Honey saffron Christmas cake

Honey saffron Christmas cake

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

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins


Cuts into 12 slices
Has all the flavours of Christmas without being too heavy and can be made at the last minute too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal613
  • fat28g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs82g
  • sugars67g
  • fibre3g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.6g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


    For the cake

    • 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



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

    • 2 tbsp brandy



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

    • pinch saffron (about 1⁄4tsp strands)



      The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

    • 225g golden caster sugar
    • 4 egg



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

    • 225g plain flour
    • 50g ground almond
    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 300g raisin
    • 300g sultana
    • 100g natural-coloured glacé cherry, halved
    • 85g mixed peel
    • 50g whole blanched 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…

    • 50g whole blanched hazelnut, roughly chopped



      Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

    • 50g walnut pieces



      Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

    To soak

    • 3 tbsp brandy



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

    • 2 tbsp honey



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


    1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line a round, deep 20cm cake tin with two layers of baking parchment (see Knowhow, below). Tie a few sheets of newspaper around the outside of the tin, level with the top of the baking parchment.

    2. Heat the brandy in a small pan, then add the saffron and leave to infuse off the heat for a few mins. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl, then beat together until creamy and smooth. Mix the fruit, nuts and brandy saffron mix into the batter and stir well.

    3. Spoon into the prepared tin, smooth the top and make a slight dip in the middle. Bake for 1½ hrs, then cover loosely with foil to stop the top over-browning. Turn oven down to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 and cook for 1 hr more until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin then, while it’s still warm, prod the cake all over with a skewer.

    4. Mix the brandy and honey together and spoon over the cake. Wrap up well in foil and keep in an airtight container until Christmas, feeding with more honeyed brandy every so often.

    Ads by Google

    Comments, questions and tips

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

    Comments (41)

    jellycake's picture

    I made this cake last Christmas and am about to make it again this year. It turned out brilliantly and I do remember having to cook it slightly longer than the recipe, but just kept an eye on it. I don't like glace fruit or mixed peel so I added dried cranberries and blueberries instead.

    linsfood's picture

    made this like the recipe,i make a xmas cake every year, but this was the best ever.Everyone loved it.Did take longer to cook which was a bit worrying at the time in case it dried out.It did'nt.

    anniem1's picture

    This was the most beautiful cake I have ever made - very easy to make and the honeyed brandy (which I doused the cake in about 3-4 times over about 10 days) gave it a wonderful flavour. It took over 4 hours to cook - but it will be my speciality every year from now on. It was devoured in no time.....didn't actually last until Christmas Day!

    elena_naj's picture

    We are still tucking in to this easy peasy cake. I added dried cranberried to mine. I fed mine with a mix of honey and orange/cranberry juice as most Christmas cakes are very boozey and I wanted one that everyone could enjoy. It turned out really lovely and a refreshing change from the usual dark cake mixture.

    elena_naj's picture

    We are still tucking in to this easy peasy cake. I fed mine with a mix of honey and orand/cranberry juice as most Christmas cakes are very boozey and I wanted one that everyone could enjoy. It turned out really lovely and a refreshing change from the usual dark cake mixture.

    la_mac's picture

    My partner made this last minute and fell asleep while it was baking! Still moist enough to get away with just removing the dark edges and it didn't seem to affect the taste. I shall have a go this Christmas

    cutielou1962's picture

    Unfortunately for me this cake was incredibly sweet, so I won't be doing this one again. I also found it took much longer to cook sufficiently too.

    lostkat's picture

    Went down a storm with the family, and this was my first ever Christmas Cake too!! Very very easy to make, although it really does improve with age/feeding.

    lizzb's picture

    This cake was a great success. I have a 2 oven Aga and I put in the bottom oven from cold at about 11pm and just left it overnight. The next morning it was perfectly cooked.
    I intend making another for Easter and experimenting with a layer of marzipan in the middle.

    janetony's picture

    The cake was absolutely delicious.Everyone who had a piece (or 3) commented on the lighter colour and density,although it was still 'heavy' enough to be a traditional Christmas cake! It did not seem to have suffered from the extra oven time, on the contrary I think it may well have been a disaster if I had stucj rigidly to the cooking times quoted.

    cakey77's picture

    I made this last minute as my Christmas Cake and it was gorgeous. Would definately make it again next year. It did need longer cooking time than what was indicated but I just kept an eye on it and took it out once the skewer came out dry.

    denise83's picture

    Beautiful cake, moist and light. Everybody commented on it. Easily made too.

    jennifert's picture

    Although I didn't have too many problems cooking the cake, or feeding it!, it did turn out rather denser and moister than I'd expected - I wouldn't call it a "lighter cake". The saffron definitely came through - so if you don't like saffron, don't make this one!

    cublacker's picture

    This war my first fruit cake - like a dream come true baking event and I dared to changesome of the ingredients: instead of 300g sultaninas I added dried pinapple, coconut, left out the lemon peel but doubled the orange peel quantity. I also added cranberries. Then, as I didn't have brandy I tried grand marnier - fed it twice and served it on the next day by warming the slices up and adding some whipped cream - it was the most delicous cake I ever ate in my whole life! Regarding baking time - the indicated time war perfect for my mixture!

    janetony's picture

    I also had to bake the cake for a total of nearly four hours as the times given left the cake virtually liquified in the tin!! It appears o.k. now and I've been feeding it honey and brandy for the last two weeks ,it smells delicious and the texture appears to be alright I'll let you know if my extra baking was a success or not.

    thwaite's picture

    Is it ok to marzipan? - it just isnt christmas cake otherwise but I really want to try this one out

    adrianabishop's picture

    I just made it this afternoon but it took 4 hours to bake. After 2 and a half hours the test skewer was still very wet. I hope I haven't over-baked it now. This is the first time I've ever baked a Christmas cake so I'm very nervous about the results. Do you keep the cake in the tin until serving day?

    angelamccarthy's picture

    This is an awesome recipe! Definitely stick to using a 20 cm tin. Mine turned out perfectly.

    janelewis222's picture

    Hi jools

    I think the icing is "Classic winter fruitcake"


    jools65's picture

    what icing did you use for the top of this cake


    Questions (0)

    Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

    Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

    Tips (0)

    Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…