Christmas cake is something that you either love or hate. Personally, I don’t like the taste so I thought I’d share the alternative  Christmas cake recipe by Tanya Burr in her latest book, Tanya’s Christmas, that I absolutely love and is ideal for those who like me aren’t fussed on the traditional recipe.

Serves 8-10
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes, plus chilling


For the cake

  • 300g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
  • 200g white chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml buttermilk

For the icing 

  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

To Decorate

  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • White ready-to-roll royal icing (300g is more than enough)
  • White chocolate stars or curls
  • edible silver glitter
  • edible silver balls
  • sparklers (optional)

You will also need 3 x 21cm round loose bottomed cake tins and a snowflake cookie cutter

  • Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and grease the base and sides of the cake tins before lining the bases with baking parchment.
  • Melt white chocolate in heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from pan and allow to slightly cool.
  • Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl with electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next then fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, making powder and salt. Add the buttermilk and melted white chocolate and mix to form a smooth and silky batter.
  • Divide the batter between the cake tins and spread out slightly with a spatula.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden and risen and a skewer poked into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Mix the icing by creaming the butter in a bowl, then slowly adding the icing sugar and beating until smooth and light. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Sandwich cakes together with one third of the icing on a stand or serving place, then spread a very thin layer (another third of the icing) over the top and around the outside to catch the crumbs.
  • Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to set the icing slightly, then use the remaining icing to fully cover the cake.
  • Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the royal icing. Cut out snowflake shapes and stick them carefully to the side and top of the cake. Decorate the top with white chocolate star or curls, more snowflakes, glitter and silver balls – I also crushed some to scatter around the base of the cake. Serve with sparklers, if using.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Do you like traditional Christmas cake or would you prefer an alternative?


Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

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  1. I am so used to brown chocolate cakes. For this Christmas I must try this change. A white cake will be a surprise at home too. Thanks for this detailed recipe. Loved the pic. 🙂

  2. The missus can’t stand Christmas cake so this is perfect!

  3. This is so beautiful! Reminds me of winter wonderland x

  4. My daughter can’t have proper christmas cake so this will be fab to make with her as she loves to bake!

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