Let The Baking Begin... Shenee Palmer


Let The Baking Begin... Shenee Palmer

Thursday Food Christmas Countdown Part 2

Thursday, December 24, 2020

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Shenee Palmer has been baking from the age of 13. She was introduced to the mixing bowl by her late mom and her aunt. “I baked my first Christmas cake in my teen years with my mom,” she tells Thursday Food. “It was always a chore, too, because she was very methodical and things had to be perfect for her. So, I always had to stick to her instructions to the tee,” Palmer recalls.

Her most challenging aspect of baking is probably ensuring that all the ingredients which are supposed to be included are in fact included and not overlooked. “I remember one instance where I forgot to add leavening agent to a cake, and it was rather disastrous when I pulled a 'bread' from the oven instead of a cake!” she shares, covering her face in dismay. The mistake was never repeated and her cakes today are special because they are baked with love, care, and passion. That is so because, growing up and baking with my mom and aunt, they would usually bake Christmas cakes with the intention of giving them to the neighbours and the church community for the holidays.

Her must-have ingredient is white rum, and that is so because I believe it adds spirit to the end product, my Christmas cake seems to come to life with it.

Christmas Cake


2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups brown sugar

6 medium eggs

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp lime rind

1 tsp almond essence

2 tsp mixed spice (powder)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp browning

A pinch of ginger powder

4 cups soaked and blended fruits (prunes, raisins, candied fruits, fruit wine, white rum)


Cream unsalted butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a hand or stand mixer.

Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and almond essence, lime juice and lime rind.

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice, salt and ginger.

Fold the flour mixture into the creamed mixture alternately.

Add browning and blended, soaked mixed fruit, mix until completely combined.

Scrape batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch baking tin.

Bake for 1 hour at 180C/350F or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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