CHOICE membership

Join the conversation

Ask a question. Share tips. Help others.

Make yourself heard

Join our forum and be part of Australia’s biggest consumer movement.

  • Post your questions and tips
  • Share your advice and help others
  • Drive positive change on key issues

Christmas Cake : Home made or store purchased?

With Christmas just around the corner I noticed that orders are being taken for Christmas Cakes at some bakeries .

Do you make your own or go for a store purchased offering .

I usually receive them in Christmas bundles from friends . Last year the one I received was from Aldis .

Was ok but not as good as my mother and grandmother’s use to be .


Mother now makes them from time to time using a handed down family recipe.

Edit: Prefer homemade ones to bought ones…find many bought ones have a similar backgound flavour which makes them taste like they are bought.

To me homemade ones seem to have a more depth in (complex) flavour, better texture, fresher cleaner taste and possibly a little love also mixed in.


The Dau-in-Law’s father is a Lion and gives her a Lion’s Christmas cake each year. They don’t like them and give it to us. We’re avoiding processed foods and there’s only two of us, so it waits until we can off load it to visitors. I disposed of last year’s at a function our club was catering for, which increased our profits fundraising towards a new mower. We will have another given to us in a couple of months. Lion’s traditional cake is good, moist, plenty of fruit. They also give us the individual Christmas Puddings out of the Crisco order. I must ask them what they actually like in purchased Christmas Cake, I only know what they don’t like.

My mother always made a Christmas pudding in the old copper. Kids were banned from entering the laundry while it was cooking. One year the smell was all pervasive and delectable. But on lifting the lid … the string had broken, the cloth opened up, and the copper was a sea of brown boiling water resembling a broth of fruit. We strained it and bodgied up a batter to hold it together and baked it in the oven. The result was no where near the promise of the copper’s aroma.
I also remember the sixpence and threepence and the jealousy on hearing the scrape of knife on metal in one of my brother’s slices.

Home made or Store purchased? Well, depends on how much time I have, I kind of think I’ld buy a small one as it is too much mucking around to bake something that small.


My maternal grandmother always made a cake and a pudding. As her dementia progressed, we got some interesting results. One was a cake contaminated with lubricant leaking from her old Mixmaster. That hit the bin quick smart.
Another was the pudding that she hung in the pantry, and doused with various spirits - basically anything and everything from the liquor cabinet. It did flame nicely when lit, although the flavour was unusual:sweat_smile:


Home made is the best, although we have had one or two OK store bought ones.

Every mum or gran seems to have their own variation on the final formula. All the better for the variety when visiting and sharing.

You can always taste the love in a home made Christmas cake. Hard to find in the sameness of mass production.


Home made is our very strong preference and are all are made with orange juice, rum, whiskey or brandy (spiced rum being our favourite). For those Lion’s ones (they start with good ingredients so can be enhanced) the secret my father passed to me was to fortnightly or monthly (depends on your preference) pour a shot (don’t be generous) of a good brandy over one you keep sealed in a container in the fridge for at least 6 months of this treatment. By the time it comes to eating it please be aware it will be very alcoholic. If you wish to somewhat reduce the alc content put the cake well wrapped in foil in a warm oven (preheated to 70 °C or so) for 30 - 40 mins then let cool before cutting. You could also use rum or whiskey depending on your taste.


Home made is definitely better than bought. My Mum used to make them for my brother and I each year, and they never lasted very long. Occasionally we’ve been given a Lions cake, but they aren’t as good. These days I bake our cakes at home, but don’t generally bother with xmas cakes- too much time and effort.


Nowadays it’s one bought from a cake
shop. Maybe one in Acland street StKilda.


Mums glace fruit ice-cream cake with whipped cream is a long time Christmas favourite … for me its what Christmas cake is about … not very traditional, but …

The last time I had a store purchased cake worth eating was from Rheinland Bakery in Adelaide - visiting a year ago and re-living the experience of the mid 1980’s when we went there frequently to purchase goodies for lunch (I worked nearby). - something about Germans and cakes :slight_smile: I have no connection with this establishment other than being a very happy customer for 30+ years but I will say Hartmut Feiter has a lot to answer for when it comes to delicious calorie delivery !!


Definitely home made!
(I’m not gonna say no to a shop bought cake - I’m not gonna say no to ANY cake, but home made Christmas cakes and puddings are the bomb, and absolutely worth the effort!!)


I generally buy a Lion’s cake but a couple of years ago, I bought one that was really dry when they are usually really good. Tossing up whether to try my own this year and if I do , it will be my grandmother’s recipe. The pudding is already made!


Definitely home made.


I bought one from Bakers Delight. Slices crumbled away as they were cut. never again!


I make a gluten-free whole nut and glace fruit cake based on the famous recipe of the now-defunct Ditters Fruit and Nut Company.


Home made is the ONLY way to go.
I make many cakes for family and friends each Xmas, all variations on a theme of fruit cakes (I have so many different recipes).
Bought ones, even from bakeries are never as good. I make large and small ones, depending on who they’re for, and if there are any left over (usually not) we love fruit cake so happily eat it until it’s gone. Good fruit cake keeps well anyway.
I’m about to start mine as the fruit needs to marinate in the alcohol mix for a couple of weeks.


Agree, and they’re usually not as difficult to make as people who don’t bake imagine.


You should Gordon; they’re not that difficult really. If you can bake a cake, you can bake a Xmas cake.


Home made is definitely best. The best store-bought I have ever had was a “Coles Finest” Christmas cake which they had for about 3 years… they’ve made it so fancy now it just does not look like the Christmas cakes of old. The one I bought was just like Mum’s. Havent been able to get it for 3-4 years (which is just as well, really, given the carb loading)


My wife is a great cook but even she admits she can’t beat the ALDI cakes for quality and also price. You have to be quick though because they get snatched up quickly.


Yes, that may be, however we still prefer homemade.