It's Christmas time! Which means it's officially ok to do a bit of over-indulging and maybe eat one too many mince pies, all in the name of being merry.
Boozy Christmas cakes, fruity puddings and mince pies are everywhere, but for some, the idea of a fruit cake fills them with dread, rather than that Christmas cheer we're all after – and we can't be having that.
If you know a fruit cake loather, or maybe you are one yourself, don't fret, because we've come up with the perfect alternative Christmas cake for you.
Including sugar, spice and all things nice, but not a stone fruit in sight, this spiced ginger and caramel traybake is a great Christmas pudding alternative for anti-fruit cake families.
Plus, with a serving size of up to 24 people, it's ideal if you're catering to a big crowd on Christmas Day, or if you want to give the whole office a slice to perk up their Monday morning.
If you want to be really indulgent, heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds before serving and pop a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side!
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 45-60 minutes
- 150g butter, softened
- 125g dark soft brown sugar
- 250g Carnation caramel
- 150g treacle
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 eggs
- 300g self-raising flour
- 250ml milk
For the buttercream icing
- 300g butter, softened
- 450g icing sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 120g Carnation caramel
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm tin.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until soft, in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, except the milk and beat together. While beating, gradually pour in the milk until combined.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bakein the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until cooked through and coming away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool slightly in the tin then transfer to a cooling rack.
4. To make the buttercream, beat the butter with the icing sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Sprinkle the sea salt into the caramel and mix, then add to the buttercream and swirl through.
5. When the traybake is cooled completely, use a palette knife to spread the buttercream over the top.
Food and styling Laura Higgins
Assisted by Laura McLeish
Photo Lizzie Orme