Our product development manager for cakes, Ciara Loker, writes about what makes our Christmas Cake so special...

BBC Good Food were looking for the number one cake to slice and serve in their Christmas Cake category – whether it was a fruitcake or non-traditional cake it needed to be iced or decorated and ready to present to guests. And our Extra Special Brandy-Soaked Iced Fruit Cake won first place!

The judges said: “Even though this cake has a retro square design, its copper colours are very on trend. It has a balanced alcoholic punchiness, and the cake has a good texture.”

I was so happy when I found out we’d won because we’ve worked so hard on the recipe and made quite a few improvements since last year. Everyone who’s tasted it has said it’s delicious, so I'm really pleased that it’s won and been noticed.

In last year's cake, the fruit was soaked in brandy; this year we've done the same but also infused the cake post-bake with French Cognac to bring out more of the alcohol. We’ve also added more fruit and nuts and developed the cake so it’s more moist as it develops over time – based on what customers told us they wanted.

The new design follows the gold and rose gold trend that’s been really popular this year, and one we've covered in our George Home range and other bakery products. We went for the Christmas wreath design to keep it traditional but then incorporated the new gold trend to give it a modern twist.

The 1.3kg square cake is matured over three months, so it develops over time and makes our Christmas cake really moist and nice to eat. It serves 20 for just £13 – it's the best value cake out there.

I'll definitely be taking it home to my family this Christmas. The cake tastes amazing by itself, but it's also really nice with our Extra Special Clementine & Dark Chocolate cream so I'll make sure I get some of that too ... and some cheese for my dad!

We’ve also got this exact same recipe in our iced bar cake – which is like a slab and better for when there’s only a couple of people – or we've got a smaller version of the cake which feeds 14 for £9. I also worked on the Free From version of the Christmas cake, which is part of the same range and has a similar design with some rose gold holly leaves and bow – but it's gluten, dairy and wheat free.