Snowflake gingerbread Christmas cake

So here we are; it’s nearly Christmas.  I hope by now you’re through the frenzy of last-minute shopping and work and the hustle and bustle of prep and are ready to unwind and relax.  I’ve been baking and preparing for Christmas Eve; we have a huge, overflowing houseful of family arriving tomorrow and I can’t wait.  Two quick things to share before they do, both of which you just have time to try if you want to…

My alternative Christmas cake is not the heavy, fruit-laden traditional cake (though I love that too), but instead a Victoria sponge, constructed in two tiers and frosted with buttercream.  What makes it a little special are the gingerbread snowflake flurries adorning it, pressed lightly into the buttercream once assembled.  The stars are made with a basic gingerbread recipe and multiple cookie cutters; I then used my best steady-hand technique to pipe them with icing and add tiny gold and copper balls as accents!

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As Christmas Eve approaches I’ve been preparing the annual telegram from Santa Claus (Harry is still a fervent Believer; or at least is canny enough not to be an overt cynic, lest this result in an empty stocking…), and Harry’s been making a wreath for the reindeer.  For his stocking on Christmas morning, I’ve given Santa a hand and wrapped a few carefully-chosen gifts; this year I am continuing our eco-conscious theme and have wrapped them in pieces of linen cut from an old, holey tablecloth – it was lovely to be able to repurpose it, and with a few tags and some leather cording to tie, they look pretty authentically North Pole-originated!

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They include a horn capable of summoning huskies, a notebook for capturing magical thoughts, pillow spray for sweet dreams and two eternal favourites and traditions; a box of Lego and a pair of animals for the ark.

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And with that, we’re almost ready!

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I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, exciting new decade! Thanks so much for reading and for all of your comments through this year; it’s been wonderful.

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