A light and easy Christmas cake, infused with crunchy apple, sultanas, dates, cinnamon and brandy. Recipe commissioned by Emily Crisps.
Cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, apple snow…I think its beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. I know that things are going to be hectic for me, more so because we have a house move to fit in between now and mid-December. So this year in particular, the emphasis is on simplifying and planning-ahead. Luckily, this is completely do-able and even this year’s Christmas cake has been inspired by snacks that I found in my cupboard including raisins, dates and the ‘apple crunch’ flavour of Emily Fruit Crisps. The intense apple flavour of the fruit crisps reminded me of a favourite childhood recipe called ‘apple snow’ and so I was inspired to develop an apple-infused frosting for my cake by whizzing up the apple pieces into a fine powder and stirring it through the icing as well as adding pieces into the cake itself. The beauty of this cake is that it can be made a couple of days ahead of Christmas – or whenever the need for a little Christmas-flavour-filled showstopper is required at short notice. It is much lighter than a traditional fruit-filled Christmas cake and being made up of three layers, only a small slice is needed. Print this one out – or bookmark it because I promise it will become one of your favourites, as it has ours.
Healthy Festive Snacking
As we all know, the festive spell is usually a whole season filled with high-calorific temptation. My top tip this year is to become friends with Emily Fruit Crisps, which are pressure-cooked and as such, are full of flavour. During this process, the absorption of oil is reduced and all the vitamins, nutrients and fibre of the fruit (or vegetables) is preserved – as well as the taste. Unlike other dried fruit that I’ve tasted, Emily crisps are crunchy (rather than chewy) with a little bit of natural sweetness coming through at the end – just enough to satisfy a sweet-tooth craving in a much healthier way. They are also gluten-free, vegan, kosher, halal and count as 1 of your 5 a day.
My kids especially love the crunchy banana version, which make for a great alternative to popcorn on movie nights. As well as being an ideal snack to store in the pantry, Emily crisps work really well in bakes and sweeter treats, too.
Here’s the thing – if you can make a habit of snacking on fruit and Emily fruit or vegetable crisps (the French Bean, Sugar Snap Peas and Black Edamame packet are only 95 calories per pack) you can then enjoy a generous slice of my fruit-filled Christmas cake as a special treat without adding on too many festive pounds (!)
Emily crisps are a London-based brand with incredibly stunning and eye-catching packaging. Yes, Emily is a real person and along with her partner, Alex, founded Emily Crisps in 2014. They met in London and went travelling around the world. It was in the Far East that they discovered a fabulous way of making crisps in a vacuum so that all the goodness is preserved whilst the crisps stayed crunchy. The came home and began experimenting and Emily Crisps were born. You’re most likely to find them next to the popcorn at the supermarket and health food stores, such as Holland & Barret and Wholefoods stock them too.
Find out more
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Emily_Crisps
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emily_crisps/
Where to buy
- Holland & Barret
- Virgin Atlantic
Easy Christmas Cake with Crunchy Apple Frosting
- 150ml warm water mixed with 2 tsp honey
- 60g Emily Fruit Crisps Crunchy Apple
- 80g pitted dates, chopped into sultana-sized pieced
- 200g raisins or sultanas
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 200g butter
- 4 eggs
- 100g light brown muscovado sugar
- 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds of one vanilla pod
- 3 tsp cinnamon
Apple Crisp Frosting
- 500g icing sugar
- 250g unsalted butter
- 60g Emily Fruit Crisps Crunchy Apple (finely blitzed to a powder)
- 60g Emily Fruit Crisps Crunchy Apple
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. Line 2 x 9inch cake tins with baking parchment.
- Boil a kettle, add 2 tsp runny honey to 150ml water. Pour over the fruit (apple crisps, sultanas and dates) with 1 tbsp brandy and leave to soak.
- Beat the butter with the eggs and sugars. Stir in flour and baking powder. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
- Stir in the pre-soaked fruit.
- Pour into the cake tins, bake for 1 hour at 150C.
- Remove the cakes and leave to cool completely.
- For the frosting, beat the butter until creamy and light in colour. Add the icing sugar and the powdered apple.
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with apple pieces and other Christmas decorations.
For more festive treats with Emily Crisps try:
- Katie’s Dark Chocolate, Banana and Date Fridge Cake
- Helen’s Mincemeat and Banana Loaf Cake
- Sarah’s Posh Cheese and Pineapple Sticks
- Or Jacqueline’s Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pineapple Frosting
With thanks to Emily Crisps for this festive-inspired commission and for the fruit crips/snacks to keep me going during our house move! #ad