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Twelve tastes of Christmas - Juliet's candy cane cake

Juliet Sear is continuing her festive food journey! This week she’s visiting the famous department store Fortnum and Mason in London to check out their Christmas offerings, before heading back to her kitchen to create her amazing candy cane cake.

Candy cane cake

Serves 8-12


For the sponge250g salted butter, softened350g light Muscovado sugar200g plain chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly5 medium free range eggs, beaten200g plain flour1-2 tsp peppermint extract to taste

For the frosting250g softened unsalted butter250g Trex 1kg sifted icing sugar2-3 tsp of peppermint extract, to tasteBright red food colouring gel


1. Add a band of sprinkles around the base using the flat of your hand to press against the cake and place any larger balls or rods up as you wish with your fingers taking care not to damage the icing. Add the candy canes and sweets to the top of the cake to create your candy cane forest. 

2. Chill for at least 30 minutes before adding the rest of the frosting and smooth as well as you can with a palette knife or cake smoother.

3. Invert the last sponge with the crust facing down and press onto the cake, cover the cake thinly with ice white to create a crumb coat.

4. Snip a hole in both piping bags and pipe a white ring around the edge of the cake. Now pipe a ring of red within the outer circle and continue in the same manner, it will look a bit like a bullseye with decreasing white and red rings. Top with a second cake, crust side up and repeat with the striped filling.

5. To assemble, secure a cake with the crust side up onto the 6” drum. Fix the 6” drum to a larger board so it's easy to work on the turntable with or move around and chill in the fridge.  

6. Split the frosting in half and add red food colouring to one half. Put both halves in separate piping bags. 

7. To decorate; Cream the butter, Trex and icing sugar in the standing mixer until very pale and fluffy, add in the peppermint bit by bit to taste. 

8. The cakes should be well risen, but still wobble a bit when shaken, and a cake skewer or sharp knife should come out a little paste-like with mixture clinging to it. The crust will sink back into the cake as it cools. Cool in the tin for about 10-15 mins then turn out onto a cooling rack, taking care as they are delicate. 

9. Fold in the plain flour until just incorporated then divide equally between three tins. Level off the mixture and bake for around 20-25 mins until just cooked.

10. Add the peppermint extract a little at a time and fully mix before taste testing. 

11. Add the beaten egg a little at a time on a slow setting until fully mixed in. Pour all the cooled chocolate into your mix, beating all the time.

12. Preheat the oven to 160, then in a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar slowly until combined and then fast until white/pale/fluffy. This can take a few minutes.

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