Christmas Fruit Cake


  • 500g Dried Mix Fruit
  • 50g Glace cherries (finely chopped)
  • 50g Mixed Candied peel (finely chopped)
  • 50g Almonds (chopped)
  • Grated zest of 1 Orange
  • Grated zest of 1 Lemon
  • 230g Soft Brown sugar
  • 225g Plain flour
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground mixed spice
  • 225g Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp Black treacle
  • 3tbsp Brandy

 Christmas Fruit Cake


  • You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. These quantities will make an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake. Mix 3 tablespoons of brandy with the dried fruit, glazed cherries and candied peel. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave overnight, or for 12 hours, for the fruit to plump up and absorb the alcohol.
  • Line the cake tin using a double strip of baking parchment, cut slightly longer than the circumference of the tin. Fold back 1 inch (2.5 cm) along its length and snip this at intervals, cutting at a slight angle to the fold.
  • Grease the tin then press the paper around the sides, it should sit comfortably around the sides of the tin. Finally, cut a double circle of paper using the tin as a template to fit the base and press into place.
  • Baking parchment paper is then tied around the outside of the tin, to protect the cake during the long, slow cooking.
  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 140°C.


  • Using the classic creaming method, cream together the soft butter and the sugar until light, pale and fluffy.
  • Lightly beat 4 large eggs and add this, a little at a time, to the creamed mixture. For beginners, the way to avoid this is to add the beaten eggs just a teaspoonful at a time, whisking preferably with a hand whisk. If it curdles, don’t worry: the cake won’t be as light, but it’s not a disaster.
  • When all the egg has been added, sift in the plain flour together with the nutmeg powder and ground mixed spice. Use gentle cutting and folding movements to incorporate this into the mixture to keep in as much air as possible.
  • Add the soaked fruits to the cake mixture, along with the chopped almonds, the grated zest of 1 orange and lemon and 1 tablespoon of black treacle. Fold these in carefully, using the same movements as before.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with the back of the spoon.
  • Finally, cover the top of the cake with a sheet of parchment paper with a 50 pence-sized hole in the centre. It is now ready for the oven – bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 2 ½ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, check after 2 hours and then every 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy after an hour.
  • Dust with confectioners’ sugar or decorate with sprinklers of your choice to serve.

Christmas Fruit Cake

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