The Best Hazelnut & Fennel Christmas Cake Recipe

Sweeten the deal on the big day with this seriously delicious hazelnut and fennel cake with white chocolate icing recipe by Sarah J Thomas...

Christmas day dessert is often reserved for tradition, whether it’s trusty panettone or good old Christmas pudding. But combine some festive-inspired flavours, throw in a handful of palate-pleasing ingredients and you’ve got yourself a new family favourite for all to enjoy.

Light, fluffy and a real melt-in-the-mouth treat.



For the cake:

230g hazelnuts (ground to fine pieces)

170g self-raising flour

400g unsalted butter

400g caster sugar

8 large eggs

1 tablespoon fennel seeds (lightly crushed) 2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the icing:

300g unsalted butter

300g icing sugar

600g full fat cream cheese 1 tsp vanilla extract

150g white chocolate (melted)

For the decoration:

Teaspoon of fennel seeds




Line and grease three 8-inch spring form cake tins and preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan

Beat together your unsalted butter and sugar until light and fluffy

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until combined

Add flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts and fennel seeds and beat again until smooth

Spoon equal amounts into each cake tin and bake for 35 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).

Remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

To make the icing, beat the butter until soft and pale

Add in the melted chocolate and icing sugar and beat for several minutes until fully combined. Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and beat again for a couple of minutes until the icing is completely smooth

Once the cakes are completely smooth, pop your first layer of cake on to a cake board and cover the top with a third of the icing, this can either be piped or spread with a palette knife. Put the next layer on and repeat the process again

Once you have covered the very top with icing, scatter a teaspoon of fennel seeds over the top to decorate

Tuck in, enjoy and have a very merry Christmas!

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