Don’t shoot the messenger but Christmas is coming and fast! If you want to enjoy a traditional Christmas Cake with your loved ones this year, you need to start the preparations soon! We are talking really soon, this weekend would be ideal!
The reason we need to make it so far in advance is because it needs time to sit, be fed with alcohol and mature. This cake is easy to make and just requires you to soak the fruit in brandy the night before and then mix and bake in the morning. By morning the raisins, currents and cranberries will have plumped up adding an extra tasty touch.
The cake does bake low and slow, 120°C for around 4-41/2 hours. So find some good movies, make some delicious hot chocolate and wait for your house to be filled with the smells of Christmas.
Nearer to Christmas I will do a post on icing and decorating the cake so keep an eye out for that! But until then just keep it fed, wrapped and stored in an airtight tin. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my family does!
Sorry the photo isn’t great, it’s hard to get a good photo when you need to keep the greaseproof on! Rest assured, better photos will come later!
🛒 Ingredients 🛒
▪️100g dried cranberries
▪️100g glacier cherries, halved
▪️675g mixed fruit and candied peel (I used currants, sultanas, raisins and finely chopped peel)
▪️6 tbsp brandy (can also use rum or whiskey)
▪️225g plain flour
▪️1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
▪️1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
▪️1/2 tsp mixed spice
▪️1/2 tsp ginger
▪️grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange
▪️225g softened butter
▪️225g dark muscovado sugar or dark brown soft sugar
▪️4 large eggs
▪️1 tbsp black treacle
▪️50g ground almonds
- Start the night before by adding the cranberries, cherries, mixed fruit and candied peel to a bowl alongside the brandy and stir to coat the fruit. Cover the bowl and leave to sit overnight to absorb all of the liquid.
- In the morning begin by pre heating the oven to 120°C and lining your 8 inch deep round tin. If you can try and double up the greaseproof so that it has two layers, this prevents the cake from getting too dark too quickly.
- In a bowl cream together the butter, sugar and black treacle. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well so they are fully incorporated.
- Fold in the flour, ground almonds and spices. Then fold in the grated zest of the lemon and orange.
- Add the soaked fruit to the cake mixture in batches and fold through. Keep going until all of the fruit is mixed in.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level off the surface. Place two greaseproof circles over the top of the cake mixture, this provides the top with extra protection.
- Bake in the oven for around 4-4 1/2 hours. The cake should feel firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin. If possible, remove from the tin with the greaseproof still intact. When storing leave the greaseproof on and wrap with an additional layer of tinfoil. This will keep the cake moist and prevent it from drying out.
- Every 2 weeks pour 1 1/2 tbsp brandy mover the top of your cake. Do this slowly and aim to cover the whole top of the cake, it will be more than you think! Leave it to soak in for 5-10 minutes before rewrapping and storing away for another two weeks.