Monday, 10 October 2011

The Classic Christmas Cake Recipe

It's that time of year again where leaves start to fall, the wind gets chillier and it's soon time to make the Christmas cake. Traditionally you are meant to bake it 8 weeks ahead of time...and I have to be honest, I hate fruit cake, with a passion. But my nan is coming for Christmas and she absolutely loves it, and I do love tradition so why not. They are some really quirky and fun ways to decorate them now too so I will at least have fun with that.

This recipe may not be as good as Nigella's but it's a classic in our family and as far as I know my mum has been baking from it for 38 years! So it's stood the test of time...and nan approved so you can't go wrong with that really. This recipe comes from  The Dairy Book Of Home Cookery, this book has been so used it's actually falling apart and used to belong to my nan before my mum got it so god knows how many times it's been sifted through. This is the book I go to when I want the good proper home cooking recipes that you don't need about 30 ingredients and 12 hours for, they're just great recipes that always work. I do have my own copy but it's more new looking and hasn't been covered in butter or milk yet so it still looks too pristine.

I will actually try some of the Christmas cake this year, even though I hate marzipan I will give it a go. To make it a bit more fun we baked it in a heart shaped tin to revamp it a bit.

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 level tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 level tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 level tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 level tsp cocoa powder
  • 175g butter
  • 175 soft brown sugar
  • 1 level tbsp black treacle
  • 1 level tsp each finely grated orange and lemon rind
  • 4 eggs
  • 550g mixed dried fruits (currant, sultanas and seedless raisins)
  • 100g chopped mixed peel
  • 50g shelled walnut halves or blanched almonds
  • 50g chopped dates
  • 50g chopped glace cherries
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  1. Prepare  20cm/8inch round of square tin (or heart!)
  2. Sift in flour with spice, cinnamon, grated nutmeg and cocoa
  3. Cream butter with sugar, treacle and lemon and orange rind
  4. Beat in whole eggs, one at a time, adding tablespoon of sifted dry ingredients with each
  5. Stir in currants, sultanas, raisins, chopped peel, nuts dates and cherries and also the brandy (some say to soak it overnight but it can be a bit overwhelming when all you do over Christmas is drinking anyway! But you can if you want)
  6. Fold in dry ingredients alternately with milk
  7. Transfer to prepared tin and smooth top with knife
  8. Bake in center of slow oven (150 degrees celcius / 300 degrees fahrenheit - Gas mark 2) for 4 - 4 1/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean
  9. Leave in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire wrack
  10. When completely cold, wrap in aluminium foil and store in airtight tin until needed
  11. Makes 20 - 30 portions
  12. Eat in 8 weeks! Nom!
Obviously we won't be decorating it until Christmas time, so stay tuned to see the final design. Pin It Now!


  1. I have books really similar to that which my Granny passed on to me. They're great fun to look through. I really like the idea of a heart shaped Christmas cake, makes a bit different to the run of the mill christmas cake.

  2. I'm not a fan of fruit cake either, so I'll make one small one for family and another for myself although others can share mine too. I'm trawling the recipe books at the moment for a cake that's christmassy enough without being all fruity. I love your heart shaped tin.

  3. I hate fruit cake too!! It's really nice that you are making this for your Nan. Really love your heart shaped tin.

  4. Making a perfect fruit cake can be quite a challenge. Yours looks very lovely in its heart shape.

  5. Oh dear... Xmas is 2 month away!... Better get inspired... thank you hehe! Looks delicious!.... x

  6. not sure about the looking delicious part...give me a good lemon drizzle any day! x

  7. Great minds think alike - I'm making my Christmas cake this weekend
    Yours has come out fab
    PS. I won't eat the stuff, I make it for others!

  8. This is making me excited about Christmas already! I must be one of the few people who absolutely love Christmas cake and marzipan so this looks delicious - love the heart shaped idea.

  9. Thanks fos sharing your Christmas cake recipe. My husband luv fruit cakes. I have been looking everywhre for a good traditional recipe. BTW your cake looks lovely especially in heart shaped :)

  10. heart shapes make everything better! :) Nom! x

  11. I just love cookery bookes that are falling apart - a really good sign!

    I'm in your camp on the issue of Christmas Cake, but make two every year for my husband (I also make 8 puddings for him too!!!!)

    Love the tin (and the cake)

  12. I have those cook books!! :D Your blog is also named my all time fav word! Nom is probably the best word ever and I use it several times a day as everything looks nom nom nom to me!!! :D

  13. It is the best word isn't it! I use Nom all of the time too :) x

  14. It really looks delicious. I am not good with baking but I will still try it!


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I love to hear your feedback! Nom! x

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