Donna Hay's Christmas layer cake

Raspberries and pistachios make a festive colour combination, but you could use any berries or nuts.
Raspberries and pistachios make a festive colour combination, but you could use any berries or nuts. Photo: Con Poulos

This is a lighter take on a traditional Christmas cake, filled with velvety layers of raspberry creme fraiche.

Ingredients

400g creme fraiche

200ml thickened cream

1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

200g raspberries, torn in half, plus extra to serve

35g (¼ cup) pistachios, chopped

Pistachio and almond Christmas cake

200g (1¼ cups) blanched almonds

100g (¾ cup) pistachios

495g (2¼ cups) castor sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

325g unsalted butter, softened

8 eggs

500g (3⅓ cups) self-raising flour

180ml (¾ cup) milk

80ml (⅓ cup) sherry

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan-forced).

2. To make the cake, grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm round cake tins with non-stick baking paper. Place almonds and pistachios into a food processor and process until fine. Set aside.

3. Place castor sugar, vanilla and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add flour, milk, sherry and the almond and pistachio mix, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. Divide evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool cakes in their tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To assemble, whisk creme fraiche, cream and icing sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold through raspberries. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Place a layer of cake on a serving plate then top with a quarter of the cream mixture. Repeat, alternating cake and cream, finishing with a cream layer on top. Scatter with pistachios and extra raspberries to serve.

Tip: Make sure the cakes are cooled completely before cutting in half and assembling. The cake layers can be made a day in advance, just wrap tightly in cling film once cooled.

Also try: Donna Hay's Christmas popsicles or caramel pecan wreath.

This recipe features in our ultimate Christmas feast