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Christmas cake is a type of fruitcake served at Christmas time in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Philippines and many Commonwealth countries.
A Christmas cake may be light or dark, crumbly-moist to sticky-wet, spongy to heavy, leavened or unleavened, shaped round, square or oblong as whole cakes, fairy cakes, or petit fours, with marzipan, icing, glazing, dusting with icing sugar, or plain, etc.
A particular favorite of many is the traditional Scottish Christmas cake, the Whisky Dundee. As the name implies, the cake originated in Dundee and is made with Scotch whisky. It is a light and crumbly cake, and light on fruit and candied peel—only currants, raisins, sultanas and cherries. This Christmas cake is particularly good for people who don't like very rich and moist cakes. As with all fruitcakes, the almonds (or other nuts) can be omitted by people who don't like them or those with severe nut allergies.
At the other end of the Christmas cake continuum, the apple creme Christmas cake is a rich mix of finely sliced apples, raisins and other fruit, with eggs, cream cheese, and heavy whipping cream.
In the middle of the spectrum is the mincemeat Christmas cake, which is simply any traditional or vegetarian mincemeat mixed with flour, eggs, etc., to transform it into a cake batter; or it can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.
Coins were also occasionally added to Christmas Cakes as well as Christmas Puddings as good luck Touch Pieces. The usual choices were silver 3d piece, or sixpences, sometimes wrapped in grease proof paper packages.
In Northern England, Christmas cake, as with other types of fruit cake, is often eaten with cheese, such as Wensleydale.
The harder German-style Gingerbread is often used to build gingerbread houses similar to the "witch's house" encountered by Hansel and Gretel. These houses, covered with a variety of candies and icing, are popular Christmas decorations, often built by children with the help of their parents. This form of Gingerbread houses is also popular in Norway. For the last 19 years (2009) Bergen have tried to make the world largest gingerbread house city. It's free for every child under the age of 12 to make their own house with the help of their parents.
A significant form of popular art in Europe, major centers of gingerbread mould carvings included Lyon, Nürnberg, Pest,Prague, Pardubice, Pulsnitz, Ulm, and Toruń. Gingerbread moulds often displayed the "news", showing carved portraits of new kings, emperors, and queens, for example. Substantial mould collections are held at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń, Polandand the Bread Museum in Ulm, Germany.