Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

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(145 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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shimmers's picture
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Made this cake yesterday (better late than never!) and it is my first ever attempt at a christmas cake. I used whisky instead of brandy and I am so chuffed with the results. It was really easy to make and turned out perfectly. Tastes great. I am notoriously bad at baking so I'm amazed I managed it! Just have to decorate it now.

gwenig's picture

We used to make a plainer version of this cake, when I worked in school meals, we called it 'Boiled fruit cake[presumably because you start off simmering] and I made it in preference to of any other fruit cake for years, so I will definitely be trying this one, it sounds delicious.

nanajan's picture

this is one of the best fruit cakes i have ever made , so easy to make, delicious, through and through, and so moist, plenty to go around, i have cut it in half to save one side for the freezer for later
I hope I rate this delicious cake a big fat 5

mellucia's picture
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I made this cake last year it was so easy to make and so popular with my Friends and Family...I am making this cake for the second year... and this time I have orders from friends!!!
10/10 for this recipe!!

weemarybaker's picture
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This is a super recipe - I cannot recommend it enough. I made it last year for both my family and my partner's family and both cakes disappeared in no time at all. It so tasty and moist - really yummy! This year I am making several more as Christmas presents. Do any of you have any cheap suggestions for storing these cakes? I only have one cake tin and am making about five cakes this year!

rockonqqq's picture
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made this last last year and it was the best Christmas cake i have ever made ,it was very simple ,cooked perfectly and tasted lovely.All of my family loved it particularly as it was so moist.Did not put in any mixed peel as we don`t like it , i used a few chopped apricots and extra cherries instead.Just about to make one for this Christmas.

jubert's picture

The kitchen smelt lovely! I popped the cake in the Aga simmering oven for 5 hours and it came out beautifully. It was really easy to make.

lilyrose53's picture

Easy to make and very tasty. I made it to try it out last weekend and it was eaten within the week. Now I am going to make another one, this time I will ice it and put it away for Christmas!

beansandthings's picture
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I made this cake three weeks ago - left it for a couple of days and then it was all gone by the end of the following week. Just the two of us!!! It was absolutely delicious. I made another one last Saturday and another one for my sister on Monday and have wrapped them ready to decorate later on. I can thoroughly recommend this recipe. I will be making it for Christmas in the future - but will make it any time it is so scrummy. By leaving out some of the mixed fruit I did add more cherries. I bought candied peal and chopped it myself.

junoboyle's picture

It has no calories at all if you eat it standing up Debs! I've just made it and it is in the oven. It smells delicious and I can't wait to try it. Easiest cake I have ever made. Thank you.

debigale's picture

Not tried this one yet but can anyone tell me the calories etc per slice?

carolandian's picture

20cm round

faymartin1's picture

what size of cake tin is used for this cake?

poohspals's picture
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Absolutely gorgeous!! This was my first attempt at making a Xmas cake so we tried it within a couple of weeks so I could make another if it was a success - what can i say - it was absolutely fantastic and so easy to make.

alicia-foodoholic's picture

Hey,
I like this cake recipe, thinking about making it for Christmas 2010!
I love the idea of dark Muscovado sugar, I think I will have to change the recipe slightly. By using almond liquer instead of Brandy, and using almond. hazlnuts instead of macadamia nuts.
This should be ok shouldn't it?
I no you proberly think I am an almond addict lol!

rachelemacleod's picture
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I made this last year and it was delicious, and so simple to make!

I left it quite late - maybe only a week or 2 before xmas to make it, so this year I'm planning on making it in a couple of weeks time, after my daughter's birthday, and I'll top it up with the booze every so often :D

pyg1963's picture
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I've made this for the last 5 years it is lovely and moist and so easy to make. I soak my fruit from about mid september and make the cake at the beginning of November so that I still have time to feed it. Fantastic for first time christmas cake makers

biggles's picture
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This is the BEST. I made this for a family gathering but it only had a week to mature. I fed it with 4 tbsp brandy the day after I made it then simply wrapped it up until needed. It was delicious and received lots of praise from all who tried it.

ericax's picture
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This is in the oven right now. The smells alone have provoked compliments and it hasn't even been tasted yet!

ericax's picture
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This is in the oven right now. The smells alone have already provoked compliments and it hasn't even been tasted yet!

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