Food Fortnight: The Best Christmas Cakes 2015

No Christmas tea table is complete without a stunning cake at its centre.  After all, when can you have cake if not at Christmas?!  The retailers have cottoned on to the fact that many of us aren't keen on traditional heavy fruit cakes, so there are lots of stunning alternatives around too.  Read on to choose which will grace your tea table this year...

The limited edition, hand decorated Tesco Finest Berry And Cone Fruit Cake is simply stunning, a rich, dark boozy fruit cake infused with brandy and Cognac, topped with a chocolate and orange fruit cake.  The two tier cake weighs in at a substantial 1kg and retails at £20.

Simply decorated Meg Rivers Christmas cake, Ocado

Lidl offers a fruit cake with a lighter texture and flavour, ideal for those who prefer a less heavy style.  It's crumbly but moist, and very moreish.  try their Pandoro with Lemon too, a lovely, refreshing cake/sweet bread with real lemon pieces - yummy!

Stunning Chocolate Caramel Square Cake from Asda

The Co-Op has a great range of cakes for the festive table, including the snowman shaped sponge cake we highlighted last year, and his new chocolatey reindeer friend.  Our favourite is the beautifully decorated Truly Irresistible Chocolate and Orange Dome, a beautiful and delicious sweet centrepiece for an afternoon tea or dessert table.

We also loved the gold glittery topped chocolate Yule log you can see here:

Prosecco in food is a huge trend this year, and this unusual and scrummy Prosecco Panettone from Waitrose is light and lovely.  Beautifully wrapped, it would make a lovely gift for someone too.  Yum!

The other theme from Waitrose this year is their unique festive signature spice blend, which is so Christmassy it's untrue!  This sweet little gift cake would be perfect for an elderly neighbour or relative, or lovely as an alternative to heavier fruit cakes at home.  Lovely.

If you fancy something completely different this year, try this traditional Sicilian Pistachio Panettone cake from Artimondo.  The Sicilian company Bacco has revisited the traditional Panettone, a staple Christmas dessert in Italian homes, adding world-renowned Bronte pistachio nuts to a new handmade cake for a unique taste and flavour.  The pistachio Panettone is made by Claudio Luca, who is renowned for creating new tasty desserts using pistachio nuts and other quality ingredients.  This panettone can be enjoyed at any time of day, or served at the end of a meal.  Delicious!

And finally, the ease of a bar cake when entertaining or hosting a party cannot be overestimated, and this Holly Iced Rich Fruit Cake from Sainsbury's is perfect.  Using the same recipe as their round cake, the bar cake is a delicious, rich fruit cake with a lovely pillow of icing atop a marzipan layer, perfect for afternoon tea or morning coffee in the run up to Christmas.  After all, why wait for the big day itself to break out the Christmas cake ;-)

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