Spiced festive cake

Spiced festive cake

Torta speziata delle feste

By
From
The Italian Baker
Serves
8-10

Christmas is very important to me. Over the festive period, the kitchen at the bakery works constantly, as does the one in my home! They are busy days, and I love hosting parties with friends, chatting in front of the fire sipping mulled wine, organizing the table and decorating the tree.

Baking is an essential part of the celebrations, and here is a recipe for a delicious end to a generous meal – a cake that will look stunning as the table centrepiece but that is still quick to prepare. You can bake it a day in advance and reheat it by heating the oven on medium-high for 20 minutes, switching it off and putting the cake in for 5–10 minutes. Serve with custard or zabaione cream. Merry Christmas!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
200g caster sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 orange, Finely grated zested
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 tablespoon cointreau liqueur
3 eggs
120ml milk
90g ground hazelnuts
60g finely chopped almonds
icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Carefully grease the insides of a bundt tin with butter, making sure you coat every corner. Dust with flour, then tilt and rotate the tin to coat the insides evenly, tipping out the excess.
  2. Sift the measured flour into a bowl, add the baking powder and set aside.
  3. Put the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, orange zest, almond extract and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a mixing bowl, and use electric hand-held beaters) and beat on a low speed to allow the spices to blend and coat the sugar. The smell will be divine at this point!
  4. Add the butter and beat on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the Cointreau and continue beating. Now beat in the eggs, one at a time. When all the ingredients are incorporated, fold in the flour and baking powder mixture, and the milk, in three small additions and alternating them. Finally, fold in the ground hazelnuts and chopped almonds.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 40–45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting on to a plate. When cool, dust with icing sugar to serve, or top with sugar-coated cranberries, holly, or any other decoration you fancy.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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