Pure gold Christmas drip cake displayed on a cake stand

Pure gold Christmas drip cake

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling and 1 hr chilling

More effort

Serves 20

Indulge family and friends this Christmas with our spiced sponge and gingerbread showstopper. It's the ultimate cake for the festive season 

Nutrition and extra info

  • Sponges only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal655
  • fat32g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs85g
  • sugars70g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt1g
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  • 225ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 375g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 300ml buttermilk
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 5ml red food colouring gel, we used Dr Oetker (optional)

For the icing

  • 250g pack slightly salted butter, at room temperature



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 900g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g tub full-fat soft cheese
  • edible gold spray (optional)

For the chocolate drip

  • 200g white chocolate, chopped or grated
    White chocolate squares, stacked

    White chocolate

    why-t chok-lit

    To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

For the gingerbread star tree


  1. First, make the sponges. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of three 20cm cake tins with baking parchment – if your cake tins are quite shallow, line the sides to a depth of at least 5cm.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, mixed spice and salt in a bowl

  3. Whisk the buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and 75ml water with the eggs until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. Scoop about a third of the cake mixture into a tin. If using, mix the food colouring into the remaining batter and divide this between the other tins. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until the cakes have risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  4. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the parchment and cool. The sponges will keep, wrapped tightly in cling film, for three days, or wrap and freeze for up to two months.

  5. To make the icing, beat the butter with half the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and the cream cheese, and beat again until combined – don’t overmix or the icing may become runny.
  6. Next, assemble the cake. Put one of the red sponges on a cake stand or cake board, sticking it down with a small blob of icing. Sandwich with the gold sponge, being generous with the icing. Top with more icing and the final red sponge, flat-side up. When assembled, use a palette knife to cover the entire cake with a thin layer of the icing, filling any gaps between sponges, but don’t worry about completely covering the sponges at this stage. This is called a crumb coat and ensures that your final layer is crumb-free. Make space in the fridge and chill for 30 mins to allow the icing to firm up.
  7. Once the crumb coat is chilled, use the remaining icing to completely cover the cake. This is easiest if you pile the icing on top of the cake, then use a palette knife to ease it over the edge and down the sides. You can make it as smooth or as rough as you like. Chill for another 30 mins.
  8. Meanwhile, for the chocolate drip, melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of lightly simmering water or in the microwave in short bursts. Pour into a disposable piping bag and set aside to firm up a little – you want it to be pourable but not too runny.


  9. Remove the cake from the fridge. If you like, you can use an edible gold spray to cover the surface in a thin layer of shimmer. When the white chocolate is the correct consistency, snip off the end of the piping bag and pipe drizzles down the side of the cake. Fill in the top with the remaining chocolate. Top with our gingerbread star tree, or your choice of decorations.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
3rd Dec, 2018
Hi, I'm hoping to make this for Christmas day. Given I can't prepare on the day, can I prepare the day before and leave outside the fridge? I live in a decidedly hotter climate than the UK and I'm worried coz of the cream cheese frosting; however, putting in the fridge would mean the gingerbread would become mushy... Thanks in advance!
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. Ideally you can prepare to the end of step 7 and refrigerate. If you're really pressed for time, assemble the whole cake - except the gingerbread tree - and put it in the fridge. Keep the gingerbread in an airtight container. On the day, bring the cake back to room temperature, then add the gingerbread tree.
16th Dec, 2018
Thanks for replying! I think I'm going to opt for a swiss buttercream instead to be able to forgo the refrigeration. I will report back on the results!
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