Orlando Murrin's Deluxe Christmas Cake

Orlando Murrin's Deluxe Christmas Cake

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(5 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins - 45 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins

Skill level

For the keen cook


Cuts into 12 slices

An 'intergalactically special' Christmas cake enriched with the honey-vanilla-whisky flavours of bourbon - it'll improve with keeping so bake it early

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice

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  • 4 tbsp bourbon
  • 200g sultanas
  • 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • 100g/4oz semi-dried pineapple, roughly chopped
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 500g crystallised fruits (including colourful ones such as orange slices, pears, figs, pineapple) roughly chopped, plus extra whole fruits to decorate
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 200g plain flour mixed with ½ tsp salt

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  1. Preheat the oven to fan 130C/ conventional 150C/gas 2. Butter and double line a deep 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. Stir bourbon into the sultanas and let stand while you continue with the next step, stirring occasionally.
  2. Put the remaining fruits and the nuts into a big bowl with the lemon juice. In another very large bowl, cream the butter with the lemon zest and sugar. Add the eggs alternately with the flour in three or four batches, then stir in the sultanas plus any liquid, and all the fruit and nut mixture.
  3. Transfer to the tin and smooth the top, sloping it in towards the centre so it’s 2cm below the level of the sides.
  4. Bake for about 2½ hours – it’s done when a skewer comes out with no cake mixture sticking to it. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, turn out and let it cool fully.
  5. Wrap the cake tightly in cling film and foil. (It will keep in a cool spot for up to 2 months.) To add even more flavour and moistness, pierce the top with a skewer and pour over 2 tbsp bourbon every few weeks.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2003

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agetliff's picture

I had no end of trouble finding the crystallised fruit. None of the main supermarkets stocked them. Finally I have found somewhere in Edinburgh that does mail order - looking forward to them arriving later this week so I can try this recipe!

raemac's picture

So glad I found this! Made this for a few years after it appeared in the magazine, but then lost the recipe!! No other Christmas cake compares.

annajones's picture

Wonderful cake, been making it for years as Christmas presents. New slant on it this year - I'm making them fairy-cake/muffin sized.

emmawemma's picture
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I cooked two of these for xmas this year. I didn't have the varied number of fruit so used currants, sultanas and raisins and used almonds and brandy instead.
Both cakes were fantastic and went down well.

harley121202's picture
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I cook this every year since first seeing the recipe in the magazine years ago. I detest the usual over sweet, over rich christmas cake and so always went without. But since doing this, I love it. I do mine at the end of October and skewer it once a week or so and drizzle with brandy (dont like bourbon). I can get nearly a whole bottle of brandy into my cake (not child friendly, lol). I also exchange the sultanas (dont like them) for dried cherries and blueberries and the walnuts (also dont like) for pecans. I use dates, mango, papaya any tropical or unusual fruits I can get hold of. I have done this cake for birthdays and parties etc and everyone loves it, although mine does come with a drink driving warning!

I have this with Mary Cadogan's Jewelled Mincemeat every year and everyone has always said its the best they have had. Even my dad who hates everything and everyone!

vicplum's picture
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Love this cake. This will be the third year I've made it for Christmas