Christmas cake

    4 hours

    This cake is a rich, moist fruit cake, perfect at Christmas. Try icing with marzipan for a more festive touch. This recipe is started in late November so as to let it mellow before Christmas.

    249 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 450g (1 lb) glacé cherries
    • 225g (8 oz) candied mixed peel
    • 300g (11 oz) sultanas
    • 150g (5 oz) dried currants
    • 175g (6 oz) dates, pitted and chopped
    • 125g (4¼ oz) blanched almonds, chopped
    • 120ml (4 fl oz) brandy
    • 4 tablespoons plain flour
    • 250g (9 oz) plain flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 225g (8 oz) butter
    • 450g (1 lb) dark brown soft sugar
    • 6 eggs
    • 175ml (6 fl oz) black treacle
    • 175ml (6 fl oz) apple juice

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:3hr  ›  Extra time:30min  ›  Ready in:4hr 

    1. In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, sultanas, currants, dates and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 4 tablespoons flour.
    2. Preheat oven to 140 C / Gas mark 1. Grease a 20cm (8 in) round cake tin, line with baking parchment and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together 250g flour, bicarbonate of soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together black treacle and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn batter into prepared tin.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean. Remove from tin and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, then wrap loosely in greaseproof paper. Store in an airtight container.

    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
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    Reviews in English (111)


    Something else. After 2.5 weeks I took this cake out of the air tight container and unwraped it from the double layer of foil and layer of greaseproof and it smells gorgeous, no more treacle smell just a lovely traditional christmas cake smell, almost like christmas pudding!! I skewered 50 times and poured over a tbls of each whisky and brandy. Update: Very moist but may add double the mixed spice next year. NOTE: this is for a 20cm square cake, but if you use a round pan you must use a 23cm one!!  -  07 Aug 2008


    Used different ingredients. try swapping the black treacle for golden syrup, makes the cake lighter tasting.  -  26 Mar 2011


    Altered ingredient amounts. Im wondering if its ok to soak the fruit in the Brandy for a few days,I usually do this and it plumps up the fruit I love the look of this recipie,cant wait to try it!  -  08 Jun 2011