White Christmas Shard Cake

White Christmas Shard Cake

Some people choose to celebrate by popping bottles of champagne. I go for cake. I do need a special occasion to justify all the dense amounts of butter and sugar and this week, I have one… it’s nearly Christmas! And any Christmas celebration would not be complete without a decadent cake.

I look forward to Christmas each year, as it is the perfect excuse to put the cosy spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger – into everything I eat; spices that warm the body and nourish the soul. A few days ago however, it occurred to me that I had never made anything gingerbread flavoured before. 

White Christmas Shard CakeWhite Christmas Shard Cake

This was an incredibly abrupt realisation that took me off-guard for a slight moment. I’ve certainly had gingerbread before, in fact; gingerbread is a synonymous Christmas time flavour in my household… a treat that is always readily available.  So as a baker, who often makes the outlandish claim to have baked (almost) everything, why had I never made it?

The time had arrived to create a new flavour memory and tradition. As I frantically pulled out all the spices from my overstocked cupboard, the inspiration for this White Christmas Shard Cake struck.

White Christmas Shard Cake

This cake encompasses all that is wonderful about the festive season. It is an undertaking (that requires a lot of flour), but I dare say it is worth every ounce of effort. Four dense cake layers are flavoured by the warm and earthy spices of ginger. The gingerbread cake layers are then iced with a slightly tart cream cheese frosting that perfectly balances out the rich cake. Thick shards of a tempered pistachio and white chocolate bark surround the cake, which truly makes the cake a display of edible beauty.

White Christmas Shard CakeWhite Christmas Shard CakeWhite Christmas Shard Cake

This White Christmas Shard Cake is slightly Christmassy without being too in-your-face festive. The moist cake has a deeply spiced undertone that is fragrant with the distinctive taste of gingerbread. The addition of golden syrup in the batter lends a rich, dark and dense moistness to the cake which harmonizes all the heavy spices, creating a deliciously scented cake that represents all that is right about Christmas.

White Christmas Shard CakeWhite Christmas Shard CakeWhite Christmas Shard Cake

This cake is my welcome offering to the festive season, the strong gingerbread flavour will bring back many nostalgic and seasonal reminiscent memories. White Christmas Shard Cake is surprisingly as easy to prepare as it is to devour. However, cutting off a slice is another story…serve this cake alongside a milky, hot cup of spiced coffee or devour a slice surrounded underneath the golden twinkling lights of the Christmas tree – either way, I promise, you will enjoy it.

White Christmas Shard CakeWhite Christmas Shard Cake

White Christmas Shard Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 1 large cake
For the Gingerbread Spice Mix:
  • 2 tbsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp. all-spice
For the Gingerbread Cake:
  • 1080 grams (38.1 oz.) flour
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. of gingerbread spice mix
  • 8 large eggs
  • 400 g (14.11 oz.) brown sugar
  • 400 g (14.11 oz.) golden syrup
  • 500 g (17.64 oz. /4.41 sticks) butter
  • 400 ml (14.11 oz.) heavy cream
  • 600 ml (21.16 oz.) whole milk
For the White Chocolate Shards:
  • 400 g (14.11 oz.) white chocolate
  • 100 g (3.53 oz.) pistachios, chopped
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 600 g (21.16 oz. / 5.29 sticks) butter, softened
  • 800 g (28.22 oz.) icing sugar
  • 800 g (28.22 oz.) cream cheese, cold
For the Gingerbread Spice Mix:
  1. Mix spices well in a small bowl. Set aside for when required.
For the Gingerbread Cake:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease and line 2 x 20 cm (8 inch) cake tins and 2 x 18 cm (7 inch) cake tins. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and gingerbread spices. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the golden syrup and beat until smooth.
  4. Melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted take off the heat, then stir in cream and milk.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and butter mixture to the egg mixture in four alternating, separate additions.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 4 prepared cake tins. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a cake tested comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, level any domed tops.
For the White Chocolate Shards:
  1. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler.
  2. Once melted, pour onto sheets of baking paper. Spread out thinly with a spatula and sprinkle crushed pistachios over the chocolate. Whilst warm, score lines with a knife in the chocolate so that it is easier to snap when hardened.
  3. Leave the chocolate to set to room temperature, transfer to a fridge to further chill until assembly. Once chilled, break the chocolate into shards, the chocolate shards should be hardened, crisp and snappable.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter until pale. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
For Assembly:
  1. Put the first 20 cm (8 inch) cake layer on a cake stand or plate and spread a thin crumb coat layer of frosting on it with a spatula. Top and repeat the frosting process with the second 20 cm (8 inch) cake layer, third 18 cm (7 inch) cake layer and fourth final 18 cm (7 inch) cake layer – forming a staggered tier. Set the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden the crumb coat.
  2. Once crumb coat is set, spread a thick layer of frosting over the whole cake to finish. Add the chocolate shards to the cake starting at the top tiers, working your way down to the bottom.
  3. Set for 15 minutes in the fridge to harden before serving.
*Gingerbread Cake layers adapted from Call me Cupcake

