Classic Christmas cake
- December 2007
- Serves 16
- Takes 25 minutes to make, 4 hours to bake, plus 24 hours’ soaking, cooling and storing.
This classic Christmas cake recipe is a real showstopper and can be made weeks in advance. One for Stir-up Sunday?
We’ve given this cake a natural look with bay leaves round the edge, but you could give our special gingerbread house decoration a go.
- 16g (8.5g saturated)
- 57.7g (44.6g sugar)
- 700g mixed dried fruit
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g chopped mixed peel
- 6 tbsp brandy, plus extra for ‘feeding’
- 225g unsalted butter, softened, plus
- extra for greasing
- 225g soft dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 225g plain flour, sifted
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 50g unblanched almonds, chopped
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- In a bowl, stir together the dried fruit, peel and brandy. Cover and soak in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1.Grease and line a deep 20cm round or 18cm square cake tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, until fluffy. Mix in the eggs, adding a little of the flour to prevent curdling. Fold in the remaining flour, salt and spices, then gently mix in the brandy fruit mixture, almonds, treacle and zest.
- Spoon into the tin, make a slight dip in the centre. Bake on the bottom shelf for 4 hours, until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
- If storing, pierce the top a few times with a skewer and drizzle with a few teaspoons of brandy. Wrap in baking paper and foil. Put in an airtight container in a cool place.
Because the fruit is pre-soaked, this is ready to decorate once cooled. But to store it, follow step 5 and keep for up to 6 months.
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