…and all things nice. The making of and eating Christmas Cake is one of our most important Christmas traditions. Some members I am sure made their cake a few months ago so this makes the rest of us rather late to the party if we begin today. But where did the origins and tradition of this elaborate cake begin?
The origins of the Christmas cake began hundreds of years ago when everyone would fast on Christmas Eve. At the end of the fast a plum porridge mixture would be served to fill everyone up.
Then, around the 16th Century, dried fruits and spices and honey were added, the oats removed and replaced by flour, eggs and butter. The spices brought from the East symbolised the gifts brought by the three Wise Men when they visited the baby Jesus. The mixture could also be baked or boiled to make a cake.
The religious ritual of fasting on Christmas Eve gradually disappeared and the fruit cake was enjoyed when Twelfth Night was celebrated. However, this also began to lose popularity around 1830 and was then banned by Queen Victoria for its religious undertones. This meant a surplus of fruit cakes so bakers began to use white icing to decorate the cakes with snowy Christmas scenes. They advertised the cakes as being suitable for the whole of the festive period. This is how the modern Christmas cake developed into the traditional cake we know and love.
As in the 19th Century, you can also choose to either buy or bake your Christmas Cake. If you leave it very late to decide to bake your cake here is a link to a recipe for you called The Last -minute Christmas Cake @ www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/christmas_eve_cake_64830