Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

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(140 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 1 hr - 2 hrs, 30 mins (cooking time 2 hrs 30 if gas oven)

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Makes a 20cm round cake

An easy-to-make alternative to traditional Christmas cakes which requires no beating

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
-
protein
-
carbs
-
fat
-
saturates
-
fibre
-
sugar
-
salt
-

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, chopped
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 750g luxury mixed dried fruits (one that includes mixed peel and glacé cherries)
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz cherry brandy or brandy plus 4tbsp more
  • 85g macadamia nuts
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 200g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice

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Method

  1. Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line a 20cm round cake tin. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them until evenly browned, or in the oven for 8-10 minutes - keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down evenly - you will find this is easiest with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped into boiling water.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾ hours if you have a gas oven) until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  6. Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it's cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or you can freeze it for six months.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2002

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Comments

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chocolatequeen's picture
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I have made this cake for the last two or three years. Really easy, always nice and moist - nothing worse for me than dry fruit cake. Last year I made a larger square one, cut it into four, iced them and gave them to family. Everyone who received one really liked it.

tourer-dan's picture

Has anyone eaten this cake straight away or does it have to mature? I need to make a fruit cake for sunday!!! (and it's friday)

lyngreen's picture

I used this recipe to make the 'one' of an eighteenth birthday cake and everyone loved it. Many thanks for providing me with just the right recipe.

sallygee's picture
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Of course the best fruit cake ever "delicious" the first one each year made gets eaten straight away, I then make several more for family and friends. No need to change recipe as like it the way it is.

shazomatic's picture
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Well what can I say? Incredibly easy and absolutely delicious. I shall be making this on a regular basis from now on. I fed it for 10 days with regular doses of cherry brandy and cognac, and it was beautiful. Omitted the nuts as a can't bear them, but it certainly wasn't lacking anything as a result. The cherry brandy came through beautifully (though I was generous when feeding it), and don't worry about the alcohol, it evaporates when cooked and just leaves the flavour, just don't feed it afterwards! A stunning moist, rich fruit cake suitable for any special occasion.

sherbsja's picture
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I have made this cake every year since it was published. I never liked fruit cake until I tried this cake! Pure simple luxury..
I've just subscribed to this site and this was the first recipe I looked for to add to my binder.
10/10.

poochie90's picture
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Made this christmas cake November 03 the most moist and delicious cake ever..!! My family loved it and have been snapping at my ankles for more ever since'' but gess what i lost the recipy until today'' :0)
I better put my pinny on and start creating.

petesfanny's picture
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Best Christmas cake I've ever made. Very moist - I always feed it with brandy again. A firm favourite - the only drawback is that I now have to make five each year after requests from friends and family!!!

tigerbynyte's picture

brillant recipe, make for my dad's retirement party, went down a treat, easy to prepare and make, thanks.

janjam's picture
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Whoops forgot to rate it!!

janjam's picture
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The best, the easiest cake ever. Has now become a must for Christmas cake and any birthday, celebration. Have just made 2 for a tiered 60th Wedding anniversary cake for my parents.

nickim's picture
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Definitely the best Christmas cake I've made. So easy to make and very moist and delicious. I'll make sure I use this every year from now on.

amp1043's picture

My first ever Christmas cake and it was wonderful! I would change the difficulty level from "moderately easy" to "very easy". I can easily see this becoming a standard cake at home.

glasgow's picture
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Fantastic! This is the easiest and tastiest Christmas cake I've ever made - definately going to be my standard from now on. Give this one a try - so much easier than tradional recipes and you can can alter it to suit yourself.

vegcurry's picture

Have used this smple easy recipe since it was published in 2002. Its has been successful every time. This has now become the "family" recipe PS Bambini, try using orange juice or cherry juice instead of alcohol

bambini's picture

Has anyone any suggestions as to what I could use instead of the brandy/cherry brandy, as I have a non drinker coming for christmas. I've not made this cake before and I'd like it to stay as moist as everyone says it is.

munslow66's picture

Always use this recipe for celebration cakes. It is easy , moist and receives praise all the time

kathynicolson's picture
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as the previous folk have said; always moist, never fails and you can alter the fruit and nuts (I like to add extra cherries) a great recipe for busy working mums and dads, I have made this and an earlier version for years now, give it a try

welshmatt12's picture
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Superb, easy cake to make for someone like like me who is a non-baker!

lindajarvis's picture
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This is one of the simplest Christmas cakes around. I change the types of fruit, using luxury mixes with pineapple etc. This year I am using pecan nuts. My 13 year old son will be making the cake for the first time. It is always moist & never fails.

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