Creative cake recipes for Christmas

Tired of Christmas pudding and want to try something new? Here’s some festive recipes to give you some inspiration.

Festive Spiced Latté Cake

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Photo: Waitrose

Serves: 10–12


  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 300g self-raising white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g Billington’s Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg, plus a pinch more
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder, plus 1 tsp
  • 75ml whole milk
  • 275g low-fat fresh vanilla custard
  • 3 medium British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 200ml whipping cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Use a little of the butter to grease a 23cm springform tin, then line the base. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the light brown soft sugar, a pinch of nutmeg and the salt. Mix well with your hands to smooth any lumps in the sugar, then make a well in the middle.
  2. In a cup, mix 1 tbsp coffee with 1 tbsp hot water. Stir into the melted butter with the milk, 175g custard and the eggs; whisk into the dry ingredients until smooth. Pour into the tin and bake for 50 minutes, until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. While the cake bakes, mix 1 tsp coffee with 2 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp rum to make a syrup; set aside.
  3. Place the cake, in its tin, on a wire rack to cool. After 30 minutes, poke lots of holes into the top using a cocktail stick and brush with the coffee syrup. Once cooled completely, remove from the tin and put on a plate.
  4. Make a frothy topping by whipping the cream with the remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tbsp rum until very thick, then fold into the remaining 100g custard. Spoon and spread the topping onto the cake, then use a fi ne sieve or tea strainer to dust with the remaining ½ tsp nutmeg.

Cook’s tip: Making the cake ahead of time? You can keep the cake in an airtight container for a couple of days. When ready to serve, make and add the topping as per step 4 of the method (above).

Pear, Cinnamon & Almond Loaf

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Photo: Waitrose

Serves: 10


  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 150g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 3 Waitrose & Partners Conference Pears, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2½-3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1-2 drops Cooks’ Ingredients Almond Extract (optional)
  • 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C, gas mark 3; grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Using electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a bowl, then beat into the batter until just combined. Reserve a handful of the chopped pears and stir the rest into the batter.
  2. Tip into the prepared tin, level out the top, then scatter the remaining pear on top and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes- 1 hour 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  3. Mix the icing sugar with 1-2 tsp water and the almond extract, if using. Drizzle over the cake, scatter with the flaked almonds and serve.

Cook’s tip: To give the loaf a crunchy topping, scatter with 1 tbsp demerara sugar before it goes in the oven, rather than icing the cake after baking.

Mince Pie Streusel Tart

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Photo: Waitrose

Serves: 8


  • 1 Jus-Rol Shortcrust Pastry Sheet
  • 35g plain flour
  • 35g light brown soft sugar
  • 35g jumbo rolled oats
  • 35g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 easy peeler mandarin, zest
  • 1-2 x 410g jars traditional Christmas mincemeat


  1. Unroll the pastry sheet and use to line a 20cm fl uted loose-bottomed tart case (you may need to roll it out a little to help it fi t). Leave any extra pastry hanging over the edges and lightly prick the base with a fork. Line the case with a large circle of scrunched-up then smoothed-out baking parchment. Fill with baking beans, then chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, then carefully lift out the parchment and beans and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Meanwhile, make the streusel topping. Put the fl our, sugar, oats, butter and mandarin zest in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, then rub together with your fi ngers to make a clumpy crumble.
  3. Use a serrated knife to trim the excess pastry from the case. Spoon in the mincemeat, leaving a gap about 0.3cm at the top. (Depending on your tin, you might not need the second jar.) Sprinkle over the streusel and bake for 20 minutes. Serve cool, dusted with icing sugar, if liked.

Cook’s tip: For even more festive flavour, try using beautifully almondy Waitrose & Partners Amaretto Mincemeat.

Thousands of recipes can be found at

Faye Dixon

Lifestyle Journalist and Blogger from the North East.

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