Christmas cake. - Printable Version

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Christmas cake. - SandyC - 09-08-2012


450g currants

180g raisins

180g sultanas

75g finely chopped mixed peel

¼ cup brandy

225g butter, softened

225g soft brown sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

225g plain flour

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp grated nutmeg

½ tsp mixed spice

75g chopped, blanched almonds

1 tbsp treacle

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

35g whole blanched almonds, to decorate.


1. The day before baking, place dried fruit, mixed peel and brandy in large bowl. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap. Leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Line a 20cm round cake tin or 18cm square tin with brown paper and a lining of nonstick baking paper.

2. Next day, heat oven to 140°C (120°C fan bake). Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

3. Sift flour, salt and spices together and gently fold into beaten mixture. Fold in brandy-soaked fruit, chopped almonds, treacle and orange zest. Spoon the mixture into prepared cake tin, spreading it evenly and smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon.

4. Decorate surface with whole almonds. Bake for 3 to 3½ hours or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If necessary, cover loosely with foil part-way through cooking to prevent over-browning. Cool in cake tin for 1 hour, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Traditional Christmas fruit cakes are best made well in advance – at the end of october or beginning of November – so the flavours can mature.

"Feed" the cake with brandy about once a week by making holes all over the cake with a skewer, then spooning over brandy to soak through the holes and permeate the cake with flavour.

To store, wrap the cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper, then wrap it again in foil or place in an airtight cake tin. Don’t wrap in plastic wrap or the cake will sweat and deteriorate.

This can be made now and stored, it won't go off if kept properly.. IMHO it tends to taste a little better at christmas if made well ahead of time as long as you remember to add a little brandy to it every week or so.. very useful if you have a few to make for a bigger family..

Christmas cake. - SandyC - 09-08-2012



50o gms almond paste

500 gms soft white icing

apricot jam or sugar syrup


1/ Make your sugar syrup with 2 tablespoons white sugar and 2 tablespoons boling water. If you are using jam, add a little boiling water and stir until its smooth and can be brushed on to the cake. Put to one side to cool.

2/ Roll out the almond paste until it’s big enough to cover the cake. If you want to cover the sides as well as the top, it will look better if the icing is rolled out in one piece.

3/ Brush the area of the cake to be iced with jam or sugar syrup.

4/ Lift the sheet of almond paste carefully over the cake and lay it in place. You might find it helpful to fold the sheet over the rolling pin so it doesn’t break as you lift it.

5/ Spread the sheet over the cake using your fingers to smooth out any crinkles. Use a sharp knife to cut any excess from the base.

6/ Roll out the white icing and repeat the process with the sugar or jam syrup, spreading the sheet of icing over the cake and smoothing it out.

7/ Decorate using pre-made decorations to suit the occasion.