Monday, November 9, 2015

12 Weeks of Christmas: Make Ahead Christmas Cakes

If you are keen to indulge in (or gift) traditional-style homemade Christmas fruitcake this year, now is the time to get baking so your cake has plenty of time to mature before the holidays. If you don't yet have a favourite family recipe or are keen to try something new, here are a few ideas in a range of tastes and degrees of complexity:

Clockwise from upper left:

If you are going for an old-fashioned aged cake, give it a stiff drink before storage. Brush the entire exterior with alcohol, wrap it well, and keep it in a cool dark place.  How long you mature the cake and what for of alcohol you use is a combination or your favourite recipe, personal taste, and perhaps even family tradition. Bourbon, brandy, sherry, and rum are all popular options. If you are going for a well matured cake, a little extra alcohol every once in a while is recommended, but make sure that the last top up is at least a week before you plan to ice the cake (if icing). 

For those of you who would prefer your fruitcake without alcohol, most Christmas-style fruitcakes will also freeze quite nicely as long as they are well wrapped so you don't need to wait for the holiday rush to do your baking. I have heard that some folks substitute tea (for soaking and/or aging), although I have never tasted a cake baked or aged in that way, so can't vouch personally. If you use this or another alcohol-free method, please let me and our readers know - we'd love to hear your kitchen secrets if you're willing to share! You are also welcome to share a live link to your recipe post (if you have one to share) in the comments if you wish. It is simple to do in Blogger - just us the following format as a guide: <a href="">text you want shown for your link</a>    

Have fun crafting and creating, and we hope that you will join us again next Monday for the 12 Weeks of Creative Christmas mini-series.  Looking for more creative ideas in the interim? You can search the blog under the DIY type of your preference or join us on Pinterest for fab creative pins from here, there and everywhere!

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