3 Traditional Christmas Cakes To Make This Season Extra Special

No brownie points for guessing that baking is one of the most beloved traditions during Christmas. People around the world make the most of the wintry weather in the comforts of their home, spending time with their friends and family, as they indulge in cooking, eating, and merrymaking. Who wouldn’t like to bake delicious cakes - with frosting, powdered sugar, mixed spices, orange zest, and other fruits - around this time of the year? 

The tradition of making Christmas cakes dates back to the 16th century, which has successfully passed through generations, as families across the globe came up with different varieties and recipes for the favourite holiday season dessert. It is said that in England, the tradition of Christmas cakes began with a Plum Porridge. Later, dried fruit, spices, and honey were added to it, eventually turning it into the Christmas Pudding. In place of oatmeal, butter, wheat flour, and eggs were added to the recipe some time in the 16th Century, paving the way for a Plum Cake.    

Cut to present times, different varieties of cakes are made during Yuletide. In the run up to Christmas, we bring you three delicious traditional cakes, the charm of which still allure foodies around the world. To bake a cake at home and equally enjoy the process, you need the right kind of appliances. Glen’s ovens and oven toaster griller (OTGs), for instance, are designed to meet your needs. Check them out here

1. Pineapple Upside-Down Bundt Cake

An irresistibly delicious classic dessert, the Pineapple Upside-Down Bundt Cake is a moist delicacy, traditionally enjoyed during the holiday season. Thanks to the popularity of pineapples (much like the avocados now) in the 1920s, this cake was considered elegant. It remained a favourite in almost every household from the 1950s until the 1970s. Also made with other fruits like apples, plums, peaches, and pears, this nostalgic upside-down cake is a crowd-pleaser. In fact, it’s quite an adventure to bake this cake at home. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for you to try.    


  • 1½ cups salted butter softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 6 pineapple rings
  • Maraschino cherries


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (check out Glen’s oven toaster grillers). 
  • Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with shortening and dust it with flour.
  • In a large bowl using a stand mixer or electric mixer, put together the butter and sugar until they become light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and continue to mix until blended.
  • Then put the flour and baking powder and mix again until smooth.
  • Pour in the vanilla extract and pineapple juice and mix to combine.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter and pour into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Layer the pineapple rings around the bottom of the pan, and place a cherry in the centre of the ring and on the outside.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the bundt pan and bake for 1½ hours or until the centre is set.
  • Immediately turn it out onto a serving tray. 
  • Allow the cake to cool. Then, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

2. Granny’s Gingerbread Cake 

Best savoured with a hot cup of tea, this delectable, old-fashioned bake is a must-have during the festive season. Granny’s Gingerbread Cake is a little sticky but light in texture. Often served with caramel syrup and salted buttercream, this cake is loved by the young and old alike. During Christmas, the Gingerbread Bake comes adorned with gorgeous edible decorations. Tempted enough? Try this simple recipe by British baker and food writer Mary Berry.   


  • 225 gm self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 100 gm butter (diced)
  • 100 gm black treacle
  • 100 gm golden syrup
  • 100 gm light muscovado sugar
  • 1 free-range egg (beaten)
  • 275 ml full-fat milk


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C-160°C (check out Glen’s oven toaster grillers). Line a traybake tin with baking paper.
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, and mixed spice in a large bowl.
  • Gently heat the butter, treacle, syrup, and sugar together in a small saucepan until the butter has just melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the egg and beat with a wooden spoon. Gradually pour in the milk and beat until smooth.
  • Pour into the tin and bake for about 35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, remove from the tin, and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Chocolate Yule Log

This yummy sponge cake, which looks like a miniature yule log, has its roots in the 19th Century. References to this cake can be traced during the Edwardian era too. A favourite Christmas delicacy, this sweet roulade is popular in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, as well as in Canada, Vietnam, and Lebanon. You’ll find variants of Chocolate Yule Log in the UK, Portugal, Spain, and the US too. The dessert is traditionally prepared using a genoise and baked in a large, shallow Swiss roll pan. It’s usually served with one end cut off and placed atop a cake.


For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 85 gm golden caster sugar
  • 85 gm plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the filling and icing:

  • 50 gm butter
  • 140 gm dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 284 ml pot double cream
  • 200 gm icing sugar
  • 2-3 extra strong mints
  • Icing sugar and holly sprigs to decorate


  • Heat the oven to 200°C-180°C (check out Glen’s oven toaster grillers). Butter and line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  • Beat the eggs and golden caster sugar together with an electric whisk for about 8 mins until thick and creamy.
  • Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together. 
  • Then, sift onto the egg mixture. Fold in very carefully, then pour into the tin. 
  • Tip the tin from side to side to spread the mixture into the corners. Bake for 10 mins.
  • Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a work surface. When the cake is ready, tip it onto the parchment, peel off the lining paper, then roll the cake up from its longest edge with the paper inside. Leave to cool.
  • To make the icing, melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Take from the heat and stir in the golden syrup and 5 tbsp double cream. Beat in the icing sugar until smooth.
  • Whisk the remaining double cream until it holds its shape. 
  • Unravel the cake, spread the cream over the top, scatter over the crushed extra strong mints. Then, carefully roll up again into a log.
  • Cut a thick diagonal slice from one end of the log. 
  • Lift the log on to a plate, then arrange the slice on the side with the diagonal cut against the cake to make a branch. 
  • Spread the icing over the log and branch.
  • Use a fork to mark the icing to give the effect of tree bark. 
  • Scatter with unsifted icing sugar to resemble snow, and decorate with holly.