Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

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(146 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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alisonpg's picture
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Easy to make and we all enjoyed the results. My husband loves fruit cake and he gave it a big thumbs up, so it must be good! Didn't make any modifications to the recipe, followed it exactly as it said.

dawncopland's picture
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Made this a month before Christmas and fed it twice. Also made the orange marzipan (also on this site), which went really well with it. A great cake and easy to make.

rozwhite's picture
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Great recipe! Really moist cake. Definitely better than Delia's!

jjlawlor's picture
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The best Christmas cake I've ever made - not too dark or dry - just right.

hideouscreatures's picture

My first christmas cake and it went down very well, will be using the same recipe next year.

ardleigh's picture
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A great recipe. Always turns out perfectly. I often have trouble getting the macadamia nuts so use mixed chopped nuts or chopped almonds instead.

shialy1's picture
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Great, easy recipe. I make cakes all the time and this year have made 14 Christmas cakes using this recipe. However, only thing I would recommend is to increase the amount of baking powder to 1 tsp instead of 1/2. You may not realise it and be happy with the size it is, but the cake will rise more. (The reason I did the sample test of increasing the baking powder was that as I often made fruit cake, I thought initially this one was alot flatter than norm). Now that I have changed the quantity of the bp, I will continue to use this recipe forever! Thank you!

theglutenfreegirly's picture
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I am a 13 year old, who loves to cook. I am also a coeliac. I made this recipe Gluten free by using "Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour Blend".
This cake came out SUPERB, and I mean superb. Much better than store bought, and you can't tell I made it Gluten Free.
I did not leave this cake to mature, and just took it out of the tin, cooled it, then iced and ate! I iced this cake with marzipan and royal icing.
I 100% reccommend this cake recipe...Its so easy, AND yummy! My fave combination!

cheeseman2's picture

i made this cake last week, came out great. If i dont want to add the alcohol do i still need to make up for the liquid content? Also can i use self raising flour instead?

julie5573's picture

Superb cake for every occasion. Super moist and so nice.

muse_chicken's picture
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Best Christmas cake I have ever made!

poundsandounces's picture
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Made this lovely easy cake a few weeks ago and it is so easy to make. We tried it this morning, OH is now on second slice. Love it. Lovely and moist and so flavorfull. Have had requests to make again and again.

epicurist's picture
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Hi Wurood, your fruit mix sounds great! Hope the bake went well.

pikacle's picture

Just made this recipe - the only alteration was changing the cinnamon to nutmeg - personal preference. If the cake comes out tasting as good as the cake mix, we are in for a treat!
I also made the old Delia recipe a few weeks ago so it will be interesting to see how traditional v's this recipe compare.

wurood's picture

Hi Epicurist, thanks for replying. I'm going to give it a go tomorrow. Going to try sultanas, raisins, dates and chopped apricots and of course mixed peel and glade cherries. Thanks again

epicurist's picture
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Hi Wurood, the basic components of a packet of mixed dried fruit are raisins, sultanas and currants. As the recipe says, a luxury version will usually also contain mixed peel - crystallised peel of oranges, lemons and limes - glacé cherries and a number of other dried fruits. I used a basic mix of raisins, sultanas and currants, to which I added chopped apricots and soured cherries. I replaced macadamia nuts with hazelnuts and added extra nutmeg. It turned out great and has already been eaten!

wurood's picture

I live abroad and can't find ready dried mixed fruit - could anybody help and give ingredients for the mixed fruit. Pls I'm stuck - I promised my daughter that I will make her one

lesley-holmes's picture
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I am not a fan of traditional Christmas cake but I made this a couple of years ago to have a cake for family coming round at Christmas and it was delicious. Everyone really loved it and it has become a Christmas essential now each year. Really moist and full of flavour - cannot recommend enough!!

halifaxlady's picture
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Really easy to make best xmas cake I have ever made, so moist yummy. Will definately use this receipe again.

kbsylvester's picture
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The easiest and most successful Christmas cake I have made (not tasted yet as it's maturing for Christmas). Highly recommend.

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