Best Christmas Cake

    4 hours 15 min

    This Christmas cake is lovely in texture and taste. It just has one difference - no chopped mixed peel.

    34 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 400g (14 oz) plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 350g (12 oz) butter
    • 350g (12 oz) caster sugar
    • 6 eggs
    • 700g (1 1/2 lb) sultanas
    • 575g (1 1/4 lb) dried currants
    • 200g (7 oz) glacĂ© cherries
    • 100g (4 oz) chopped almonds
    • 2 tablespoons brandy

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:4hr  ›  Ready in:4hr15min 

    1. Grease an 20cm (8 in) square baking dish and line it with baking parchment. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir with a whisk until blended. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is blended in. Stir in the dry ingredients just until moistened, then fold in the sultanas, currants, cherries and almonds.
    3. Spoon into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Make a slight impression in the centre with the back of a spoon so the cake will turn out level. Cover and leave in a cool place overnight.
    4. Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Place the baking dish on a baking tray.
    5. Bake for 4 hours in the preheated oven. When the cake is done, a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Cool in the dish for 1 hour, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the parchment. When completely cool, poke with a skewer every inch or so, and spoon brandy into the holes. Wrap in greaseproof paper and store in a cool place until serving.

    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!

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (3)


    Mmmmm, this is a delicious snack cake for the holiday season, but it also makes a great breakfast bread when company is over. However, I didn't choose to give this recipe a five star rating because of one small problem. In my opinion, this cake has an overload of spices. All of my family members commented on this being a rather strong cake. With mixed spice, cinnamon, and lemon zest, this cake is more than spicy. What I would recommend to others trying this recipe is to choose add the suggested amount of cinnamon and lemon zest, and leave out the mixed spice. With two spices, the mixed spice is fairly useless.  -  16 Aug 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was my first attempt ever at a fruitcake. I panicked after I got it in the pan and realized it had no leavening! However, none of the other "English" Christmas cakes have any leavening at all, but all the fruitcakes call for some. Anyway, it was fine. A nice dense texture. I'm not so crazy about raisins so I substituted chopped dried mango, craisins, and dates for about half the raisins, I sort of wish I'd soaked the fruit in a bit of brandy beforehand, but maybe not. Perhaps in jolly old England they have crazy big 8" square pans, but I had to put this guy in a 9"x13" pan. I baked for 3 hours and it was perhaps a little overdone, but a nice almost caramelized crust on top. The almonds are fabulous in this, I wish I'd added a few more; I used slivered almonds. The taste is very rich and buttery. The texture is a bit dry, but very good with coffee or tea.  -  02 Dec 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Absolutely wonderful recipe. I only made it yesterday without any waiting or soaking or even any brandy at all, so am sure with these it will be even better. Most English fruitcakes are too hard or dry, but this one came out perfectly. Thanks.  -  20 Jan 2014  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)