Mulled Wine Inspired Christmas Martini

‘Tis the season for Christmas parties & a little festive tipple!

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

And in that field, things don’t get any better than a tangy Christmas Martini.

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

I first tried them at the Borough Kitchen Christmas press do, and they immediately became a seasonal staple.

They are a modern take on traditional mulled wine and a real Christmas cracker of a drinks recipe!

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Super easy, quick and completely delicious, I have it on good authority that Mr & Mrs Claus enjoy a few of these on the run up to Christmas eve.

Just make sure you drink them responsibly… ‘elf & safety first, promise?!

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky


More festive inspiration & recipes

The A to Z of Christmas in London

Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls

Christmas orange salad (VE)

DIY Christmas bingo cards

Mulled Wine Inspired Christmas Martini

Spiced chocolate truffles

The plan for this year’s festive recipes was to give old favourites a fresh twist.

But despite having won bit battles on the brussel sprouts, snacking nuts and dessert fronts, there are still some classics I’m reluctant to let go off.

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

Every year for as long as I can remember, my family’s Christmas feast has started with a plateful of oysters, continued with smoked salmon in one form or another, and finished with a cup of coffee and a couple of homemade chocolate truffles.

And if I’m not really big on the first one, the other two are absolute Christmas must-eat in my eyes.

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

So this year, much like last year, I will be making a few versions of my failproof recipe besides the obligatory cocoa- and coconut-coated ones.

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

Super easy to make, delicately spiced, and utterly irresistible, these cinnamon spiced chocolate truffles are sure to make an appearance!

What can I say, that’s just how I r-ho-ho-oll!

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

Spiced chocolate truffles (makes about 25)


  • 200g good quality baking chocolate (I usually go for Nestlé’s or Green & Black dark baking chocolate)
  • 100ml crème fraîche (about 3 big tbsp)
  • a little knob of butter (about 20g)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder (or any other powdered winter spice of your choice)

1. Chop the chocolate and tip into a large bowl. Place the bowl atop a pot of boiling water (double-boiler) and stir the chocolate until fully melted.

2. Take off the heat, then add in the butter, cream and half of the cinnamon. Mix well, then add the egg yolks and mix thoroughly.

3. Pour the chocolate batter into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2h.

4. Mix together the cocoa powder and the remaining cinnamon powder. Shape the truffles using your hands or a spoon dipped in hot water, then roll each of them in the cocoa and cinnamon mix until evenly coated.

Store the chocolate truffles in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

What are your Christmas food essentials? Anything you simply can’t do without?

Spiced chocolate truffles

Christmas Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberries

Roasts with rivers of gravy, creamy cheese, followed by a big batch of cakes and puddings… Christmas food is nothing if not indulgent.

But it absolutely doesn’t have to be like that all the way. As for most things in life, it’s all about balance.

Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + WhiskyChristmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + Whisky

A crunchy brussel sprout slaw with the turkey. Plenty of fresh and dried fruit on your cheese board. And a tiny slice of pudding with this little wonder of a Christmas orange salad on the side.

Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + Whisky Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + Whisky

Bursting with festive flavours, yet still zesty and fresh, it’s the perfect way to end your Christmas meal…

So squeeze your chance & make this Christmas meal your zestier yet!

Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries

Christmas Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberries (serves 4)


  • 6 oranges or 8 tangerines
  • 1 big handful fresh cranberries
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 green cardamom pods or 1 black cardamom pod, slightly crushed
  • 1 small handful raisins
  • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 300ml water

1. In a small saucepan, place the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, raisins and water. Bring to a small boil and simmer for 10 min. Add the sugar, reduce the heat and cook until it start thickening.

2. Add the cranberries into the syrup and cook until they just start to rumple. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

3. Using a knife, cut off the peel and white pith from the oranges. Cut them in thin slices and arrange on a serving dish.

4. Top with the spiced cranberries and raisins and drizzle with a bit of the spiced cooking syrup. Serve immediately.

Christmas Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberries

Cinnamon & Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

J-23 guys! 23 more days til the most wonderful time of the year and I cannot wait! And really, what better way to get in the festive mood than a plate of spicy, cinnamon-ey cookies?

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Nothing. My point exactly.

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

For me, that first bite of something sweet, crumbly and unmistakably cinnamon-ey is what marks the official start of the festive season.

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Most years, mince pies are the way this happens (and I absolutely love it that way!).

But this year was different. This year, that ‘first bite’ was one of these gorgeous, homemade Cinnamon & Ginger Curd Thumbprint Cookies.

