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Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

  1. Week 46: No-Bake Fruitcake

    December 27, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro

    finished fruit cake

    A few weeks ago I was reading 38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier over at BuzzFeed. The post contains a lot of great ideas. I particularly liked #27: The five-ingredient no-bake fruitcake, which linked over to the recipe at Mr. Food. Many fruitcake recipes I looked at involved soaking candied fruits in liquor for days, months even! Others yielded large cakes containing lots of expensive ingredients. I couldn’t be bothered, but I did want to try some form of a fruitcake so a 5-ingriedent no-bake version seemed right up my ally. (more…)

  2. Week 45: Gingerbread Cake

    December 20, 2012 by Nina Spezzaferro


    Calling this a “cake” is a bit misleading. It wasn’t a cakey cake. It was more like a bread, but not a savory bread. It had the faint sweetness you find in a muffin. Does that make sense? (more…)

  3. Merry Christmas!!

    December 24, 2011 by Nina Spezzaferro

    Merry Christmas to you! Love, Nina


  4. Cooking With Dog Christmas Cake

    December 21, 2011 by Nina Spezzaferro

    Are you familiar with Cooking With Dog? You should be. It’s a Japanese cooking series on YouTube. I particularly love the “It’s not what you think…” tagline. Just because they’re Japanese, it doesn’t mean they’re using dog meat in their food. Oh, no. Dog is the co-host! Duhh!

    I particularly love the below episode in which we learn how to make a Christmas cake, which is really just a strawberry shortcake. But, it’s Christmas-y because it is decorated with powdered sugar on top of the strawberries to resemble snow.

  5. Bûche de Noël Gone Wrong

    December 13, 2011 by Nina Spezzaferro

    Two years ago I tried to make a Bûche de Noël and this is what happened. Isn’t this a sad, sad photo?

    For those that don’t know, Bûche de Noël is a traditional French Christmas cake that resembles a yule log. They’re made out of a thin sheet cake rolled with frosting and decorated to look like rustic wood. I’ve recently seen cake pans shaped like yule logs so bakers can make a shortcut version of this traditional dessert. And to anyone that’s used one, consider yourself a cheater.

    The allure of the Bûche de Noël started when I was 11 or 12. My dad was a partner at a store in a very chic neighborhood in Brooklyn. I worked weekends as a gift wrapper. One weekend the French bakery next door sent over a Bûche de Noël as a neighborly holiday gesture. It tasted… amazing.

    The following year I asked my dad if he could pick up a Bûche for Christmas and he returned home empty-handed because they were going for $40, which was a lot to pay for a cake in the ’90s (in my opinion and clearly Dad’s too).

    This is what a well-executed Bûche de Noël looks like. Photograph of a Bûche de Noël, by Andrew Pendleton

    So I haven’t had a mere bite of Bûche de Noël since. Two years ago I attempted to make my own. I thought it would be easy and I was smart enough to do a trial run the weekend before Christmas. I even watched instructional YouTube videos. I baked the cake, made the buttercream, and even got the cake to successfully pop out of the jelly roll pan in one piece. Then I started to roll the cake and that’s when it started to crack and break and my dreams of baking a successful Bûche de Noël had crumbled.

    In just a few weeks, once 2012 is upon us, I’m going to start baking a cake a week. And hopefully by this time next year, I’ll be brave and skilled enough to attempt another Bûche de Noël.

    A version of this post originally appeared on my personal blog: