Fig & honey Christmas cake

Fig & honey Christmas cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(23 ratings)

By

Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Serves 8 - 10

This traditional Christmas cake is the perfect combination of fruit, nuts and spices

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
782
protein
10g
carbs
121g
fat
30g
saturates
14g
fibre
5g
sugar
98g
salt
0.64g

Ingredients

  • 750g mixed dried fruits
  • 100g blanched whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 100g chopped peel
  • 200g dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 100g glacé cherries, well rinsed and quartered
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 250g lightly salted butter
  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp brandy, plus extra to feed

Buy Ingredients

Buy the ingredients for this recipe now via:

Want to know how this works? Read all about it here.

Method

  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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2009

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments

Show comments
sarah.westbury63@gmail.com's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Lovely cake I don't add the brandy and in my oven it take 4.5 hours to cook but it's such a favourite with everyone I can't make it quick enough!

bennysmum100's picture

Hear hear - have also made it for the last 3 years - and just off to make it 4.
Easy to make and so moist

allygoat's picture

I love this cake and have made it for the last 3 years. By family were so impressed with it I had to make them all one! It is a lovely moist cake. I would comment that it does take a little longer to cook but is so good you don't mind.

missflops's picture

Excellent fruit cake. Rich, moist and delicious. Perfect for Xmas when layered with marzipan and icing. Its a huge cake so plenty to enjoy after the festive season is long gone. :-)

suebakervondel's picture

Family very happy with the cake, sadly no matter which type of fruit cake I make, I still don't like it.

scattycat's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Now made two in the last week, looks good smells good will be interested to see the reaction by friends and family when tasted.
I did cut out the peel and added extra nuts instead, surprising the number of people that do not like it

camperlass's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Really good recipe. Made it last year and it was amazing, really moist. Best christmas cake I've tasted. I just made this year's and can't wait to eat it - also cooking time was spot on.

jobarley's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Oops, forgot to rate!

jobarley's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This is the first Christmas cake I've ever made, I'm on my 3rd year of making it now and it's so delicious I've not been tempted to try another recipe yet, everyone who's tried it has loved it! I soak all the fruit and almonds in brandy for a day before I make the cake, then feed it with more brandy every week. This year I used a 9 inch cake tin & it only took 15 mins more, when I used and 8 inch tin it took upto an hour longer than the recipe states. I'm getting married this year & going to make it for my wedding cake.

korcula45's picture

I am going to make the cake on Sunday, but I haven't got possibility to buy black treacle - can it be replaced by anything else?

fed4hutty's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

CookeryQueen - thanks for the advice will check that out! I made some individual ones using largeish ramekins and caved and tried one and oh boy this is one tasty cake! I honestly don't think it needs icing but i know some people do like the full works - get some hot custard on this or brandy sauce and you will be yummy heaven!

lizjames's picture

Oops! Used the largest bowl for the fruit. It's okay, the creamed mixture easily transferred into the largest bowl to be mixed with the fruit and flour. And all the mixture fitted into the tin.

cookeryqueen's picture

FGeri82. I haven't made this cake although I am thinking of doing so. Found a site "Scaling up cake recipes from Delia online". Most of the ingredients for her 6 inch cake are half of the 8 inch . Maybe you could check it out and see what you think. Happy baking!

fed4hutty's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I have made three of these cakes now and even though I have not tasted them yet (not cooked anyway but the mix tastes good) they look and smell delicious. They certainly look like they are going to be super moist and tasty.
Based on smel, look and ease of recipe 5 stars!

I do have a question though, I have made them so far using an 8inch round tin, does ayone know how to go about recalculating the recipe quantities to make it smaller like a 6inch tin? I have a recipe converter but s from the US so everything is in cups etc.
Any help would be appreciated :)

elaine57's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

3rd year of making this cake. Have done 6 up to now, the family all love it

rib_n_saucy's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I couldn't be more impressed with this recipe. For years my mum has bought the family cake from a friend who makes her own and we always thought hey we're beautiful until last year when I made this one. It was my first ever try at a Christmas cake and it came out beautifully (purely down to the recipe) and was very moist and not at all heavy. I made mine in late September and it matured very well and was delicious when served at Christmas. I also fed it with brandy every two weeks which gave it a lovely boozy undertone but was not too strong. This year I am making it for the family again and have been asked to make it as a 3 tier wedding cake for my brother who is getting married in December! I have to add the cake mix by itself tastes incredible, better than the actual cake. If I could buy it in the shop as a snack I would.

louisepanks's picture

This is a super easy tasty fruit cake loved it!

benminx's picture

This is enormously worth making. I ended up adding the last dose of brandy about a week before layering on the marzipan, icing and decorations in one day, and it ended up as easily the most moist, flavoursome Christmas cake I've ever eaten. I hugely recommend you try this - it's pretty easy (I managed it) and tastes amazing!

susiewong234's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This is delicious, moist and very easy to make even though it was already in the oven before I noticed the flour was still sitting on the kitchen counter top! So cake was taken out of oven dumped back into bowl to add the flour and then returned it to it's tin for the second time. I expected it to fail after that!!!! Made a fortnight ago and not added any more fluids to it. It has kept well and won't last long in our house as everybody enjoys it. Like everybody else - no icing added. Will be recommending to friends and wouldn't hesitate to make again as it was really simple apart from forgetting to add the flour!

nieurzyla's picture

I made this cake for the first time this year, and my family weren't very interested in trying it. They are tired of the old fashioned heavy fruit cake, I served out a small portion for everyone. and everyone was taken by surprise, they loved it.
When it was going home time, they all helped themselves to a large slice to take home.
An easy recipe and an excellent choice for a lighter Christmas cake.

Pages

Questions

Tips