Angela Nilsen's Christmas cake

Angela Nilsen's Christmas cake

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(25 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins - 50 mins Cook: 2 hrs - 2 hrs, 45 mins


Cuts into 16 slices
A long-life Christmas cake that's bursting with flavours of spices and vanilla

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen, but no need to

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal427
  • fat22g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs53g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.42g
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  • 200g butter, softened to room temperature



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

  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten



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

  • 50g ground almond
  • 100ml sherry, sweet or dry, whatever you have in the cupboard
  • 85g candied peel, roughly chopped (we used Sundora)
  • 85g glacé cherry, roughly chopped
  • 250g raisin
  • 250g currant
  • 100g pack pecan nuts, broken into big pieces
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • finely grated zest 1 lemon



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

  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1½ tsp rosewater
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ 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…


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20 cm round, 7.5 cm deep cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for 1-2 mins until very creamy and pale in colour, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through. Stir in a spoonful of the flour, then stir in the beaten egg and the rest of the flour alternately, a quarter at a time, beating well each time with a wooden spoon. Stir in the almonds.

  2. Mix in the sherry (the mix will look curdled), then add the peel, cherries, raisins, cherries, nuts, lemon zest, spice, rosewater and vanilla. Beat together to mix, then stir in the baking powder.

  3. Spoon mixture into the tin and smooth the top, making a slight dip in the centre. Bake for 30 mins, then lower temperature to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2 and bake a further 2-2¼ hrs, until a skewer insterted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then take out of the tin and peel off the lining paper. When completely cold, wrap well in cling film and foil to store until ready to decorate. The cake will keep for several months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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12th Dec, 2011
Beautiful cake, but next time i will cook for maybe 5 to 10 mins less as was a bit crunchy on the outside. Great cake though
4th Dec, 2011
first class
27th Nov, 2011
cant wait to make this cake for christmas i will get back to you and let you know how it went have a good christmas and new year in 2012 x
22nd Nov, 2011
Made this fruit cake about three months ago and have fed it with a good Cognac for two months, it tasted wonderful and am now well into my second cake and feeding with Rum. Fingers crossed for another top tasting cake. I added 3oz of fresh chopped figs with the second one(Carribean touch), hence the Rum feed.
16th Nov, 2011
I made you recipe into a beautiful cake, decorated with almonds and cherries - first class, thank you so much.
13th Nov, 2011
been making this xmas cake since it first appeared in the mag, and its never let me down, a firm family favorite..... I always soak the fruit over night in sherry before I make it.
9th Nov, 2011
I have made this today, my first ever homemade Christmas cake and couldn't believe how quick and easy it was to get going! I got everything weighed and measured in advance then set to work and after approximately 15 minutes my cake is now cooking away in the oven. I left out the nuts and replaced the peel with some nice chewy dates and I couldn't find rose water so just added extra vanilla instead which we all love and I don't think it will affect the end result too much. I'm planning to decorate it also so fingers crossed it comes out to plan!
6th Nov, 2011
i made this today, 1st ever christmas cake, but for some reason my cake is not half the thickness as in the picture, does this matter, how can i get it to rise more? it smells lovely though.
suzyahart's picture
4th Nov, 2011
Hi I would like to make small cakes as gifts has anyone else done this + do you know how many cakes would get from this recipe + how long i should cook them for? thanks
31st Oct, 2011
This year I wanted to make mini individual Christmas cakes as not everyone in my family likes it. Will that change the cooking time and will they be dry? I don't know if it will work. Any suggestions gratefully received.


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