CHRISTMAS CAKE ORIGIN: Christmas cakes, originally known as "plumcakes", evolved in the 16th Century by replacing some Christmas pudding ingredients with butter, flour and eggs, and adding them to the fruit mixture along with Eastern spices representing the gifts brought to Bethlehem by the Three Wise Men.
The cakes were boiled in cloth or baked in ovens, and sometimes iced with marzipan when cool. Some Christmas cakes used fresh fruits, such as apples, along with the dried. Because it lasted so well, British people in Victorian times began sending boiled fruitcake as a Christmas gift by ship to their relatives in far away missions and colonies, including Australia.
Traditionally mixed and cooked well prior to Christmas Day, Christmas cake is now enjoyed all over the world throughout the entire festive season.