RECIPE: Christmas Cake

Nothing really beats a homemade Christmas Cake. Here’s our tried and tested recipe which makes a beautifully rich fruit cake, that improves after the first weeks of making it. Set aside some time as soon as you can to make it ideally a couple of weeks before Christmas Day.



  • 450g/1 lb butter
  • 450g/1lb brown sugar
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 large wine glass of brandy or rum plus
  • 2 large glasses of brandy or rum to soak fruit
  • 450g/1 lb currants
  • 675g/1½ lbs sultanas
  • 225g/½ lb candied peel
  • 225g/½lb glace cherries
  • grated rind of one orange
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • juice of one orange and one lemon
  • 225g/½ lb ground almonds
  • 450g/1 lb flour
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt



1. Cream together the butter and the sugar and add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg.
2. Add the grated orange and lemon rinds, orange and lemon juice and brandy and beat well. Do not worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage.
3. Mix in the dried fruit.
4. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the mixture.
5. Pour into greased and very well papered 8″ baking tins.
6. If you wish to decorate the cake with nuts and glace fruit do so at this stage by simply arranging walnuts, almonds, glace cherries and angelica over the top in an attractive
pattern. Then proceed to bake as usual.
7. Bake in oven 275-300º F/130-150º for 3-4 hours until a skewer inserted in cake comes out clean.
8. When cool remove from the cake tins and pour a ½ glass of brandy over each cake.
9. Store in air tight containers and ‘feed’ with brandy from time to time to add a good, rich background flavour.
10. If you wish to glaze the cake then do so once the period of ‘feeding’ is over. Make a good glaze by ‘melting down’ slowly about ¼ bottle of smooth apricot jam with a tablespoon or two
of water. Simply place the jam and water in a saucepan over a slow heat and stir until the jam becomes syrupy. Then using a brush, paint the glaze generously over the top of the
11. This fruit cake keeps beautifully and the flavour improves over the first few weeks of keeping.

Why not try our recipe for mincemeat for mince pies if you are looking for other home made goodies for Christmas.