It’s an age-old tradition that’s either adored or despised! Christmas fruitcake is known for its dense, heavy consistency and rich aromatic flavour that is always enjoyed during the festive period. Whether you love it or hate it, we decided to explore the history of Christmas cake with you this week, as well as a delicious bonus recipe!
By Taryn Wilson
Believe it or not, it started as a porridge. The idea first began in England. People would fast before Christmas so that when the big day finally came, they could enjoy a massive feast freely. However, on Christmas Eve it was standard practice to eat a plum porridge, intended to line the stomach in preparation for the festivities of Christmas Day.
Slowly but surely, people began to add spices and other sweet fruit to the original porridge recipe, until eventually the oatmeal itself was replaced with eggs, flour and butter. It became a thicker consistency, resembling a boiled cake.
Wealthier families began experimenting with luxurious and exotic ingredients and spices from the Middle East, making the once plain-and-hearty Christmas Eve porridge even more decadent, until it finally evolved into what we know it as today.
This traditional dish is made in a variety of ways all over the world, with each nationality putting own spin on the base recipe. But one thing is always certain: It’s always filled with tart dried fruit and exotic flavours from the East.
If you didn’t make your Christmas cake 2 months ago, it’s too late to start lovingly feeding it with spiced brandy now. But not to worry, try our very own quick and easy last minute granadilla fruit cake or our caramel chocolate Christmas cake and enjoy it on Christmas Eve in preparation for your big Christmas Day lunch as of old.