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Christmas Cake

3.4/5 rating (160 votes)
  • Makes: 1 x 18 cm round or square cake
  • Prep Time: 35-40 mins
  • Ready in: 5 ½ hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Christmas Cake



Christmas or rich fruit cakes like these are relatively easy to make. The two main problems are, the shopping and the cooking.  I spend hours of time walking around the supermarket trying to get all the bits and pieces together, and the other is the cooking take it slowly, this cake takes at least 5 ½ hours.


  • For the cake
  • 150mls whisky or brandy
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • zest of one and juice of 1 large orange
  • 4 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 500g currants
  • 500g fat sultanas
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g chopped dates
  • 200g mixed peel
  • 500g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 500g soft brown sugar
  • 8 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 500g plain flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g nibbed or flaked almonds
  • 200g whole, natural glace cherries
  • For the top
  • 2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam, warmed
  • marzipan
  • royal icing

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  • First job is to place the booze, lemon and orange zests and juice, honey and treacle into a bowl and whisk together well.
  • Add the fruit and again really mix well, then cover and leave at room temp for 12 hours but best for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Wrap the tin in 2 layers of brown paper and tie with string, then line the 11" cake tin with at least two layers of greaseproof or silicone paper, leave at least 11/2" above the tin.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C, gas 2.
  • Place the butter, sugar, into a bowl and beat well until creamy, no need to go mad.
  • Add eggs together, slowly and gradually add slowly, then add the flour and mix well but do not overbeat.
  • Next, add the spices, nuts, cherries and all the fruit and juices, stir in well.
  • Carefully spoon into the tin and cover loosely with greaseproof paper and pop in the oven.
  • Remove the top paper at about the 4 ½ hour mark.
  • When cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes then turn out and leave to cool overnight.
  • Cover with marzipan at least 3/4" thick and ice with royal icing not sugar paste, at least three coats.

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