Three-Tiered Chocolate Christmas Cake
This super fun three-tiered chocolate Christmas fruit cake has been decorated with (my secret recipe) Gingerbread Village Houses. It's simple to make, and a brilliant one for sharing with family and friends as you eat at the houses and then the cake!
You can make it even simpler by making any cake you like for the tiers and adding shop-bought gingerbread men around the edge, they look like they are holding hands!
For the Christmas Chocolate Cakes
- 300 grams raisins
- 350 grams of soft unsalted butter
- 350 grams of dark brown muscovado sugar
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 8 tablespoons cocoa
- 6 large eggs (beaten)
- 50g ground almonds
- 300 grams of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the chocolate fondant
- 500g salted butter
- 1kg icing sugar, sieved
- 50g cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For the gingerbread houses
- 200g salted butter
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 100g brown granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 500g plain flour
- 100ml whole milk
- 500g icing sugar
You will also need:
- Cake tins: 21cm/ 8 ½ inch, 19cm/ 7 ½ inch, 16cm/ 6 inch
- Baking parchment
- Rolling pin
- 3 x baking sheets
- Pallet knife
- Cake tins ( for storage)
- Cake stand or serving plate
- Hand or stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
Chocolate Christmas Cake
Makes the three-tiered cakes
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/150°C/130°C Fan/300°F.
- Line the bottoms of the three cake tins and grease the sides with butter. 21cm/ 8 ½ inch, 19cm/ 7 ½ inch, 16cm/ 6 inch.
- Into a large saucepan add the fruit, butter, sugar, spices, and cocoa and bring to a boil gently, stirring as the butter melts. Once the butter has melted and the raisins have been coated take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
- Once this mixture is cool to the touch add the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda, and mix to combine.
- Pour the chocolate fruit cake mixture into the prepared cake tins, they should be ¾ of the way full. Each tin will take slightly different times, but if you can put the largest and middle on above the smaller below. The smaller tin will take around 30- 35 mins and the larger ones around 45-50 mins. Just be sure to test them with a wooden skewer. s
- Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 30 mins before turning them out onto cooling racks. Allow cooling fully before decorating.
You can prepare these cakes ahead of time if you need to, just simply place them in a air-tight container, they will be fine for 10 days if not more.
Chocolate Fondant Recipe
This delicious buttercream is to coat the outside of the cake.
- Beat the room-temperature butter until it becomes creamy and white.
- Add the sieved icing sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute.
- If it’s looking too thin add more icing sugar and cocoa.
- Use immediately or cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. After thawing or refrigerating, beating in a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the frosting out again, if needed.
Hannah’s Secret Crunchy Gingerbread Recipe
This is my version of gingerbread, it is more crunchy and cinnamon-y than regular gingerbread.
- Preheat your oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
- Heat the butter, syrup, and muscovado sugar together in a small pan until melted. Stir and set aside to cool slightly.
- Mix the dry ingredients including the bicarb, ginger, cinnamon, and flour in a large bowl. Pour in the buttery syrup mixture and stir to combine, ideally with a hand or standing mixer. Then use your hands to bring them together to form a dough.
- Add the golden caster sugar at this stage. It might be quite a dry mix so add the whole milk to loosen it.
- Roll out the dough on a flour-dusted work surface and cut as pictured into simple house shapes. You will need 10 larger houses for the bottom layer, 8-9 medium houses for the middle layer, and 7-8 smaller houses for the smallest layer at the top. Take a look at the height of your baked cakes to see roughly how tall they need to be.
- Line three flat baking sheets with the baking parchment.
- Lift the cut-out houses with a pallet knife and place them onto the sheets. Pop these into the fridge for 15-20mins. This avoids spreading.
- Bake for 10-12 mins.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling racks.
- Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar with 1-2 tbsp water – you want to create a consistency that’s thick and pipeable, and not too thin or it will run. Decorate the cooled biscuits with the icing using a piping bag with a thin nozzle. You can add an outline to the houses, doors, windows, and roofs. Have fun!
Decorating the Cake
- Firstly, cover the cooled cakes individually with the chocolate frosting. Use the pallet knife to coat the outside of the cakes, it doesn’t have to be super smooth.
- Arrange your cakes on a cake stand or serving plate place the cakes one on top of each other with the largest at the bottom, then the medium than the smallest.
- Next, stick the gingerbread houses around the outside starting at the top. You can use some extra frosting on the back of the houses if they need more to stick.
- Once you have completed the first top layer move on to the middle, then the bottom layer.
Congratulations you have finished your beautiful cake!