baking

Christmas Challah Recipe

Christmas Challah Recipe

The Christmas holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. And what better way to show your holiday spirit than by baking a delicious Challah bread?

Ingredients

• 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

• ¼ cup of granulated sugar

• ¾ cup of tepid water

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 3 eggs

• ½ tablespoon salt

• 3 ½ cups of bread flour

Directions

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the tepid water. Allow sitting for 10 minutes until frothy.

2. In Ventray Stand Mixer, mix together the oil, eggs, salt, and bread flour until just combined. 

3. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until a soft dough forms. 

4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.

5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hour or until it has doubled in size. 

6. Punch the dough down and divide it into three equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin strand. 

7. Braid the Challah strands together and make sure to pinch the ends of the braid together. Place on an oiled baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

8. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until the Challah has doubled in size. 

9. Preheat Ventray Oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly brush the top of the Challah with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or chocolate chips, if desired.

10. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the Challah sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. 

11. Allow cooling completely before serving. Enjoy! 

Your Must-Have Christmas Cake Recipe List

Your Must-Have Christmas Cake Recipe List

Looking for the best cake recipes to make your own Christmas cake this year? Nothing turns any occasion into a celebration like a cake, especially during the holidays. Cakes are not only for family consumption but also for relatives and friends. Whether you’re looking for a beautiful centerpiece for a holiday dinner or simply an easy addition to your Christmas party dessert table, we’ve compiled some cake recipes for everyone and we hope you’ll find something to love here at Ventray.

5 Best Christmas Cake Recipes to Make This Christmas

Baking our Christmas cakes will bring more joy to Christmas celebrations this year. Check out our best Christmas cake recipes and give them a try.

1. Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This Mary Berry-inspired Christmas cake is a classic and a hit and is the perfect festive treat. This super moist fruit cake recipe is full of fruit, almonds, brandy, and treacle. Remember to soak the dried fruit overnight to allow it to absorb the alcohol and plump up.

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2. Cranberry Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This Cranberry Christmas Cake is delicious and easy to make. The fresh cranberries in this recipe are bright and beautiful, providing the perfect balance of sweetness and light tartness. This cranberry Christmas cake is a wonderful way to enjoy fresh fruit. Try this incredibly easy Christmas cake recipe this year!

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3. Vegan Christmas Cake

About the cake-

Rich, moist, and dark vegan Christmas cake is a perfect Christmas cake idea for the holiday season. In this vegan fruit cake recipe, we substitute chia seeds for eggs and add coconut oil for a great background flavor and to keep the cake moist. Simple to make, no overnight soaking required.

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4. White Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This white Christmas cake is a stunning Christmas cake that will sparkle on your table. Your family and guests will be amazed by this vanilla almond cake with cream cheese icing. This lovely cake contains white chocolate, coconut, and pecans and it’s delicious.

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5. Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This gluten-free Christmas cake brimming with dried fruit, almonds, and glace cherries is the best homemade treat this Christmas season. It’s delicious as a traditional Christmas cake. Your Christmas menu needs this gluten free Christmas cake.

View Recipe

How Do You Keep a Christmas Cake Moist?

Depending on how long you plan to store your cake, follow these simple steps to keep your Christmas cake moist.
For short-term (1-4 weeks) storage – Just be sure to store the fruitcake in an airtight container between servings.
For medium-term (1-4 months) storage – Use plastic film to wrap the fruitcake before placing the cake in an airtight container. Then put that container in the refrigerator.
For long-term (more than 4 months) storage – Wrap your fruitcake with a layer of plastic wrap, then wrap it with a layer of foil. Make sure your fruitcake and foil don’t touch each other. Then place the wrapped cake in an airtight container and put that container in the refrigerator.

Is Brandy or Rum Better for Christmas Cake?

Traditionally, Christmas cakes have a strong, spicy, fruity flavor, so it’s best to choose liquor with high alcohol content, as these tend to have a longer shelf life, keeping Christmas cakes from spoiling. Brandy, rum, whisky, sherry, and fortified wines like Madeira or Port are all good options to feed your Christmas cake. However, feeding liquor is entirely a matter of personal preference, whichever you use, just make sure you complement the fruit cake’s rich flavors.

How Far in Advance Should You Make a Christmas Cake?

Christmas fruitcakes should be baked two to three months in advance depending on the recipe you use to allow enough time for maturing and regular feeding.

Here are some things you need to know when you make your first Christmas cake.

  • You’ll need to cool the cake in a cool place for up to 3 months before decorating.
  • Every few weeks, you’ll need to feed the cake alcohol.
  • Brand, rum, whisky, and sherry are the common choice to feed the Christmas cake.

How Long Should You Soak Fruit for a Christmas Cake?