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Flavoured with the warm aromas of cinnamon and ginger, they are the super Christmas-sy version of the already quite Christmas-sy jam thumbprint cookies.

They’re super easy to make (absolutely no need to be a smart cookie!) and with all these spices, they definitely make for the perfect seasons’ greetings!

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Cinnamon & Ginger Thumbprint Cookies (makes 30)

For the cookie dough:

  • 200g flour + some for dusting
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

To garnish: 

1. In a big bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until it becomes fluffy and doubles in volume.

2. Add in the flour and cinnamon and mix. You should get a crumbly texture, not dissimilar to that of crumble, only much finer.

3. Incorporate the butter and knead lightly until the dough comes together, adding more flour as you go if necessary.

4. Wrap the dough in greaseproof paper and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 min.

5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the dough out of the fridge and shape into balls the size of a large cherry.

6. Place the balls about 5cm apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1 cm deep.

7. Bake for 15 min.

8. Let the cookies cool entirely. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 tsp ginger curd, then dust the cookies with ground cinnamon.


Cinnamon & Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes

Shorter days, longer nights, chilly mornings & sweater weather… It looks like summer’s indeed over!

Which can only mean one thing: it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season! Excited much?

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + WhiskyPumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

I’m not a big coffee drinker (my stomach won’t let me) but Starbuck’s PSL goes far beyond being the hot drink of the season.

In my opinion, it’s also an excellent way to autum-up some of your favourite sweet treats.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

My favourite to date? These Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

I mean, pancakes and coffee and cinnamon all at once?

Fall brunch winner right there!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes (serves 2-3)


  • 120g wholemeal flour 
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 bag of dehydrated yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tall Pumpkin Spice Latte (cream and all…)
  • Coffee or maple syrup to serve

1. Mix all the ingredients together until you get a kind-of smooth batter. Let the batter stand for at least an hour or overnight.

2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat (add a bit of oil or butter if necessary), then add a laddle of batter into the pan. When the top of the pancake starts to bubble, turn it over and cook for about 10 more sec. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

3. Drizzle with syrup and serve immediately.


Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes

Winter Chai Rice Pudding

There’s nothing quite as depressing as how shorter days get this time of the year.

So I try to cheer myself up the best way I know how: with gallons of pumpkin soup and a generous sprinkle of winter spices in everything else I cook.

And rice pudding is no exception!

Combining traditional Indian chai flavours with the warmth of traditional European winter-y spices, this super-comforting Winter Chai Rice Pudding is my new go-to dessert!

Winter Chai Rice Pudding | Cake + Whisky

Winter Chai Rice Pudding (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 1 small glass of Arborio rice, 2-3 pints of whole milk, 3 cs of runny honey, 1 vanilla pod, 3 slightly curshed cardamom seeds, 1 star anise, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan

2. Cook on low heat stirring regularly until the rice is no longer crunchy (about 30-35 min)

3. Serve warm or cold (and with some red berry coulis if you’re feeling so inclined)

What’s your favourite recipe to beat the winter blues? 

Winter Chai Rice Pudding

Plum crumble with hazelnuts

Alright. I had my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Which means it’s officially Autumn (yes, this IS the scientific way to date the beginning of Autumn, didn’t you know?) ??

Which of course means Autumn-ey cakes (because obviously). With a liberal sprinkle of cinnamon in all of them (re-obviously).

Plum & Hazelnut Crumble | Cake + Whisky


And my Sunday (Cake Day!) Plum crumble with hazelnuts was no exception!

Plum & Hazelnut Crumble | Cake + Whisky

Ingredients (serves 4): 400-450g red plums, 25g honey, 15mL lemon juice, 30g flour, 20g sugar, 10g butter, sprinkle of cinnamon, 40g hazelnuts

1. Put your hazelnuts in a mortar and crush them until you get small-ish pieces (it doesn’t have to be super fine as this is a rather rustic recipe)

2. Combine the flour, sugar and butter together in a bowl (you should get a rather fine, sand-like crumble dough). Mix in the cinnamon and the hazelnuts.

3. Cut your plums in 8 and put them in ramequins (or a bigger dish). Add the honey and lemon juice on top.

4. Top with the crumble and bake for about 30 min at 180°C.

Plum & Hazelnut Crumble | Cake + Whisky

I highly recommend you eat them still warm (and maybe with a cheeky scoop or two of vanilla ice cream?).

What’s your go-to Autumn recipe? 


Plum crumble with hazelnuts