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Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake

Teeming with dried fruits and perfumed with baker's choice of alcohol, this Christmas Cake is nom-nom-nom. You can make your cake early and feed it every two weeks with your choice of alcohol for an indulgent taste. Enjoy!


1kg mixed dried fruit
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
150ml brandy, sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
250g pack butter, softened
200g light soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g ground almond
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
100g flaked almonds
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Add to large pan mixed dried fruit, zest and juice of orange and lemon, brandy (or other alcohol), butter and brown sugar set over a medium heat.
  2. Bring to boil, then lower heat, simmer for 5 mins. Tip fruit mixture into large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
  3. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.
  5. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
  6. Remove cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  7. To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in foil or compostable cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it (optional).
  8. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing. If you don't quite feel up to fully icing, try a mixture of cacao powder and icing sugar dusted over top. Works a treat!

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