You can let the fruit soak for 24-48 hours, weeks, or months, depending on the recipe you use before baking your cake.

How to soak the fruit for Christmas cake?

  • Buy different types of dried fruit and cut them into small pieces if desired.
  • Mix all the chopped dried fruit well in a bowl, then pour the fruit mixture into a glass jar.
  • Pour alcohol over it, just enough to soak the dried fruit. Cover with a lid and store at room temperature until further use.

What Are the Ingredients to Bake a Christmas Cake?

Ingredients for baking a classic Christmas cake typically include:
For the cake: Dried mixed fruit, glace cherries, brandy, orange (zest and juice), lemon (zest and juice), butter, dark brown sugar, black treacle, eggs, self-raising flour, ground almonds, whole almonds (or walnuts or pecans), and mixed spice.
For the Marzipan layer: Sieved apricot jam, ready-made marzipan, and icing sugar.
For the icing: Egg white, icing sugar, and lemon juice.

Final Thoughts

This holiday season, choose some recipes from these homemade Christmas cake ideas from Ventray and bake up a cake filled with the flavors that remind you of Christmas to kick off your celebration right.

Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Prep Time: 20 mins    Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins    Total: 2 hours 50 mins    Yield: 20

Ingredients

1 kg dried mixed peel and fruit
150 ml brandy, plus extra for feeding
2 oranges (zest and juice)
200 g dark brown sugar
200 g plain gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
50 g almond flour
50 g flaked almonds
50 g butter
1 tablespoon syrup
4 eggs

For decoration:
Walnuts
Blanched almonds
Glacé cherries
apricot jam

Directions

  1. Add the dried fruit and peel, brandy, and the peel and juice of two oranges to a bowl. Stir well and cover with a lid. Stirring occasionally, soak for up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat the Ventray Oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a deep tin with butter, line with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Secure with string.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, and syrup with the Ventray Stand Mixer until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk again.
  4. Add the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground almonds, and flaked almonds. Mix until the mixture is fully combined.
  5. Pour in the soaked fruit and mix until evenly distributed in the cake batter. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin and level the top. Bake for 2.5 hours.
  6. Place the cake (still in the tin) on a cooling rack. Pierce the top with a skewer in multiple places, and pour over a little brandy.

To store:

  1. Take the cake out of the tin without removing the baking paper. Wrap with baking paper, and foil.
  2. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months before decorating, occasionally opening the package and spooning in 1-2 tablespoons of brandy.
  3. Make sure not to feed the cake for at least 7 days before decorating.

To Decorate:

  1. Place the apricot jam in a bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds until warm.
  2.  Brush the entire cake with jam, then decorate with your choice of walnuts, almonds, cherries, or other fruit.
  3. Store the finished cake in an airtight container.

White Christmas Cake

White Christmas Cake

Prep: 35 mins    Cook: 25 mins    Yield: 16

Ingredients

4 oz chopped white candy coating
1 tbsp vanilla extracts
1 c softened butter
2 c sugar
2-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1 c sweetened shredded coconut
1 c chopped pecans
4 eggs, separated
1/2 c water
Frosting:
1/2 c softened butter
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz softened cream cheese
3-3/4 c confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Put egg whites in a bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, add candy coating and stir until combined. Let it cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the Ventray Oven to 350 degrees F. Line the baking pan with parchment and grease the paper.
  4. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg yolks, vanilla, and candy-coating mixture, and mix well.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add buttermilk, coconut, and pecans.
  6. Beat egg whites until peaks form. Then add it to the batter.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack.Remove parchment paper and cool completely.
    Frosting:
    1. Whisk cream cheese and butter until smooth.
    2. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla.
    3. Spread between the layers and the top and sides of the cake.

Vegan Christmas Cake

Vegan Christmas Cake

Prep: 30 mins    Cook: 2 hours 10 mins    Servings: 12-15

Ingredients

1kg mixed dried fruit
1 orange (juice and peel)
1 lemon (juice and peel)
4 tablespoons chia seeds
100 g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
100 g flaked almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175 g plain flour
150 ml rum, plus extra for pouring
250 g coconut oil
200 g brown sugar

Directions

  1. Place the dried fruit, peel and juice, rum, coconut oil, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the Ventray Oven to 300 degrees F. Line a deep tin with a double layer of baking paper, then wrap a double layer of newspaper on the outside and secure with string. Mix the chia seeds with water. Let it sit for 5 minutes until gelatinous and thick.
  3. Put the rest of the ingredients into the fruit mixture and stir in the chia seed mix, beat well. Pour into your prepared tin, level the top, and bake in the oven for 2 hours.
  4. Take the cake out of the oven and poke some holes in it with a skewer. Pour over a little rum. Let the cake cool completely in the tin.
  5. Tear off the baking paper, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tablespoons of rum every two weeks. Make sure not to feed the cake for at least 7 days before decorating.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Prep: 15 mins    Cook: 50 mins    Servings: 32

