Double chocolate Christmas pudding cakes

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Not keen on the annual appearance of Christmas pudding? Tuck into this delightful recipe from Karen Burns-Booth, with the festive visual appeal of the classic Christmas cake, made with a decadent chocolate sponge and white chocolate ganache icing.

I love making unusual cakes and bakes, and I am always on the lookout for new cake tins and pans for my next culinary journey, so when I spied these Hemisphere Cake Pans in the Lakeland catalogue, they went to top of my “must have” list! I only wish I could have bought them about twenty years ago when my daughter was very small, as I used to always make her a Christmas themed birthday cake, with her birthday being a week before the big day, and many a “Snowman” cake has graced her birthday party table, but, I used to have to make microwave cakes in plastic pudding basins, which was a bit of a faff!

But now I can BAKE a Christmas themed cake with ease and not only that, I can choose between four sizes of these nifty hemisphere cake pans, as they come in large, medium, small and individual sizes. I decided to buy a large cake pan, for large cakes of course, as well as four of the smallest individual sizes, for mini cakes – which always fun for gifts and festive dinner parties. So, my plan was to make a large “Christmas Pudding Cake” as well as a couple of individual “Victorian Style Christmas Pudding Cakes” to add to a hamper I am making for my parents, and I spent a happy few hours in the kitchen creating my pudding cakes the other day, as well as tasting one of them with a cuppa – well it has to be done!

I could have made a fruit cake, in the manner of a traditional Christmas cake and I may yet make a fruity pudding cake for us; but, it was the theme of chocolate that I wanted to experiment with and so the idea came to me to make a double chocolate cake in the shape of a Christmas pudding, just in time for “Stir Up Sunday” and complete with “white chocolate” snow and a sprig of holly. I decided to adapt one of my favourite chocolate cake recipes from my trusty “Be-Ro” recipe book for these cakes, a Milk Chocolate cake recipe with my own recipe for white chocolate and vanilla ganache.

The recipe for my Double Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cakes is shared below, and the quantities are for one large cake with 2 small “cannon ball” shaped cakes, or, the mixture will make a VERY large cake using two of the large cake pans; I decided to make a smaller cake using only one pan.

There are a few tips I would like to share……you MUST use a reputable cake release spray, and it’s also advisable to cut out a little circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the cake tins, this makes sure the cakes come out easily and with no cracks or breaks.

You MUST also cook the large cake in a slow oven (low heat) as there is quite a lot of cake batter and the cake needs a long, slow bake to make sure the centre is cooked. Other than that, these cakes are really easy to make and my family and friends were captivated with them when I showed them the finished results. If you are a Christmas fruit cake hater, then why not make one of these cakes for Christmas, it would make a great alternative to the usual fruit cake and will appeal to all the family, especially the little ones. Enjoy these cakes if you make them and have a Cool Yule this year!




Christmas cakes

  • 400g of self-raising flour
  • 450g of caster sugar
  • 50g of cocoa powder
  • 200g of butter, softened
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 150ml of single cream
  • 100ml of water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Ganache topping


Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Spray the cake pans with cake release spray and line the base with a small circle of greaseproof paper
I find that using a food mixer is the easiest way to make the cake batter as the amounts are quite large. Place all of the cake ingredients in a food mixer and mix on low for 2-3 minutes before beating on medium to high for a further 3 to 4 minutes, until the batter is light and smooth. You can also beat the batter with a hand mixer too
Spoon the mixture into four small hemisphere cake pans and one large cake pan and place them in the oven. Bake the small cakes for between 20 and 30 minutes, or until well-risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cakes. The large cake will take a bit longer. Check the cake is cooked the same way as the individual cakes
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, before turning them out of the pans and allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack
Meanwhile, make the buttercream filling by beating the butter, icing sugar and melted chocolate together until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken slightly
Make the ganache just before decorating by melting the chocolate in a pan over a larger pan of hot but not boiling water, until melted and smooth. Beat in the cream and mix well. Allow to cool slightly before using – it must not get too cold or it will set before you use it
Place the large cake on a plate and spoon or drizzle the ganache over the top before adding a sprig of holly with berries
Sandwich the small cakes together with the buttercream to make small round cakes, and then spoon or drizzle the ganache over the top before decorating with a sprig of holly with berries
For a large round cake, bake the mixture in two large cake pans and sandwich together as with the smaller individual cakes before, decorating the same way as above

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a passion for local, seasonal ingredients.

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