Angela Nilsen's Christmas cake

Angela Nilsen's Christmas cake

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(21 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 45 mins - 50 mins Cook: 2 hrs - 2 hrs, 45 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Cuts into 16 slices

A long-life Christmas cake that's bursting with flavours of spices and vanilla

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Can be frozen, but no need to
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice

kcalories
427
protein
7g
carbs
53g
fat
22g
saturates
8g
fibre
2g
sugar
17g
salt
0.42g

Ingredients

  • 200g butter, softened to room temperature
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100ml sherry, sweet or dry, whatever you have in the cupboard
  • 85g candied peel, roughly chopped (we used Sundora)
  • 85g glacé cherries, roughly chopped
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g currants
  • 100g pack pecans nuts, broken into big pieces
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1½ tsp rosewater
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20 cm round, 7.5 cm deep cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for 1-2 mins until very creamy and pale in colour, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through. Stir in a spoonful of the flour, then stir in the beaten egg and the rest of the flour alternately, a quarter at a time, beating well each time with a wooden spoon. Stir in the almonds.
  2. Mix in the sherry (the mix will look curdled), then add the peel, cherries, raisins, cherries, nuts, lemon zest, spice, rosewater and vanilla. Beat together to mix, then stir in the baking powder.
  3. Spoon mixture into the tin and smooth the top, making a slight dip in the centre. Bake for 30 mins, then lower temperature to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2 and bake a further 2-2¼ hrs, until a skewer insterted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then take out of the tin and peel off the lining paper. When completely cold, wrap well in cling film and foil to store until ready to decorate. The cake will keep for several months.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2004

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Comments

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keithlamble's picture
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Made this fruit cake about three months ago and have fed it with a good Cognac for two months, it tasted wonderful and am now
well into my second cake and feeding with Rum.
Fingers crossed for another top tasting cake.

I added 3oz of fresh chopped figs with the second one(Carribean touch), hence the Rum feed.

keithlamble's picture
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I made you recipe into a beautiful cake, decorated with almonds and cherries - first class, thank you so much.

blackwheel's picture
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been making this xmas cake since it first appeared in the mag, and its never let me down, a firm family favorite..... I always soak the fruit over night in sherry before I make it.

elainerossmonstermum's picture

I have made this today, my first ever homemade Christmas cake and couldn't believe how quick and easy it was to get going! I got everything weighed and measured in advance then set to work and after approximately 15 minutes my cake is now cooking away in the oven. I left out the nuts and replaced the peel with some nice chewy dates and I couldn't find rose water so just added extra vanilla instead which we all love and I don't think it will affect the end result too much. I'm planning to decorate it also so fingers crossed it comes out to plan!

lccupcakes's picture

i made this today, 1st ever christmas cake, but for some reason my cake is not half the thickness as in the picture, does this matter, how can i get it to rise more? it smells lovely though.

suzyahart's picture

Hi I would like to make small cakes as gifts has anyone else done this + do you know how many cakes would get from this recipe + how long i should cook them for? thanks

benedicteg's picture

This year I wanted to make mini individual Christmas cakes as not everyone in my family likes it. Will that change the cooking time and will they be dry? I don't know if it will work. Any suggestions gratefully received.

andrea210-goodfood's picture
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This is a fabulous recipe! I made a few of these cakes last year and was so pleased with them that I am using the same recipe again this year.
Having catered for many functions and having sold many Wedding cakes and cakes for all other occasions, I don't think that I have ever come across a fruit cake recipe which is so good so quickly as this one, but it also stores well and matures nicely.
The blend of flavours is interesting without being overpowering and the rose water doesn't make it taste 'perfumed' so don't be afraid to add it!
Whether you are making a 'last minute' cake or planning ahead, I really would recommend this recipe -and if you are planning ahead, I would consider making two and 'trying one out' as you might find it hard to resist cutting into it once you smell the finished cake!

redcar_lascelles's picture
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I'm just making this today. So far so great, as the mixture smelt and tasted delicious and it's baking perfectly so far! I'll make sure to comment after Christmas when I've tasted it!

abigailhiggs's picture
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Made this cake for Christmas this year, well i made two as my nan wanted one as well. I've never made a Christmas cake before in my life so was terrified how it would turn out but it was lovely, moist and not too rich. I hate shop bought Christmas cake it's always put me off so heavy and rich but this was a fantastic consistency and worked really well. Went down a storm! Very happy :)

rockcakeswales's picture
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5 stars *****

rockcakeswales's picture
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Made this cake today,Left out the Rose Water,and used Rum and a tot of whiskey!!! The house smells of Christmas,Going to make 5 more this week for Christmas presents for family and going to Regal Ice them and Tartan Ribbon with a Santa on top,stunning and so easy to make :)

tattiehead's picture

this is a great wee recipe, and do not be afraid to mix and match a wee bit more, as long as the contents you use fall in about the same weight as the ingredients mentioned, I add sultanas in the place of mixed peel, as some people dont like the peel, its a good way to use up all the bits and bobs left in the store cupboard, just make sure you have a good quality butter, eggs etc, and more importantly , its your special recipe your friends will be begging you for it. good luck.

laurathebaker23's picture
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This cake is great! A foolproof recpe which i used last year to make 4 cakes for my relative which i decorated with marzipan, icing and elegant icing decortaions- they were a hit! I fully recommend this recipe.

mmmmmmmmmmlekker's picture

you can get rosewater at your local middle-easternshop (turkish, marrocan or something like that). I am going to try and make one, my first one, as well. Fingers crossed!!

hia06av's picture

My family don't like nuts in their fruit cakes so I tend just to leave them out, I don't usually bulk up the fruit content as I tend to think it makes the cakes a wee bit heavy.

aliste's picture

Hi, I am thinking of making this for as this years christmas cake but my husband is allegic to nuts!! Does anybody know if I can just omit the nuts or use extra fruit in its place? Any suggestions would be appreciated thanks.

willgeary23's picture

I made this cake yesterday, even though it isnt christmas, but yeh, i was bored so i thought i'd give it a go. It took me ages to make it cos i didnt have all the ingredients (i mean, who has rose water in their cupboards??) so i had to go to waitrose ( that's where everyone who goes on this website shops, right?). when i'd made it, about 2 hours later, i left it on the work top, next to the rosewater, and i came in the room after playing some croquet on the lawn to find the dorg licking it!! Well it tell you, i was horrified! So i iced it and donated it to the W.I fete. They wouldnt know...

bxmetcalfe's picture

This cake was simple to make and although I did not use all of the quantities of ingredients, it tasted delish...not sure if it had something to do with the amount of brandy used!!!!! Would recommend to anyone!!!

grainger's picture

I have now made this cake twice - once for Christmas and the other time, for New Year. I don't normally like Christmas cake, but this was delicious - very moist and so full of flavour. No need to try any other Christmas cake recipe - this is the one for me!! (Used Cointreau instead of sherry, and as we can't get Rosewater in Austria, I omitted it)

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