Sherry & almond Christmas cake

Sherry & almond Christmas cake

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(19 ratings)

Cook: 3 hrs Prep 30 mins plus overnight soaking


Cuts into 12 slices
Packed with almonds, both ground and whole, and fed with raisiny PX sherry, this is intensely fruity - but not overly rich

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving with icing and marzipan

  • kcal1079
  • fat54g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs137g
  • sugars126g
  • fibre0g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 1kg bag mixed dried fruit (not one with cherries)
  • zest and juice 2 large oranges



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 150ml PX (Pedro Ximenez) sherry, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for the tin



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

  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g ground almond


    arr-mund or al-mund

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

  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 large egg, beaten



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

  • 140g whole almond


    arr-mund or al-mund

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


  1. Mix the fruit, zest, juice and sherry, and leave overnight to soak. Next day, heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and double-line a deep, 20cm round cake tin. Wrap the outside with brown paper or newspaper and secure with string, as this will protect the sides from overcooking.

  2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together until pale and creamy. Mix the flour, ground almonds and mixed spice together, then tip into the butter mix with the eggs. Beat until combined and smooth. Stir in the whole almonds, fruit and any leftover juices, turn into the tin, then smooth the top and make a dip in the middle. Bake for 1½ hrs.

  3. Turn down the oven to 140C/fan 130C/ gas 2, then bake for 1½ hrs more until dark on the top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, or with a few damp crumbs clinging to it. Once cool enough to handle, turn onto a cooling rack and peel away the lining paper. Cool completely.

  4. Keep the cake well wrapped, then feed once a fortnight with 1-2 tbsp sherry. Poke holes into the cake with a skewer and slowly spoon over the sherry. If you don’t have time to do this, this cake is delicious freshly made, and can be covered and decorated as soon as it has completely cooled down.

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Comments (32)

dcaddy's picture

Made an excellent moist cake, along with the vanilla marzipan, this was truly a christmas delight

kez10uk's picture

I made this cake about 8 weeks ago & have been pouring sherry over it every 2 weeks to keep it moist.
The grand reveal was yesterday & everyone commented on how moist & delicious it was. The balance is just right, not to rich, or heavy, just perfect. Will keep this recipe to repeat next Christmas :o)

emmamoss's picture

This is just the best recepie ever - just how my nan used to make cake! So moist and great with crumbly wensleydale cheese (a Yorkshire thing)!!

grainger's picture

I've made this cake twice in the last 2 weeks. The first cake broke as I took it out of the cake tin, much to the delight of my fiance! I have never seen a cake disappear so quickly! The second cake came out fine, and has been hidden away until our Christmas guests arrive. I substituted sherry for Cointreau, as we can't but sherry in Austria.

flyaway_jaqi's picture

I've also been cooking this today, in a gas oven, and it's taking longer than the method suggests. So far it's been in for almost 4 hours, and it's almost there, I hope. It's smelling and looking delicious! I couldn't find PX Sherry, so I used a different one. I can't wait to decorate this cake :) It's the first time I've made a Christmas Cake, so I'm pretty excited and this is looking to be a good recipe.

hornbjw6's picture

Hi Terrys
I am wondering if you're cooking with a gas oven - sometimes when cooking at very low temperatures gas oven timings can vary from fan or conventional electric. If you are cooking with gas, double check that the shelf you've chosen is in the middle or just above the middle of the oven. If your oven is electric, you may need to check it with an oven thermometer. Hope this helps, Jane

kmillen1's picture

Really easy to make, used cream sherry as couldn't find Px Sherry. Smells lovely. Had a tiny crumb from the side tastes delicous, can't wait till Christmas!

hot-pot's picture

have tried to make this cake twice now both times the cake was two `wet` even after 5 hours baking. Has anone else found this

mariabernadette's picture

Does anyone have any comment on the taste and texture of this cake?

sazz24's picture

Thank you so much for your help - Its really has helped me. I'm looking forward to cooking this!

Thanks again

taross's picture


You can buy PX from the dessert wine section in Tesco - it's sold in a 50ml bottle.

I've made this cake for Christmas, it smelled really lovely after it came out the oven, can't wait to taste it.

sazz24's picture

Where can I buy PX Sherry?


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