My Chocolate and Orange Fruitcake is a great alternative to the traditional Christmas fruitcake. Find out how to make it below.
I’ve been baking the family Christmas Cake now for the best part of 6 or 7 years. It’s a bit of a cliché, but when I moved out and headed off to uni my Mum sent me packing with her Christmas Cake recipe. It was now up to me to do the festive baking! Whilst I still bake the cake to her exact specifications every year (you can find that Traditional Christmas Cake recipe here) I will use any excuse to tweak it and have a play.
Something which always amazes me is the amount of people that say they don’t actually LIKE Christmas Cake… If people don’t actually like it why are we still baking and buying so many of them? It sounds like someone needs to come up with an alternative Christmas Cake recipe…
I was asked to bake for my office’s Christmas Fayre this year and knew straight off the bat that there was no point cooking a traditional cake when so many people weren’t actually a fan. Instead I tried to give the traditional recipe an upgrade with the popular flavour combination of chocolate and orange.
I’ve taken the dense heavy fruitcake, kept some of the fruit, added extra citrus zest, packed it full of chocolate and lightened it up with fresh and zingy orange juice. This old fashioned cake has had one hell of a makeover.
- 250g raisins
- 250g currants
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g glace cherries
- 75ml orange juice
- 200g butter
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 vanilla pod
- 200g self raising flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100g ground almonds
- Zest of an orange
- Soak the dried fruits in the orange juice for at least half an hour and if possible over night. Place these to one side while preparing the cake batter.
- Line a deep cake tin (either 20cm round or 18cm square) and pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2 or 140C.
- For the cake batter, begin by beating together the butter and sugar until it is creamy and fully combined.
- Begin adding the eggs (one at a time) and beat well in between each addition.
- Next, melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of hot water and fold into the butter, sugar and egg mix along with the seeds from the vanilla pod.
- Fold in the self raising flour, cocoa, almonds and orange zest until a thick batter forms.
- Add the fruits and orange juice to the bowl and mix thoroughly until the fruit goes all the way through the cake batter.
- Pour into the lined tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 and a half hours or until the sponge bounces back when prodded with a finger or a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool before decorating.
My Chocolate and Orange Christmas Fruitcake is also child friendly and perfect for any one who doesn’t drink alcohol as the brandy is swapped out for fresh orange juice. The cake is just as moist and rich but the orange works really well to sweeten up the dark chocolate.
You’ll see from the photos that I decided to cut this cake into small portions for the bake sale – square slices roughly 3 inches squared which would serve one greedy person or two. I decided to keep the sides of the cake naked so you could see the sweet, chocolatey sponge before topping it with marzipan and royal icing. This recipe works just as well as one large cake and should take pride of place on your table this Christmas.
So go on, admit it. Do you actually like Christmas Cake or have you been pretending all this time to? Let me know in the comments and I might treat you to this alternative Christmas Cake.