Traditional Christmas Cake

Christmas would not be complete without a Christmas Cake. Fact.

Everyone’s Granny has their own recipe, yet more often than not people buy a shop bought cake. Even those members of my family who decorate their own cakes buy the fruitcake from a Supermarket first. Considering my Mum and Dad were famous for their Christmas Cakes before they had children, I couldn’t understand why everyone avoided making their own. If my parents could make one every year without fail…why couldn’t everyone else?

So, armed with a near-illegible copy of my parents old Christmas Cake recipe, this year I decided to make my own cake.

I was pleasantly surprised with just how easy it is. Though…the proof is in the pudding as they say. I must admit I was a bit nervous serving it to guests – after all when you’ve never made a Christmas Cake before and you don’t know what its consistency, colour, texture etc should be it’s hard to know if the recipe has gone to plan.

Fortunately for me it seems my first attempt was a success! (Though it was some what larger than anticipated and is now nicknamed the monster Christmas Cake.)

So, if I can do it, so can you! I urge all of you to make your own Christmas Cake this year! I have started my own tradition, so why not start your own too!!!

Here is my recipe, I am sure it will not fail you.

WARNING: This is highly boozy! (Though Delia assures me you can replace the brandy for orange juice for a more family friendly cake).

Christmas Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 300g Butter
  • 6 Eggs
  • 400g plain flour
  • 400g sultanas
  • 300g currants
  • 100g raisins
  • 150g mixed peel
  • 100g cherries
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • Tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp dark treacle
  • 2 Glasses of Brandy (+ extra for feeding)
  • To decorate
  • Marzipan
  • Royal Icing
  • Jam to glaze
  • Decorations

Instructions

  1. A day or two before you intend to make the cake, put all of the fruit into a bowl and pour over the brandy. Cover with Clingfilm and leave the fruit to rehydrate.
  2. The day you wish to bake your cake, begin by beating the butter and sugar until creamy. Slowly add the eggs to the mixture one at a time ensuring they are fully combined before adding the next one.
  3. Next, fold in the flour, chopped almonds, cinnamon and then fruit (with any juices left in the bowl) and treacle.
  4. Line a cake tin (roughly 9” x 3 ½”), pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 6hrs and 20 mins on Gas Mark 1.
  5. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.
  6. Over the next few days push a skewer into the cake and drizzle a tbsp of brandy over it each day.
  7. To decorate
  8. Mix a spoon of jam with boiling water and brush over the cake.
  9. Lay the marzipan over the cake and smooth down. Leave this to dry for a day.
  10. The next day, brush the marzipan with hot water.
  11. Lay the royal icing over the cake and smooth down.
  12. It is now ready to decorate as you wish!
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Once you’ve made this ENORMOUS cake of course you have to decorate it. It you are using the ready-roll marzipan and icing (which I admit I did) then you will have to roll it out thinner so that it covers the whole of the cake. You may also want to use a cake leveller, or just a very big sharp knife to give the cake a hair cut and ensure you have a flat top.

It is then up to you what style of Christmas Cake decoration you go for. Every year my boyfriend decorates his with a variety of plastic figures and handmade snowmen.

This is what my cake looked like last year:

As you can see I went for the novelty factor! Cutting the bricks out took forever, but I was happy with how it turned out!

This year my design was much simpler, but cutting out individual holly leaves was also quite taxing. (Note to self: I must invest in a holly cookie cutter!)

Overall, preparing the cake took me 5 days. Unfortunately for me I could only do it in the evenings, and with the length of cooking time it involved going to bed then waking up at 1am to take it out of the oven. Of course you can be much more sensible and plan a day in which to cook it!

Nonetheless, I will definitely be making my Christmas Cake from scratch again next year! But hopefully I will be able to allow myself a little longer to make it!

I’ve submitted this recipe as part of the Red and Green Event over at Simply Food. There’s still a few days to go so get involved!

Merry Christmas everyone!

@Verygoodrecipes.com: Christmas, Cake, Fruit Cake, Christmas Cake, Marzipan, Royal Icing

15 comments

  1. Looks yum! You should see my granny's recipe, you start making it in SEPTEMBER for Christmas haha I must root that out, I don't make it as I'm not a fan of dried fruit

  2. Glad you guys like it 🙂 You Gran's Christmas Cake sounds immense Sinead!!!!!!!! I imagine there must be a lot of brandy in that 😛 haha! I have to admit fruitcake is not my favourite, but once a year doesn't hurt 🙂

  3. I’ve already made 1 Christmas cake but its got no black treacle or brown sugar so I thought I’d look for a more traditional recipe and yours has ticked all the boxes…..thank you so much
    P.s. I’m using Disaronno instead of Brandy

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