Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cake

If you're not keen on traditional fruit-packed booze-infused Christmas cake, try this Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cake. It’s a Christmassy-flavoured chocolate cake with orange, dried fruit and nuts. It's made with oil instead of butter so it's a bit lighter and keeps well for 4 – 5 days.

Instead of marzipan and royal icing, this cake has a simple chocolate glaze decorated with dried fruits and nuts, inspired by this Chocolate and Cinnamon Bejeweled Christmas Bundt Cake by Homemade by Fleur.

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Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cake: Makes 16 slices

Time:  15 mins + 35 mins baking

Cost:  30p per serving*

Calories:  323 per serving*

*based on 16 slices without icing

For the cake:

  • 225g brown sugar
  • 45g / 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 120g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 160ml oil
  • Zest and juice of two oranges
  • 75g chopped almonds
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 75g sultanas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

To ice and decorate:

  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 40ml whole milk
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Cranberries, nuts, orange zest etc
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / gas mark 4. Take a large springform or cake tin and line with baking paper or grease with oil.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl apart from the flour and the baking powder. Mix well until everything is smooth and well combined. Finally fold in the flour and baking powder.
  3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 35 minutes or until a knife just comes out clean. It will be slightly springy to touch and have a brownie-like consistency. Leave to cool.
  4. To make the icing, warm the chocolate, milk and cinnamon gently in a pan stirring continually until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool a little and then spoon it over the cake. If it's too warm then it will be too runny and it won't stick to the cake. If it's too cold then it won't spread, so it's important the consistency is right. Decorate with cranberries, nuts, orange zest or anything you like and leave the icing to dry before slicing.

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