 White Christmas Shard Cake


  • Reply David June 11, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I made this!!! Thank you so much. It turned out beautifully and tasted great. I won first prize in our local baking competition with it! If I were to do it again I’d temper the white chocolate, or make the shards thicker like yours – an hour or so at room temperature and the shards began to wilt a bit 🙂 I took a pic… http://imgur.com/kqldSai

    • Reply thalia June 11, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      thanks David! it looks fabulous! I would probably do the same. I made it back in the days when I didn’t think to temper chocolate – so I may give the recipe a re-visit Xx

  • Reply Hearty Thought August 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    WOW. Just WOW!
    It looks stunning and it’s original. It’s really not Christmas yet, but I’m keeping this in mind for next Christmas!

  • Reply Dika | Articook - love to cook February 8, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Thalia, you have about 18 “wow” words in the comments 🙂 that is also the first word that came to my mind when I saw this cake… WOW amazing cake, perfect and the decoration looks really natural. I love it!

  • Reply Jo February 8, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Such a cool cake – like something that came out from the Game of Thrones! I’m drooling.

  • Reply Susan January 13, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    The presentation of this cake is outstanding! Jaw-dropping piece of art!

  • Reply Janie January 7, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Oh my goodness, that is absolutely stunning! What a work of art 🙂
    Janie x

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  • Reply Evi @ greenevi January 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    OMG, this cake looks extremely gorgeous! Great job, Thalia!

  • Reply Jena Carlin December 28, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Beautiful Cake! Pinning Now – Making Later!

  • Reply Jenna December 28, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Gorgeous cake!

  • Reply Miranda @ Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt December 27, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Wow! This cake is beautiful! I love the white chocolate shards that you beautifully placed around the cake. I have to pin this gorgeous cake.

  • Reply Margaret@KitchenFrau December 26, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Thalia, I am constantly amazed by your creativity. This cake is stunning, it looks like a masterpiece, and by your recipe, I am sure it tastes like one, too. What a beautiful centerpiece it would make on a holiday table! Thank you for these amazing ideas, and Merry Christmas to you!

    • Reply thalia December 26, 2014 at 5:46 am

      Thanks Margaret, to you too! x

  • Reply Sarah @ SnixyKitchen December 24, 2014 at 10:58 am

    This cake and these photos are GORGEOUS, Thalia! I LOVE the shards on the side – I’ve never seen anything like it before. It looks almost crown-like. And the spots of pop on the white chocolate. I am so impressed! Pinned!

  • Reply Trang December 23, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Wow Thalia, this cake looks amazing! I’m speechless… so amazing…

  • Reply Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) December 22, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I’m such a fan of warm cozy spices too! I love to use them this time of year. This cake is sensational, seriously a show stopper!

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  • Reply Kelly - Life Made Sweeter December 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Wow! This is such a work of art! Stunning cake, Thalia!

  • Reply marla December 22, 2014 at 3:28 am

    Now this is a super creative cake!! Gorgeous!

