Fig & honey Christmas cake

Fig & honey Christmas cake

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(26 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins

More effort

Serves 8 - 10
This traditional Christmas cake is the perfect combination of fruit, nuts and spices

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal782
  • fat30g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs121g
  • sugars98g
  • fibre5g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.64g
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  • 750g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g blanched whole almond, roughly chopped


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 100g chopped peel
  • 200g dried fig, roughly chopped



    Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…

  • 100g glacé cherry, well rinsed and quartered
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 250g lightly salted butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp clear honey



    Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…

  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 large egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 3 tbsp brandy, plus extra to feed



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…


  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin first with a double layer of brown paper, then with a double layer of baking parchment. In a large bowl, mix the fruit, almonds, peel, figs and cherries. Turn well and add the flour, spices and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar thoroughly, then add the vanilla extract, honey and treacle. Still beating, incorporate the eggs, then stir in the fruit and flour mixture. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and stir in thoroughly. Add the brandy by the spoonful, until you have a soft dropping consistency.

  2. Turn the batter into the cake tin and make a dip in the middle using the back of a spoon. Bake for 3½ hrs, then insert a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s ready. If there is any cake mix on the skewer, give it 10 mins more and test again. When it’s done, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in its tin. The next day, remove from the tin, wrap in fresh greaseproof paper, then put it into an airtight tin or wrap tightly in foil. The usual thing is to keep the cake for at least a month before icing it, and to unwrap and sprinkle it occasionally with more brandy.

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Comments (42)

sabrina74's picture

i made this on the 17th dec and had to remake it again on the 23rd!! i did have friends round and i gave some to my sister, but this is soooo moist and fab, i used a bigger cake tin, and the cooking time was nearer, only an extra 15 mins, and i topped it with brazil nuts, flaked and whole blanced almonds. cherries, pecans, and hazelnuts, mixed together with syrup to stick . it looks fantastic,no one is allowed any till xmas!! i just cant wait till tomorrow to have a slice!!

sabrina74's picture

started eating this the day after it was made DELICIOUS!! i added cranberries,fresh figs,ground almond and hazelnuts, just to use stuff up, and no booze as it was a very wet mix, still tasted amazing, i will be surprised if it lasts till christmas! did rise very high so make sure your paper is tall enough, will make again as husband and friends loved it, but i may use a bigger cake tin so its a large lower cake, as the slices were so large i was cutting them in half to serve, and then the slice seemed mean!!

blackbird17's picture

Made this yesterday and it was quite straightforward . I creamed the butter and sugar in my Kenwood food mixer and stirred the rest of the ingredients in, The bowl was only just big enough! I think I got a bit overenthusiastic with the brandy as my cake sunk just a little bit but once I've turned it upside down and covered it with home made marzipan no one will know !

ruthiebe's picture

I baked this cake twice last year and three times this year. My cake guzzling husband rates it 5*s. After marzipan/icing them, I donate one cake each year to the local Riding for the Disabled Group for a "Guess the Weight" type raffle and it makes loads of £££ every time. Recipient is always delighted. Husband's one is half finished already !

dunnricky's picture

hav'nt made it or tasted it yet but rate it 5* just by looking at it :)))

lisamary's picture

This is now the traditional Christmas cake in our house, 3rd year running. Never gets iced, we always feel that that would spoil it. Make it 4 to 6 weeks before Christmas and feed it brandy every Sunday - unbeatable.

a11y50n's picture

Just made this cake and it's turned out beautifully. It was very easy to make - I chose to soak all the fruit for 3 hours before and substituted dried apricots for mixed peel as all the family hate mixed peel. One hint - don't forget to add the nuts as the recipe instructions doesn't actually tell you to add the nuts at any time and so I forgot!! Still turned out beautifully though.

madmoo37's picture

i made this last year and everyone loved it , i will definitely be making it again this year .

mopsy57's picture

Made this for Christmas 2010 and all voted it a hit!

linz83's picture

Whilst I was putting all these ingredients into my trolley at the supermarket I wondered exactly what have I got myself into. Promising not only my family but myself that I was going to make my first EVER Christmas cake his year I certainly couldn't back out now :-)
WOW was my first word when this wonderous cake came out of my oven. The perfect looking cake and I had so much fun making it. Very simple directions so straightforward.

Bring on Christmas I just hope that it tastes as good as it smells and looks.

x*** Merry Christmas ***x

herreralizzy's picture

Can't wait to make this! Have lots of figs, not sure it will matter too much if I omit the peel that I don't like and put a few more figs in!

northyorkmoors's picture

I have made this cake today and it was incredibly straightforward. I added a teaspoon or so of mixed spice as well as the nutmeg and cinnamon but I am massively impressed by the recipe. The cooking time was spot on too. Roll on Christmas!

wkdstepmother's picture

I made this cake last year - and it was just amazing. I didn't ice it & the whole family prefered this cake to the 'traditional' iced cake I always make. Truly wonderful recipe x

lisafry743's picture

Hi Matt - I don't think so. I always make my Christmas cake in October. Looking at this recipe (which I plan to make this year) I can't see that it differs that much from most Christmas cake recipes. The chefs on TV recommend making your cake in Oct to allow plenty of time for the cake to mature, especially if you are going to feed it with brandy.

matt13bootneck's picture

Hi, Can any one tell me, is it to early to make this cake for Christmas?

eccbutterworth's picture

Chopped peel is usually chopped candied peel of oranges and lemons.

henrietteim's picture

What is the third ingredient?
Chopped peel of what?

boatingbird's picture

My first ever attempt at a fruit cake, and it's a huge success. Very easy to make and as others have said it's very moist.

brandydog's picture

Very good moist fruit cake easy to follow receipe. Made two for anniversary cakes got loads of compliments about both.

deborahlesurf's picture

I think this is the perfect fruitcake. I was surprised to get such a good result from such a simple recipe.


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