The first time I tasted this cake I was transported to a white Christmas in Europe, where the sweet spicy scents waft out of bakeries into the snow-laden streets. A balanced combination of tart cherries, crunchy amaretti and creamy white chocolate stud two layers of this warmly spiced cake. If that wasn’t enough, the cake is then finished with moreish cinnamon cream cheese icing which rounds everything off perfectly.
Amaretti cookies are traditional almond-flavoured Italian cookies and you can find them at specialty stores such as Farro Fresh and Sabato.


150g butter, softened 
150g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain all-purpose flour
70g ground almonds
30g desiccated coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger 
2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt 
½ cup unsweetened Greek yogurt 
¼ cup whole milk
100g white chocolate buttons
25g amaretti cookies, crushed
200g pitted fresh, jarred or frozen cherries


150g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
100g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon


Handful fresh or freeze-dried cherries 
Handful crushed amaretti cookies
Handful white chocolate buttons 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm tins with baking paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.
  3. In 2 parts, add in the flour, ground almonds, coconut, spices baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Next fold through the yogurt and milk, followed by the amaretti cookies and white chocolate, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Evenly divide the batter between the tins and spread out to the sides. Dot in the cherries and press down lightly.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  7. Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter by itself until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat on high until seriously light and fluffy. Gradually add the cream cheese, followed by the vanilla and cinnamon. The icing should be smooth, creamy and thick.
  8. Once the cakes are fully cool, ice one layer and then place the other on top. Finally, neatly ice the top of the cake and decorate as desired.
  9. Serve at room temperature.
  10. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.