Extra time:1day soaking ›
- Soak dried fruit in 4 tablespoons brandy or rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. Butter a 15cm (6 in) round tin, and line with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with treacle and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped almonds. Scrape cake mixture into prepared tin.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brandy or rum.
- Cut out one piece of parchment and one piece muslin, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten muslin with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange muslin on top of parchment, and turn cake out onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the muslin closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with parchment. Place in an airtight tin, and age for 7 to 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum or brandy for every 10 weeks of storage.
And for the finishing touch...
For a traditional finish to your Christmas cake, use shop-bought marzipan or try this recipe. For a speedy finish, you can then top it with a variety of glace fruits, dried fruits and/or nuts, or use ready to roll icing. For a homemade touch, try this royal icing recipe.
Icing and decorating your cake
Look at our handy guide to Icing and decorating a Christmas cake to learn how to prepare your cake, ice it and decorate it!