Recipes

Fruit Cakes and Festive Bakes | Recipes with Le Creuset

There’s nothing quite like the change in seasons to get you in the mood for some festive bakes, think spicy ginger, succulent cherries, and a whole lot of treacle. As the autumnal colours fill the pavements you’ll find them making their way into your bakes. This season, Le Creuset’s Christmas campaign Flavour Revival, is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Art Deco with some throwbacks in the baking department. Impress your guests with modern take on these classic bakes. 

Festive Celebration Fruit Cake

Festive Bakes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 3 and a half – 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 2kg mixed dried fruit
  • 4 x 425g cans crushed pineapple, drained
  • 200g glacé cherries, halved
  • 500g butter, softened
  • 700g soft brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 600g plain flour
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 50g blanched almonds and 100g glacé cherries to decorate

Spiced Snowflake Biscuits (to decorate the cake)

  • 100g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250g plain flour, extra for kneading
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • Snowflake cookie cutters, varying sizes

Cake Decoration

  • Snowflake biscuits, different sizes
  • Icing sugar
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • 1 orange
  • Gold edible glitter

Instructions

Preheat oven to 160ºC / Fan 150°C / Gas Mark 3

  1. Grease the Sauteuse with a small piece of butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. In a large glass bowl place the fruit, pineapple, cherries, butter, soft brown sugar and mixed spice. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix well and add the remaining ingredients. Mix again.
  4. Place the mixture in the lined Sauteuse and spread evenly inside the pan.
  5. Arrange the blanched almonds and glace cherries on the top.
  6. Bake just below the centre of the pre-heated oven for 3½ to 4 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.

Spiced Snowflake Biscuits

Preheat the oven to 200⁰C / Fan 180⁰C / Gas Mark 6

  1. Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, mixed spice and salt until light and fluffy.
  2. Using your fingertips, rub in the flour to make a sandy-like, crumbly texture.
  3. Add a dash of milk (no more than a tablespoon at a time) and bring the mixture together using a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.
  4. Knead the dough just a couple of times before turning out onto a well-floured surface.
  5. Roll out the dough to approximately the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out cookies of varying sizes and place on a lined or non-stick baking tray using a palette knife – at least 4 of each sized cookie is a good start.
  6. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden – the cookies will firm up as they cool.

Decorating the Cake

  1. Sprinkle a selection of different sized snowflake biscuits with a little icing sugar. Position them in a wreath-like fashion around the edge of the cake, placing the larger ones down first and layering with the smaller sizes. To fix in place, put a little icing sugar loosened with a small amount of water onto the biscuit base. This is a great edible glue.
  2. Entwine approximately 4 sprigs of rosemary in with the biscuits.
  3. Slice the orange thinly and cut each slice into 2 to create semi-circles. Evenly distribute the pieces around the wreath before sprinkling everything with a little edible glitter.

What you’ll need…

Pear, Treacle and Ginger Sponge Pudding

Festive Bakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time :40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 350g golden syrup
  • 100ml stem ginger syrup
  • 150g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 3 balls of stem ginger, finely grated or chopped
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 firm Conference pears, peeled

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190⁰C/Fan 170⁰C/Gas Mark 5

  1. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the butter, golden syrup and stem ginger syrup. Pour the melted syrup over the breadcrumbs, stir to combine and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly grease the square roaster with a little butter before spooning in the syrup and breadcrumbs. Set aside whilst you make the sponge.
  3. Cream together the butter, golden caster sugar and grated ginger until light and fluffy. Sieve together the flour and baking powder.
  4. Crack in one egg at a time to the butter mixture along with a tablespoon of flour and mix until well combined. Repeat with all the eggs before carefully folding in the remaining flour and the milk to keep the mixture airy.
  5. Gently spoon the batter over the syrup and breadcrumbs being careful not to disturb the breadcrumb layer too much. Take the pears and slice lengthways approximately 1cm thick. Gently lay the pear slices on top of the batter being careful not to submerge them too much. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden and cooked through. If the cake is browning too quickly, simply cover with a little foil and continue baking until cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to sit for 5 minutes then sprinkle with a little icing sugar before serving with custard, cream or ice cream.

What you’ll need…

Chocolate and Cherry Sponge

Festive Bakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 260g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tin cherry pie filling
  • 180g soft brown sugar
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/ Gas Mark 5
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa. In a separate jug gently whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla and eggs.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold in all the ingredients until well combined and a thick, chocolatey batter is created.
  4. In a Stoneware 24 cm Round Dish pour in the cherry pie filling and carefully spoon the chocolate mixture on top trying to keep separate layers. Smooth the batter to the edge of the dish with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.
  5. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a large jug and stir to combine. Place the chocolate sponge dish on the wire rack of the oven and carefully pour over the sauce mixture. At this stage it will look very runny, but this will thicken during cooking. Bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Once the sponge starts to slightly crack on the top and springs back when lightly touched remove from the oven and leave to set for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve with lightly whipped cream, fresh cherries and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

What you’ll need…

Salted Chocolate Custard Star

Festive Bakes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g packet puff pastry
  • 75g GU salted chocolate spread
  • 50ml ready made tub custard
  • 1 egg, to glaze

Method

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/ Fan 180˚C/ Gas Mark 5

  1. Dive the pastry into 3 and roll into 3 x 26 cm circles.
  2. Place one piece of pastry on a piece of parchment paper and spread half of the chocolate spread and then half of the custard thinly over the top.
  3. Place a second disc of pastry on top of the custard and repeat stage 2 and 3.
  4. Place a 5 cm jar or tumbler in the centre of the pastry to make an indent.
  5. Leaving the centre 5 cm circle intact cut the disc into 8 even pieces, all the way around.
  6. Taking hold of 2 of the cut pieces twist them twice anti-clockwise and nip them together.
  7. Repeat stage 6 until all the segments have been twisted.
  8. Brush with egg and then lift into the frying pan.
  9. Place into the hot oven to bake for 30 minutes until a deep golden colour.
  10. Remove from the pan once cooked and dust with icing sugar.
  11. Serve warm or cold.

What you’ll need…

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Written by Emma Bowkett

Recipes by Le Creuset


Images courtesy of Le Creuset



Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Writer and expert


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