As-you-like-it Christmas cake

As-you-like-it Christmas cake

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

By

Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

Cooking time

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 2 hrs - 2 hrs, 30 mins Plus overnight soaking

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Cuts into 10-12 slices

Use your choice of dried fruit, nuts, citrus zest and booze (or even tea) and get your cake made up to six months in advance

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
681
protein
8g
carbs
112g
fat
24g
saturates
14g
fibre
3g
sugar
97g
salt
0.26g

Ingredients

  • 1kg mixed dried fruits (any blend of raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, dried cranberries, glacé cherries, chopped dried apricots, dates, dried figs or dried pineapple)
  • 150ml sherry, brandy, rum or brewed tea, plus extra for feeding
  • zest and juice 2 oranges, 2 lemons or 4 clementines
  • 250g pack unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 250g light, soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g whole or flaked almonds, chopped hazelnuts, walnuts or brazil nuts (optional)

Buy Ingredients

Buy the ingredients for this recipe now via:

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

Method

  1. Put your chosen dried fruit mixture into a large bowl with your choice of alcohol or tea, citrus zest and juice. Mix well, cover and leave overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Butter and double-line a deep cake tin – 20cm round or 18cm square – with enough baking parchment to come about 2.5cm above the top of the tin. Wrap the outside of the tin with a few sheets of newspaper, securing with staples or string.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy, then beat in the eggs one by one. Tip in the flour, mixed spice, soaked dried fruit and any liquid from the bowl, plus your chosen nuts, if using. Stir everything together, then scrape into the cake tin. Using the back of your spoon, make a slight dent in the centre of the mixture, then bake for 1½ hrs.
  4. Reduce oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1, loosely cover the top of the cake with a double sheet of foil or baking parchment, and bake for another 45 mins-1 hr or until a skewer poked right to the bottom comes out clean. Cool in the tin, then lift out and wrap in greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Keep in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid, or wrapped in a large sheet of foil, in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Open the cake every week or two to feed by poking with a skewer in several places and dribbling over a little more of your chosen alcohol or tea.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2010

Comments, questions and tips

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

Comments

Show comments
cheflambey's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This cake as always has turned out perfect, mixed mine with a mixture of brewed tea and congnac. It did need an extra hour though! Cant wait for Christmas day to tuck in to this one!

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

Verry simple to make and I love the fact that you can add in any fruit that you like - I added about 300g of dates to hopefully make it good and sticky!!

My mother in law swears by fruit cakes needing 'an hour an inch' and this cake did take about an hour longer than the recipe stated. It took about 4 1/2 hours to bake.

Smells delicious though, can't wait to try it. I used a mixture of cold brewed tea and Navy rum (as that what was in the cupboard) and after it had cooled I gave it it's first feed with a couple of tablespoons of sloe gin. Mmmmmm.

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

Will be making this cake again this year, probably going to have to make 2 as I hardly got any of last years after the family got near it!

mindymoo62's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Oops!!! 20 cm tin NOT 20mm!!!! Still too much mix though!!

mindymoo62's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I have just made this cake ready for Christmas and it is cooling in the oven. Loved the idea of mixing your own blend of fruits and put extra cherries and dates in mine. Yum! Agree with lots of other comments, it does take much longer to bake than suggested. Also I had too much mix for my tin ( which was 20mm) maybe mine was not deep enough? No problem I had enough to make a mini one too!! The 20mm cake has cracked on the top but I am hoping the flavour will be good. I am also a Delia Christmas cake fan. Hope this does not disappoint!! Will post a comment once it is eaten........... roll on Christmas.

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

This is my first attempt at making a Christmas cake.
I soaked my fruit for a full 24 hours and baked my cake for 3 hours in total.
I found this cake just right as I could mix the ingredients about.
My partner found out 6 months ago that he has a severe nut allergy. So it made sense for me to have a go and make my own.
Both my daughter & mum are impressed and the smell is AMAZING!!
I can't wait for Xmas day to try it. I will definitely be making this again next year :))

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

I made this last year - my first Christmas cake because I couldn't get the family recipe in time and it looked nice and easy. Not only was it easy (for an absolute baking beginner) it was the most AWESOME Christmas cake EVER!!! Even my mum after berating me for not using the family recipe said how good it was, and she never compliments my cooking.

I used my homemade Blackberry Brandy for soaking and feeding and also used dried cherries in the fruit, which gave it a slightly tart taste. As a fan of Haribo sours, it was perfect! It went down really well. Am going to make this again tomorrow...

ol1vebens0n's picture

Happy days - cake looks and smells wonderful. Easy to make but took about
an hour longer - reckon it will be worth it !!

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

Love the versatility of this recipe. Its in the oven and baking as I type.
The mix tasted amazing and I was sad to scrape it all into the cake tin :)

alanascroft's picture

Half way through cooking smells great, the instructions was very easy to follow, my three year old daughter helped and she can't wait to taste it. What a shame she will have to wait until christmas day or will she.

kbb964's picture

Please can you tell me what depth the cake tin should be ?

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

Tasted good and I like the idea of making your own mix of fruit. The edges were fine as cake but I used the rest warmed up with custard as puddings as it was tending on the soggy side.

2dvc8yx's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Made it and love it...i cooked it for 3hr because i guessed that 2 1/2 hrs would be too short (being a fan of these!) and it was perfect...made it with sherry...so moist but properly cooked. Kaz if you are not sure that it is cooked, just stick a toothpick in next time and if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs on it, it is perfectly cooked!! I am still enjoying it now...soooo nice!

magrat3d's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This was the nicest christmas cake I have made or tasted, ever.

magrat3d's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This cake smells fantastic and I'm looking forward to tasting it.
I love the flexibility as I don't like mixed peel or almonds.
After reading the comments I added an extra 25g of flour for luck and left it to cool in the oven.
After soaking the fruit overnight I found practically no juice leftover, but I mix the fruit up regularly and keep tasting to make sure its going well.

ackers's picture

please cud anyone help me asap.i made this cake a week ago and have gone to feed it today and the cake seems extremly wet?has anyone else had this?not sure wether to make another?

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

Made one of these cakes for work mates birthday in acouple of weeks time, the mix tasted so nice and smelt so great, making another now with aginger twist!!

owleye's picture

The news paper is there to protect the cake from the heat of the oven- it needs to be that high to reach the centre of the cake however the sides of the cake could easily burn/ go hard

sarahmarsh81's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Just popped my cake into the oven and it smells amazing!!!! can't wait till christmas fingers crossed it turns out well as this is my first ever attempt at a christmas cake!!!

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

Christmas arrives early this weekend in my house! Soakup Friday and cook up Saturday, dont panic about the cooking times, it all depends on the oven you have, mine took a little longer last year but turned out perfectly. This cake beats any other recipe i have made and even...dare i say it...Queen of Christmas ...Delia!! sorry. Merry Baking.. and remember if your stuck for double wrapping the tin check our Delias website.!!

Pages

Questions

Tips