tin.
  2. Bake this chocolate sponge cake and leave to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to slice without crumbling or sticking, use your chosen cutter to create as many little festive-shaped pieces of chocolate sponge cake as you can.
  4. Next up, create the plain sponge mix and put just a little in the bottom of a loaf tin.
  5. Place your chocolate sponge shapes on top, filling from end to end of the loaf tin.
  6. Carefully fill the loaf tin around the edge of your chocolate sponge shapes using the remaining cake mixture.
  7. Bake as normal, but be careful when you test it as the middle of the cake is, of course, already cooked.
  8. Once the plain sponge cake section has baked and cooled, cut through to reveal a very merry surprise for kids and grown-ups alike!

Alternative Christmas Pudding

For those that prefer a twist on the traditional Christmas pudding, this one’s a real showstopper to share with family on Christmas Day.

Even better – just like the surprise cake – it’s easy to bake and tastes absolutely great!

  1. Make a standard chocolate sponge cake using a hemisphere cake tin.
  2. Once baked, coat the cake in chocolate ganache.
  3. Next, cover the whole cake with Maltesers before drizzling with melted white chocolate.
  4. Top with a sweet take on the hollly and the ivy, and you’ve created a 21st century twist that won’t have the kids asked, ‘But why is there fruit in a dessert?’!

What are your go-to easy but impressive Christmas bakes at this time of year? Let us know in the comments below!

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