Ingredients

6 eggs
4 cups sugar
1.5 cups butter, softened
24 oz fresh cranberries
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar (garnish)

Directions

  1. Preheat Ventray Oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat the baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar with a Ventray Stand Mixer until smooth.
  4. Add the butter, almonds, and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and continue beating until smooth.
  5. Add the flour slowly, but until combined.
  6. Add the fresh cranberries, and stir the cranberries into the mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
  8. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
  9. Garnish with powdered sugar.
  10. Enjoy!

Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

Total: 4 hours 30 mins      Serves: 30

Ingredients

300 g glace cherries, quartered, rinsed, and drained
425 g currants
250 g raisins
75 g mixed candied peels, chopped
1 lemon grated zest
1 orange grated zest
150 g instant-dried apricots, cut into pieces
60g unbleached whole almonds, chopped
300 g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
4 tablespoons brandy, plus extra for feeding
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
300 g unsalted butter, softened
300 g black saffron sugar
5 eggs
1 tablespoon dark syrup

Directions

  1. Pull all the dried fruit and candied peel into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of brandy and mix well. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Preheat the Ventray Oven to 285°F. Put the rest of the ingredients except the almonds in a bowl and beat well with Ventray Stand Mixer. Stir in the soaked fruit and the nuts.
  3. Grease a deep tin with butter, line with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the top.
  4. Bake for 4 to 4.5 hours or until the cake is firm to the touch and is rich golden brown. Let the cake cool in the tin.
  5. Pierce the top with a skewer in multiple places, and pour over a little brandy.
  6. Take the cake out of the tin without removing the baking paper. Wrap with baking paper, and foil.
  7. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months to mature, occasionally opening the package and spooning in 1-2 tablespoons of brandy.
  8. Decorate the cake with frosted fruit, marzipan, or ready-made frosting.

Zucchini & Tomato Flatbreads

Zucchini Tomato Flatbreads

Zucchini & Tomato Flatbreads

Total Time: 25 minutes Prep Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 unit zucchini
1 clove garlic
4 ounce grape tomatoes
1 unit lemon
1 unit ricotta cheese (contains milk)
2 unit flatbreads (contains wheat)
1 unit green herb blend
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2.5 teaspoon olive oil
salt
pepper

Directions

  1. Place a lightly-oiled baking tray on the middle rack and preheat Ventray Oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Thinly slice zucchini into half-moons. Halve tomatoes. Peel and mince or grate garlic. Zest and quarter lemon.
  3. Heat an olive oil drizzled large pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and softened. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
  4. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, and garlic, then drizzle olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. In another small bowl, combine half the lemon zest, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 tsp olive oil, and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Place flatbreads on prepared tray; spread lemon ricotta evenly on the flatbread; top with zucchini and tomatoes, cut sides up.
  6. Bake on the middle rack until flatbreads are golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Roughly chop the parsley leaves. Mince chives. 
  7. Once flatbreads are done, top with chopped parsley, chives, remaining lemon zest, and chili flakes to taste. Drizzle with honey, then slice into pieces.

Strawberry Shortcake with Thyme and Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake with Thyme and Whipped Cream

This light and refreshing dessert is the perfect way to show your mom how much you care. The strawberries are a symbol of love, and the thyme adds a touch of elegance.

Ingredients

• 1-pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon freshly minced thyme

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

• 1 cup heavy cream, divided

• 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

• Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat Ventray Oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In the Ventray grill, combine strawberries, sugar, thyme, and lemon juice. Set aside.

3. In Ventray SM600 stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter pieces and rub them into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

4. Pour in 1/2 cup of cream and mix with a fork until dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut out circles and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. Gather dough scraps together and reroll. Cut out additional biscuits and place them on the baking sheet.

7. Brush the tops of the biscuits with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and jam. Enjoy!

Make This Recipe With

Coffee Cake Muffins

Coffee Cake Muffins

These muffins are the perfect combination of sweet and moist. The coffee cake topping is an added bonus that will make your mom feel extra special.

Ingredients

• 1 box of yellow cake mix

• 1 cup sour cream

• 2 eggs

• ½ cup vegetable oil

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Coffee Cake Topping:

• 1 cup brown sugar

• 1 tablespoon cinnamon

• 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

1. Preheat Ventray Oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. In the Ventray SM600 stand mixer, combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.

3. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. 

4. Fill muffin cups ¾ full with batter. Then, top with coffee cake topping. 

5. Bake for 18-22 minutes. 

6. Enjoy!