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Rich Fruit Christmas Cake

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  • Makes: 1 x 20 cm round or square cake
  • Prep Time: 35-40 mins
  • Ready in: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Rich Fruit 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
  • 200g currants
  • 200g fat sultanas
  • 100g raisins
  • 80g mixed peel
  • 200g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 40g nibbed or flaked almonds
  • 80g whole, natural glace cherries
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 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 1½" 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 4½ 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 ¾" thick and ice with royal icing not sugar paste, at least three coats.

Phil's Tips

Place a tray of water inside the oven for the first hour of cooking then remove. It helps to keep the cake moist. 

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