Christmas Cake Recipe

A classic, rich, and festive Christmas cake packed with fruits, spices, and a touch of brandy. Perfect for the holiday season!

Ingredients

  • Dried Fruits:
  • 200g raisins
  • 200g sultanas
  • 100g currants
  • 100g chopped dried apricots
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100ml brandy (plus extra for feeding)
  • Cake:
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp black treacle (molasses)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Optional Decorations:
  • Marzipan
  • Royal icing
  • Glazed fruits and nuts

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Dried Fruits:
  • In a large bowl, mix the raisins, sultanas, currants, chopped apricots, mixed peel, and glacé cherries.
  • Add the orange and lemon zest.
  • Pour the brandy over the fruit mixture, stir well, cover, and leave to soak overnight.
  1. Prepare the Cake Tin:
  • Preheat the oven to 140°C (284°F) (fan oven) or 150°C (302°F) (conventional oven).
  • Grease and line a deep 20cm (8-inch) round cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Ensure the parchment extends about 5cm (2 inches) above the top of the tin.
  1. Make the Cake Batter:
  • In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in the black treacle.
  • Sift the plain flour, mixed spice, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and baking powder into the mixture. Add the ground almonds and fold everything together until well combined.
  • Add the soaked fruit mixture to the batter and fold in gently until evenly distributed.
  1. Bake the Cake:
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin, leveling the surface with the back of a spoon.
  • Wrap the outside of the tin with a double layer of brown paper or newspaper, tied with string. This helps to prevent the edges from overcooking.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 4-4.5 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after 2 hours and cover the top with a piece of baking parchment if it is browning too quickly.
  1. Cool and Store:
  • Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool completely in the tin.
  • When cool, remove from the tin, keeping the baking parchment on.
  • Pierce the cake all over with a skewer and spoon over a little extra brandy. Wrap the cake in a double layer of baking parchment and then a layer of foil. Store in an airtight container.
  • For a richer flavor, “feed” the cake by unwrapping it every week or so and drizzling with a bit more brandy, then rewrap it tightly.
  1. Decorate (Optional):
  • If desired, cover the cake with a layer of marzipan, followed by a layer of royal icing.
  • Decorate with glazed fruits and nuts for a festive touch.

Enjoy your traditional Christmas cake, a delicious centerpiece for your holiday celebrations!

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