A wonderful alternative to the love-it-or-loath-it, fruit-filled Christmas cake. This cake is rich, full of flavour and makes a gorgeous pudding as well as a treat to enjoy in front of a Christmas movie. I like to dress mine up with lots of edible sprinkles, dried cranberries, gingerbread biscuits and sprigs of rosemary to make it super festive!

For the cake (makes one 22cm cake):

  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1.5tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 2tbs cocoa powder
  • 2tbs hot water
  • 1tbs black treacle
  • 1tbs milk
  • 20g chopped stem ginger in syrup

For the buttercream:

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 2tbs ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar

Ideas for decorations: Sprinkles, dried cranberries, springs of rosemary, mini meringues, marshmallows, chocolate buttons, gingerbread biscuits, sparklers!

  1. Grease and line with baking paper a round 22cm cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy
  3. Gradually add the beaten eggs and keep whisking
  4. Then mix in the sifted flour, baking powder and ground ginger
  5. Mix the cocoa powder with hot water to make a paste and stir into the cake mix
  6. With a spoon, fold in the black treacle, milk and chopped stem ginger
  7. Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is springy to the touch and you can insert a sharp knife into the centre and it comes out clean
  8. Wait five minutes, then turn the cake out of the tin onto a cooling rack
  9. When the cake is cool, beat the icing sugar and butter together until really pale and add the stem ginger syrup from the jar
  10. To decorate, turn the cake upside down, so the flat bottom is now the top! Spread the buttercream over the cake with a palette knife or back of a spoon. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, pipe the buttercream. Dress the cake with all your favourite festive treats!