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With so many traditional fruit cake recipes available now, is it really true that we should be making a start on baking our Christmas cakes now? But it’s not even been Halloween yet, we hear you grumble.

But time being as it is, it’s time to look at some traditional recipes as well as some more modern alternatives to give us all a little flexibility around baking times in the run up to Christmas.

Whether you’re a stickler for tradition or a renegade maverick who pays no heed to habit, we’ve got some cracking Christmas recipes to try this year. After all, Christmas 2020 isn’t going to be your standard Christmas, is it? Why not get a little creative and opt for something slightly different this year?

Keeping it traditional

The traditional fruit-based Christmas cake is best baked a couple of months before Christmas to allow time for the fruit to soak, the juices to blend and the finished bake to be fed with alcohol before the man in red makes his appearance.

Here at The Craft Company, we’ve always been told to start baking Christmas cakes during October half term to allow time for maturing before decoration. So, the time is now. Let’s get the fruit mixed up and leave it to soak so we can bake up a Christmassy-feast this month…

We love this traditional recipe from Mary Berry, which recommends baking well in advance of Christmas to allow time to ‘feed’ the cake with rum, whisky or brandy to keep it moist. A good fruit cake like this will keep well for up to three months, wrapped in baking parchment and foil before covering a week before you’d like to eat it.

Traditional but last minute

OK, so Great Aunt Mable always used to make the family Christmas cake during October, feed it at regular intervals and cover it well in advance of Christmas Day. Did you remember? No, how many of us did? But don’t worry, there’s a last-minute solution that will have even the staunchest traditionalists licking their lips and beating a path for second helpings.

Good old Delia Smith has a recipe that’s fine to be made just a few days before you’re planning to celebrate the festive season with a ‘nog’ of cake and warming glass of mulled wine. The last minute brandied Christmas cake is the perfect solution, offering a recipe that can be thrown together within a couple of days and will look and taste the yuletide business.

If you’re hoping to decorate it with marzipan and sugar paste, simply leave off the nuts and cover it as you would a traditional Christmas cake.

A break from tradition – go fluffy!

If fruit cake simply isn’t your thing in the deep mid-winter, why not break from tradition and get a little daring with this White velvet snowball cake – our mouths are watering at the mere thought!

Seasonal, stunning and simply delicious, this fluffy centrepiece will wow everyone this Christmas and can be made just a day or two before it’s destined to be polished off. Devine!

Just go for all-out fun

OK, so watching a snowman melt is arguably one of the most disturbing memories from early childhood – right? But not this beauty. This melting snowman is made of cake – he won’t melt (except in your mouth) and the kids will love helping to decorate him with buttons, icing and chocolate sticks.

This super-cute Malted Milk Melting Snowman cake will knock their Christmas socks off and tastes delicious too!

We’re off to try out a couple of recipes ahead of the big day – let us know what you’re planning to bake this Christmas and share some festive snaps of your bakes and creations over on our Facebook page or tag us into your Instagram posts at @craftcompany_uk

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