About this recipe:This exquisite Christmas cake recipe has been in our family for years and is always a favourite on Christmas day. This cake is best made a month or two in advance and then stored in an airtight container and fed occasionally with brandy. This ensures that the flavours infuse well and the cake stays moist.
Makes: 1 deluxe Christmas cake
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
4 tablespoons candied mixed peel
675g mixed dried fruit
40g flaked almonds
50ml orange liqueur
140g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons treacle or golden syrup
170g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large pinch ground ginger
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:3hr › Ready in:3hr20min
In a bowl, combine the juices, zest, candied peel, dried fruit, almonds, half of the brandy and the liqueur and leave to soak overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 160 C / Gas 2/3. Grease an 18cm cake tin and line with a double layer of baking parchment.
In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Add the vanilla extract, treacle and the soaked fruit. Sift in the flour then add the spices. Mix well. Pour into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven. If serving the same day, allow to cool and serve. If making in advance, when the cake is still warm, prick with a skewer and add the remainder of the brandy. Allow to cool then wrap in fresh baking parchment. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.
If making the cake in advance, be sure to store it wrapped in baking parchment and in an airtight container. "Feed" it with brandy every two weeks by piercing the cake multiple times with a skewer then adding a little brandy.