Oh Christmas Cake, Oh Christmas Cake……

…..why do you take so long to bake?????

Well, the ‘gluten free’ experiment didn’t last very long as it appears that it’s something that’s is regularly tested for at my daughter’s diabetes clinic, so we’re back to her still feeling terrible, and us waiting for a referral to a gastro-enterologist. Oh, hum.

Good news is that I can get on with making my Christmas cake, mince pies etcetera etcetera. I’ve tweaked and twiddled a fair few recipes in my time and think this version might be a winner. It’s currently sitting, wrapped in double layers of greaseproof paper and tinfoil, waiting to be marzipaned and iced. Now all I have to do is see how I want it to look. Traditional or modern? Decisions, decisions………..

A small note on dried fruit – I find this time of year to be an excellent excuse to clear out all those half empty bags lying around, spilling their contents at the backs of cupboards. So when I say ‘dried fruit’, as long as the larger pieces are chopped up (for example apricots or pears etc) as long as it comes to the required weight then it’s perfectly acceptable. Better, in fact.

Christmas Cake

  1. 750g of dried fruit. See note above.
  2. 75g glace cherries. It’s rare you can get the multi-coloured ones now (at least since the much lamented – at least in this house – shop ‘Julian Greaves’ closed), but I think they look more seasonal, so if you’re lucky enough to find them then I wish you well.
  3. 110g nuts. Pecans OR Walnuts OR Hazelnuts etc. Again, whatever you need to clear out.
  4. 300ml Brandy. Or Whisky. Or Rum…………you’re getting the idea now, aren’t you?
  5. 225g butter
  6. 140 dark brown sugar. It’s not a disaster if you’ve only got regular granulated, the only one I wouldn’t really use would be Demarara.
  7. 2tsp lemon zest
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 2 tbsp black treacle
  10. 225g plain flour
  11. 110g ground almonds
  12. 1tsp cinnamon
  13. 0.5tsp fresh nutmeg
  14. 0.5 ground ginger

23cm (9″) loose bottomed round cake tin, greased and double lined.

Preheat your oven to 150˚C/Gas Mark 2

Start off by piling your dried fruit into a saucepan (okay, I went a bit wild and included the cherries and the nuts here – I have no idea why) along with the alcohol and bring to the boil, cover the pan and leave it aside while you make the rest of the cake.


Mix together the butter and sugar, and once it’s well amalgamated add the eggs, one at a time. If you’ve got a mixer – easy peasy. Got an electric whisk? Still easy enough. A wooden spoon? I take my hat off to you. Add in the rest of the ingredients one at a time and mix well after each addition


I’d call this an ‘action shot’ photo taken right in the middle of mixing.


Then add the soaked fruit and drink into the cake mixture and combine thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and put into the preheated oven.



Cook it for between 2 to 2 hours 30 minutes. If it’s getting too brown then place another piece of greaseproof paper over the top to protect it.


So it’s wrapped up, doesn’t really need to be ‘fed’ (300ml of booze already!!!!) but if you feel you must then who am I to stop you? I shall post again once it’s ready to be decorated.

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