Ultimate Classic Christmas Cake

Ultimate Classic Christmas Cake


19 people made this

About this recipe: I started making this Christmas cake when I was 20, and have made it every year since. I try to make it in November, so it has a minimum of one month to be fed with plenty of booze to make it super moist and delicious! The alcohol acts as a natural preservative too, allowing her to be enjoyed right into New Year's.


Serves: 24 

  • 340g unsalted butter
  • 340g soft brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 340g raisins
  • 340g sultanas
  • 450g currants
  • 150g almonds, whole or chopped
  • 170g mixed peel
  • 115g glace cherries
  • 340g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon treacle or golden syrup
  • 5 tablespoons brandy, cognac or rum - whatever you prefer, and plenty to feed the cake in the lead up to Christmas

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:3hr  ›  Ready in:3hr30min 

  1. Firstly prepare the tin. Using a 22-25cm tin, brush the sides with melted to butter to lightly grease. Line the sides of the tin with 2 layers of baking parchment that reaches 5cm above the edge. Line the base with 3 layers of baking parchment. Finally, wrap the outside of the tin with 3 layers of newspaper, reaching just above the baking parchment, securing with kitchen string. This cake will be in the oven for a long period of time, and this will prevent your cake from buring during its long, hot siesta.
  2. Turn on the oven to 160 C / Gas 3.
  3. In a very large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until you have a smooth, rich batter.
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix your dry ingredients (dried fruit, nuts, flour and spices) together well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, with lemon zest and juice, treacle and chosen alcohol. Combine thoroughly, adding more alcohol if required to gain a dropping consistancy.
  6. Fill tin with cake batter ensuring there are no air pockets and the top of the batter is flattened out.
  7. Place in the oven on a mid-low rack for 2 hours, then drop the temperature to 150 degrees C for another 1 to 1.5 hours. Check the cake regularly in the second run. If your oven runs quite hot, you may find it's ready in the first half hour at 150 degrees C. It's cooked when it has a lovely golden colour across the top of the cake and springs back when lightly touched in the centre.
  8. Cool cake in tin, and once cool splash extra alcohol across top of cake and leave until all absorbed. Remove and it's ready to eat!
  9. To store, wrap cake in 3 layers of baking parchment, and double layers of foil. I feed my cake once a week from here right through until Christmas, simply opening her up, and splashing 30mls or so across the cake at a time.
  10. We love having this cake with custard, vanilla double cream, or just on its own with a cup of tea.

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 (3)


Made this cake today, early I know, but wont be able to get around to it in November but I am sure it will keep till Christmas. It was a good recipe to follow and I really enjoyed making it. It was ready in about two and half hours and looks good. Wont know till Christmas if it tastes good though!! - 14 Oct 2012


I tried this recipe and it taste lovely will be using for many years - 26 Mar 2016


I made this cake for Xmas but we ended up having it early. I put marzipan on and royal icing, it's lovely so I'm making another today (it really will be kept for Xmas!) - 08 Nov 2014

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