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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rehanapmalik's picture
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After reading all the positive comments I decided to make 2 of these cakes, one for Christmas and one for Easter, I'm glad I did it was so easy to make and so moist. Everyone loved it and it disappeared quickly. I bought tubs of candied peel and glace cherries which were really nice from Waitrose, I also added in pecans and almonds as part of the fruit weight as I like nuts, it worked really well. Also, I’ve never iced a cake before and bought the ready to roll icing and marzipan, I was thought it would be quite difficult, particularly getting the sides right as I thought the icing would end up like a table cloth, ie pleated, just so you know somehow that doesn't happen, it's just so easy to do. I was amazed at how impressive my cake looked and so was everyone else, so if like me you've not done this before, don't worry, go for it. I’m now even thinking of doing a wedding cake.

dalphey's picture
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Everyone really enjoyed this cake. It is so easy to make so will definately make again for next xmas.

cottagecook's picture

Hi,
I made this cake for the first time this Christmas and it was a huge success. It was easy to make and fruit selection can be to taste. I went away for the holiday and came back to a tiny bit of the cake. This weekend I will make another one - I can't wait.

karengi's picture
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This is the first Christmas cake that I have ever baked and it turned out fab. Will make again definitely.

I didn't put the alcohol in it and my 4 year old and 10 month old loved it too!

jogosden's picture
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I made this cake and let it mature for some time, having just finished my last slice it was still moist and had a great flavour while not being too heavy would defiantly do this one again!

rebeccajim's picture
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It's all been said already - this was my first ever Christmas Cake and it really is delicious. Made it in October and added lots of cranberries as well. It was so quick and easy to make. Will be making it again and again!! Highly recommended!

nangella's picture

My 8yr old daughter enjoyed helping me make this cake it was so easy and the rest of my family enjoyed eating it over christmas, "Delicious".

carolallen's picture

I made this cake this year for the first time and it is the best christmas cake I've ever made, I did however add a handfull of walnuts and pecans, absolutely delicious, nice and moist.

wendycadman's picture
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Fabulous cake. Loved the simmer and stir method. highly recommend.

wendycadman's picture
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Fabulous cake. Loved the simmer and stir method. Highly recommend.

jul34es's picture
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i made this cake in september and decorated xmas week,it was so easy to make and i decorated it with tealights,like in the november 02 mag,but i did it a bit different,it was tasty though,i,d make it again.

lindad4a's picture
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This was my first ever attempt at making a Christmas cake... and I am feeling extremely chuffed! I made the cake (with pecans rather than the suggested macademia nuts) and then covered it with marzipan and icing. The resulting cake was far better than I had ever hoped and 100% delicious! I've sampled a couple of other cakes this Christmas, but am smugly ashamed to admit that I much prefer mine! And it was an absolute doddle to make!

lovekins's picture
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This cake is fantastic! I made two - a round one (with sweet pedro ximenez sherry) and a square one (with cherry brandy). I made both of these cakes in October and they were both lovely and moist (and boozy as I fed them a few times!!). I'll definitely be making this again (it's even better than Delia's christmas cake).

phildelahaye's picture
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lovely - very easy and really moist.
I made it at the end of November and fed it a couple of times a week, it was still delicious after Christmas.
I will definitely make this again

jennifert's picture
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This was awesomely easy to make, and was deliciously moist and tasty. It was a huge hit with the whole mob - from 3 years to 63! I definitely plan on making this one again. I topped it with the Easy Vanilla Marzipan which complemented it really well. A real winner!

lorna1972's picture
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Oh my goodness, this went down an absolute treat. This is the first time I've ever made my own Christmas cake although I do bake the usual cakes, muffins and biscuits on a regular basis. Truly delicious, beautifully moist and the macademia nuts added a lovely bite to it. My mum who LOVES Christmas cake was thoroughly impressed. Much better than any shop bought cake I've ever tasted.

fatstrat's picture
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Great recipe that works with adaptations as well. I've made this cake for Christmas day - so i'll see how it tastes straight off. This is the third time i've baked it this month, the other two got eaten!

dalphey's picture
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Rating also based on the preparation as we have not tried it yet. Very easy to make, chosen as wanted a cake I could make together which was quick with my 2 yr old son. Looking forward to tasting it in a few days.

poisondwarf's picture
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Rating based on the fact that this seems to have cooked perfectly which is a first for me with a fruit cake! Haven't tasted it yet as will be feeding and decorating for Christmas. Left out the nuts as they make my Dad sneeze!

mellucia's picture
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This was the easiest and best tasting Christmas cake I have ever made!

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