So, for our Christmas party we decided on baking a Christmas cake alternative which was quicker and yummier, we aren’t huge fans of the traditional fruit cake. We chose to do a christmassy twist on our sticky toffee pudding cake using a hint of orange & cinnamon, covered in a brown sugar buttercream.
First bake your cake, again the dates won’t be the most pleasant thing to boil but they make your cake extra moist and tasty! Because we won’t be feeding our cake with brandy like a traditional christmas cake we used the dates to give an added stickiness.
- 325g dates
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 eggs
- 250g brown sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 200g butter, melted
- 350g self raising flour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 orange
- In a saucepan boil 220ml of water in a pan with your dates until they begin to disintegrate. Stir in the bicarb, the mixture will foam a little when you do this, and then remove from the heat.
- Blitz together the dates mixture in a processor until smooth.
- In your stand mixer, whisk together the sugar & eggs for a few minutes they will become paler and fluffy.
- Add the melted butter, golden syrup and the date mixture and mix until well combined.
- Fold in your flour, salt, cinnamon & orange, and pour into lined & greased tins.
- Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before icing.
- Optional: we used the orange that we zested and sliced it up thin & popped in the oven at 110C for about 2 hours to dry out, they looked great to decorate the cake!!!
We decided to decorate our cake in the ‘naked’ style, with the cake layers showing through the buttercream. But if you want to completely cover your cake the recipe makes plenty of buttercream to do so, and it’s certainly tasty enough to warrant wanting more of it with each slice of cake!
- 7 tbsp plain flour
- 300ml milk
- 340g butter, softened
- 330g brown sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Put the flour, milk and vanilla in a saucepan and whisk so it's smooth, on a low heat mix till you get a thick paste & leave to cool completely.
- In your stand mixer, using the whisk attachment (or a hand mixer), whip the butter for a couple minutes till smooth.
- Gradually add the brown sugar & salt to the butter - keep whisking for 3-4mins to get all the air in to create a light fluffy mix.
- Lastly add the flour paste and keep mixing so your buttercream is light and smooth and has no lumps or sugar granules.
This is possibly the strangest way to make buttercream but it leaves you with a really fluffy buttercream without the faff of an italian meringue frosting. Make sure you store this cake in the fridge because the frosting will melt!
We decorated our cake with some dehydrated orange slices as they look so colourful and festive on top of the cake. They’re easy to do as well, just pop some sliced up orange on a baking sheet in the oven at about 110C for a couple of hours (check them regularly and turn over if needed) until the peel is hard and the segments have become translucent.