Christmas Cake Ideas

Countless Christmas Cakes

Although a few specific cakes have been deemed "Christmas cakes," in essence, almost any type of decorative cake is said to be fit for Christmas. Recipe books, baking magazines, and the Internet are filled with Christmas cake ideas, which cover the gamut of cake varieties. Christmas cakes may be light or heavy, dark or light, spicy, tangy or mellow, round, rectangular, square or oblong, mini-cakes, petit fours, plain, all flavors, covered with icing sugar, topped with glaze, frosting, marzipan, nuts, candies, ribbons, and more. In fact, every country around the world features a different type of cake at Christmastime. In the United States, popular Christmas cakes include cheesecake, fruitcake, plum pudding cake, apple cake, cakes with rum or whiskey, and Yule logs.

Traditional Christmas Cakes

Buche de Noel (Yule Log)

Of French origin and meaning "Christmas Log," this traditional cake, also known as a Yule log, is reminiscent of real logs which used to be burned in the hearth on Christmas Eve. This log-shaped desert is comprised of thinly rolled sponge cake filled with cream or jam and smothered in buttercream icing, chocolate buttercream icing, meringue, or marzipan. It is also common to decorate Yule logs with holly leaves and small figurines made from meringue or almond paste. Popular variations of the Yule log at Christmastime include Swiss Jelly Roll and Ice Cream Logs.

Fruitcake

A particular favorite between Christmas and New Years is the fruitcake, a spice cake often soaked in spirits (i.e. rum or brandy) and decorated with marzipan or royal icing, topped by nuts, berries, dried/candied fruit, holly leaves, snow scenes, edible ribbons, and more. One popular fruitcake is the Whisky Dundee, a light and crumbly Christmas cake of Scottish origin featuring raisins, sultanas, cherries - and of course, Scottish whisky.

Designed to celebrate the Three Wise Men's historical visit to Jesus 12 days after his birth, this holiday cake, which dates back to ancient Rome and the Middle Ages, is one of many festive goods consumed during the Christmas season. An interestingly custom accompanies this yeast-based dough filled with dried fruit and nuts: traditionally a prize would be hidden inside.

Wilton Christmas Cake Ideas

The Wilton company, developers of the acclaimed Wilton Method of cake decorating and responsible for teaching people all over the world the art of cake decorating by means of their books, videos, and hands-on classes, have originated hundreds of Christmas cake ideas, many of which are featured on their website. Some of Wilton's easy-to-follow Christmas cakes recipe ideas include:

•- Christmas Bear Cake

•- Gift-shaped Cake, a Wilton original which bakes a 3-D bow directly onto your cake top

•- Mrs. Clause Cake, crafted from easy-to-mold fondant

•- Holiday Happiness Cake, featuring a picture-pretty cake wrapped in an edible ribbon-striped bow, seasonal red, green, and white colors, curlicues, and other decorative details

•- Snowman Cake, complete with edible top hat, broomstick, pipe, eyes, mouth, and carrot nose

•- Christmas Tree Cake, a 3-D tiered cake made from pastel-colored or holiday colored fondant

•- Santa's Helper Cake, featuring a Christmas elf; guaranteed to bring smiles to the whole family!

•- Poinsettia Cake, showcasing the season's most festive flower (complete with fondant poinsettia petals) and guaranteed to be the star attraction on any holiday dessert table