Those 3 wise men brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold. All great gifts, but it’s that time of year when those of us who love to bake get going in overdrive and when those of us who love to eat what they bake begin rejoicing. And drooling. And eating. So gifts of cake sound better to us. But even those of us cake eaters who are the most dedicated and ardent have our limits. Well, more like strong preferences. Hey, if it’s cake… Anyway, there are three holiday cakes that would certainly be great under any cake lover’s Christmas tree. And are certainly welcome in our house.

Oh my gosh! We’ve also just seen this assortment by The Original Cake Co. and can’t make up our minds which would be best, so I guess we’ll have to try them all! (Each fruit slab cake is imported from the United Kingdom, where they were mixed, baked, sliced and packed all by hand.)

Holiday cakes from The Original Cake Co. (ETS image)

Holiday cakes from The Original Cake Co. (ETS image)

Okay, the drooling has stopped. And now for those top 3 cakes:

1 Walkers Strathspey Rich Fruit Cake

I know what you’re thinking: “Ugh! It’s fruit cake!” Trust me. This is not your Aunt Mazie’s fruit cake that has been regifted from relative to relative for a generation (or longer). For one thing it’s from Walker’s and made in Scotland. That’s the country that produced such wonderful things as actor Sean Connery. So how could you go wrong? For another thing, this cake has a thick layer of marzipan and sugar icing which actually helps to keep it moist. Sultanas, currants, and candied cherries join forces for a succulent treat that has just the right level of sweetness. (Contains: milk, wheat, gluten. Not suitable for nut or milk allergy sufferers.)

Walkers Strathspey Rich Fruit Cake (ETS image)

Walkers Strathspey Rich Fruit Cake (ETS image)

2 Homemade Carrot Cake

Nothing like a homemade moist and sweet carrot cake with a wonderful buttercream frosting. I have made a few in years gone by. It was trial and error (and one was so bad that the stray cats and dogs didn’t even want it), but eventually I got the knack. (Hint: mix the “wet” ingredients together first, then slowly add in all the “dry” ingredients.) Even my poor cooking skills couldn’t screw it up too badly. And the buttercream frosting is simple to make. These days I just get friendly with someone who can bake and invite them to tea, encouraging them to bring along one of their fabulous homemade carrot cakes.

I didn’t make that one or that one and definitely not THAT one… (Yahoo! Images)

I didn’t make that one or that one and definitely not THAT one… (Yahoo! Images)

3 Top Iced Christmas Cake by Norfolk Manor – 32oz (907g)

This type of cake is the result of centuries of progress and evolution. Its ancestor is a plum porridge (oats and plums). Then, crafty cooks enhanced it with fruit, spices, and a bit of honey, calling it “Christmas pudding” (a pudding in Britain is more like a heavy cake than what we in the U.S. think of as pudding). Then, a bit more tinkering with the recipe: the oats were out and wheat flour, butter, and eggs were in along with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon (paying homage to two of those wise men’s gifts named above). Now this pudding was a true cake — a Christmas cake! And then came the icing — on top only, not the sides, and adding a bit more sweetness to the flavor palette! Slice yourself a slab and enjoy with a cup of your favorite tea.

Top Iced Christmas Cake by Norfolk Manor (ETS image)

Top Iced Christmas Cake by Norfolk Manor (ETS image)

Tea Party Time!

I’ve got the pot of tea ready (a nice Indian black tea called TGFOP Assam that goes well with a bit of milk and sweetener). I can even supply teacups and saucers and plates and congenial conversation … until the cake and tea run out, that is … after that, I give no guarantees!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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