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Taste Test: Best locally-baked Christmas cakes




They go together like turkey and trimmings, Santa and Rudolf, Morecambe and Wise: Christmas would be incomplete without cake. If you lack time (or inclination) to make your own, here are three of the best locally baked cakes money can buy

Iced All Over Signature Fruit Cake, £25 for a 6in round and £40 for 8in, Tom’s Cakes, Somersham, St Ives, Ely and Cambridge - tomscakes.co.uk

CAKE Tom's Cakes (53248707)
CAKE Tom's Cakes (53248707)

Wreathed with fondant holly, ivy, robins and stars, this cake is so prettily iced it *almost* seems a shame to cut it. It’s worth the sacrifice, though: the icing, underlaid with a satisfyingly soft, sweet layer of marzipan, gives way to Tom’s signature Christmas fruit cake which, as long-term fans of his bakes will know, manages to combine a good density of festive fruit and spice with a remarkably light texture. The combination makes it a crowd-pleaser: it’s sufficiently traditional to please older members of the family, while being sweet and sponge-like enough to please younger ones, too.

Salted Caramel, Fig & Pistachio Cake, £28, The Bakery by Stellar Catering, Newmarket - stellarcatering.co.uk

CAKE Stellar Catering (53248726)
CAKE Stellar Catering (53248726)

Think you don’t like Christmas cake? Stop what you’re doing and order one of these beauties right now. Yes, there’s brandy-plumped dried fruit involved, but it’s a twist on the traditional. Figs and dates are both included in the fruit mix, which is combined with generous helpings of mixed nuts, mixed spices and, giving gorgeously moreish salted caramel flavours, chopped toffees and dulce de leche. Baker Ben has been refining the recipe for years and it shows: the result, gilded with a spritz of edible gold, is a hit with all ages, preferences and palates.

Iced Round Christmas Cake, £28, Fitzbillies, Cambridge - fitzbillies.com

CAKE Fitzbillies (53248719)
CAKE Fitzbillies (53248719)

Open up the voluminous cloud of sparkly cellophane encasing this cake and you’re hit with the very aroma of Christmas; an intoxicating mix of brandy-soaked fruit, buttery sweet marzipan and winter spice. It’s pretty as a picture, decorated with shimmering gold-dusted leaves and silver berries, and boasting a generous layer of marzipan sandwiched beneath soft white icing. Densely packed with plump fruit, it’s rich, dark and deliciously moist, crumbling beneath the knife as you cut a slice. Enjoy with a cup of best English Breakfast tea or a glass of luscious Muscat dessert wine, if you’re feeling particularly festive!


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