  • Reply Briana Thomas December 20, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Wow. Just wow. My specialty is ice cream and it appears that yours is cake, so I think we have the world covered.

  • Reply Weekend Links and Inspiration December 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

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  • Reply Sara | belly rumbles December 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Stunning, absolutely stunning. What the perfect end to a Christmas meal.

  • Reply Aysegul - Ice December 20, 2014 at 11:46 am

    One word: WOW!

  • Reply Chineka @ Savor the baking December 20, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Wow! This is art in baking. 🙂

  • Reply Danielle | Krafted Koch December 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

    This is so beautiful and unique! What an amazingly delicious way to serve up dessert during the holidays!

  • Reply Kelley @ Chef Savvy December 19, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    What a perfect holiday cake for the season! Your pictures are beautiful!

  • Reply Sharon @ savormania December 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I also always celebrate with a cake — it’s so much sweeter and yummier than champagne! Your photography is amazing and this cake looks to die for.

  • Reply Sofia December 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Wow, this cake is gorgeous + love your photography. So great to discover your beautiful blog and looking forward to exploring.

  • Reply Melanie @ Carmel Moments December 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    That is an amazing cake Thalia! You’re so creative. Love it!

  • Reply Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom December 19, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Wow, this cake is stunning. . like a work of art! I absolutely love the white chocolate shards. . and this is your very first gingerbread cake you’ve made?! Well, you’ve set the bar really high for yourself. This one is a beauty. love it!

  • Reply Celeste @The Whole Serving December 19, 2014 at 5:10 am

    WOW, this cake is so beautiful, my mouth is watering.

  • Reply lindsay December 19, 2014 at 2:21 am

    ill come celebrate with you any day !! Your cake is too pretty to eat though

  • Reply Holly | Beyond Kimchee December 19, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Wow, this is impressive! I love the creativity putting this cake together. Perfect to gain all the attraction from the holiday dinner guests. You care so creative, Thalia!

  • Reply Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen December 19, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Thalia, your photos and beautiful creations are simply stunning. Just when I think I see my favorite one, you bring another fantastic creation to your table. I just want to come over and learn from you!!! Your food is so beautiful, I’d want to display it like artwork! xoxo

  • Reply Raymund December 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    You always post amazing stuff constantly, I wanna be your neighbor

  • Reply Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy December 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    This is gorgeous!! So creative 🙂

  • Reply Ohmydish.com December 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Amazing! Well done, we surely will copycat your recipe in the future, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice December 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Another gorgeous cake, Thalia! I absolutely love your creativity. Such a delicious cake and so impressive! Pinned!

  • Reply Tania @My Kitchen stories December 18, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Beautiful cake. I love gingerbread with a passion and you have made the ultimate cake. Just wow!

  • Reply Arman @ thebigmansworld December 18, 2014 at 8:29 am

    This…….I have no words. You are a talent. An absolute talent.

  • Reply Culinary Flavors December 18, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Very impressive cake! Unique in appearance and in taste!

  • Reply Samina | The Cupcake Confession December 18, 2014 at 6:24 am

    What a stunner of a cake!!!!!!!! Those shards take this cake to a whole new level of awesomeness and your photos!!!!!! OMG!!!!! I can’t stop staring at them!!!!! Such a beautiful post! <3

  • Reply Traci | Vanilla And Bean December 18, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Goodness, Thalia! What a stunning Christmas cake you’ve made. The flavors, textures, and the beautiful chards would make any gathering extra special. It is stunning!

  • Reply Abbe @ This is How I Cook December 18, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Now that is a showstopper! What a marvelous idea!

  • Reply Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) December 18, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Definitely ‘edible beauty’ Thalia:)

  • Reply Nora (A Clean Bake) December 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    This cake is truly stunning! At first I thought it would be really labor intensive and though it seems like it requires a bit of work – as all cakes do – it is much more manageable than I expected for such an elegant final product.

  • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet December 17, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Wow! This cake sure is beautiful for how dangerous it is. 😉

  • Reply Savita @ ChefDeHome December 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Thalia! what a beautiful and festive cake! great one girl! I specially like these Christmas shards!

  • Reply Summer B December 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    This cake looks like a winter time palatial dream. Your talent is unbelievable Thalia!

  • Reply Nora @ Savory Nothings December 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Thalia – you outdid yourself again! GORGEOUS cake and love the gingerbread flavors in there! Pinned!

  • Reply Maryanne @ the little epicurean December 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    WOW! That is one gorgeous cake! You’ve totally outdone yourself. I LOVE IT! 🙂

  • Reply Tammy December 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    What a stunning cake! This is absolutely magical looking. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for Christmas.

  • Reply Stacey@bake eat repeat December 17, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    What an impressive cake Thalia! That is such a neat idea putting the bark shards around the edges – and all the flavours! Love!

  • Reply marcie December 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    This gingerbread cake is a show stopper — it’s just gorgeous! I love how dramatic the shards make it look — like jagged icicles. Beautiful winter cake!

  • Reply Christina @ Bake with christina December 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I’d take a cake over champagne any day! Speaking of cake, your cake is gorgeous!! So artsy and creative! Pinned!

  • Reply Cheryl December 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I cannot even HANDLE this cake. It is painfully gorgeous! Painfully subtle in its festivity.. so elegant.. oh dear lord

  • Reply Sarah | Broma Bakery December 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Quite possibly the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen. Love the color palate, too!

  • Reply Jen @ Baked by an Introvert December 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Simply stunning, Thalia! As always. pinning!

  • Reply Tori@Gringalicious.com December 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Now that is one awesome cake! You blow my mind, Thalia! Pinned!

  • Reply Tina @ Just Putzing Around the Kitchen December 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    You are blowing me away with your cake decorating skills, woman! That cake looks both incredibly gorgeous (also, intimidating) and amazingly delicious 😀

  • Reply Fida December 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Wow!!! This cake is incredible, love it. It’s a piece of art really 🙂

  • Reply Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner December 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I’d rather cake over champagne too! This cake is beyond gorgeous!

  • Reply Teresa, foodonfifth December 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Absolutely stunning and gorgeous and everything the holidays should be about.

  • Reply Christine // my natural kitchen December 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    This is such a masterpiece! I can’t get over how gorgeous those shards of pistachio-studded white chocolate look, surrounding your cake. Amazing!

  • Reply Howie December 17, 2014 at 10:55 am

    This is not a food blog this is an art blog! Stunning!

  • Reply Nagi {REcipetin eats} December 17, 2014 at 9:34 am

    HOLY MOLY!! That is some serious ART you have going on there!! You are so incredibly talented it blows my mind. This belongs in a gallery!!

  • Reply Lucy Parissi December 17, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Wow Thalia this is stunning! I am baking a gingerbread cake as chance would have it. Not sure it will reach your heights literally or metaphorically. Beautiful x

  • Reply easyfoodsmith December 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

    The cake looks almost like a piece of art…gorgeous.

  • Reply Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong December 17, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Gorgeous cake Thalia!!
    White chocolate shards are just perfect… love everything about this cake… 🙂

  • Reply Claudia @Breakfast Drama Queen December 17, 2014 at 6:31 am

    This looks absolutely perfect! And I’m glad you were able to bake something gingerbread flavored before Christmas 🙂

  • Reply fanny December 17, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Great cake decoration there!

  • Reply Shinee December 17, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Wow, those shards are stunning!

  • Reply Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen December 17, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Now that is a showstopper!

  • Reply chrysta@noshed December 17, 2014 at 3:02 am

    wow…this is show stopping. Truly truly beautiful. Not only does it look absolutely delicious buts its an amazing piece of art as well. Gorgeous.

  • Reply Amy December 17, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Absolutely breathtaking! Pinned!

  • Reply The Blonde Chef December 17, 2014 at 2:16 am

    OMGSH Thalia!!! This cake took my breathe away! How did you ever get such a clean slice?!

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