Winter spice cake

Make this rich buttery cake flavoured with star anise and white chocolate following Country Homes and Interiors' easy instructions

Winter spice cake

Country Homes & Interiors shows you how to make this delicious festive cake.

Makes one 20cm square cake

225g slightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
4 whole star anise 225g caster sugar
½tsp ground cinnamon
2tsps vanilla extract 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten 350g self-raising flour 150g white chocolate, chopped 4tbsps full-fat milk For the decoration Icing sugar and a doily

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin. Grease the paper. Break the star anise into pieces and, using a coffee or spice grinder, grind to a powder with 25g of the sugar. Tip into a bowl.

Step 2 Add the remaining sugar, cinnamon, butter and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Add the flour and stir in gently until almost combined, then add the chocolate and milk and stir again until just combined.

Step 3 Turn into the tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Step 4 To serve, dust with icing sugar using a doily as a stencil. (We adapted a doily by adding a cut-out star.)

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Recipe by Joanna Farrow

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