Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

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(160 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 1 hr - 2 hrs, 30 mins (cooking time 2 hrs 30 if gas oven)

More effort

Makes a 20cm round cake
An easy-to-make alternative to traditional Christmas cakes which requires no beating

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition:

  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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Ingredients

  • 175g butter, chopped
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

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

  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 750g luxury mixed dried fruit (one that includes mixed peel and glacé cherries)
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

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

  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

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

  • 100ml/3½ fl oz cherry brandy or brandy plus 4tbsp more
    Brandy

    Brandy

    bran-dee

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

  • 85g macadamia nut
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

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

  • 85g ground almond
    Almond

    Almond

    arr-mund or al-mund

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

  • 200g plain flour
  • 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 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon

    sin-ah-mun

    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • ¼ tsp ground allspice

Method

  1. Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line a 20cm round cake tin. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them until evenly browned, or in the oven for 8-10 minutes - keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.

  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down evenly - you will find this is easiest with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped into boiling water.

  5. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾ hours if you have a gas oven) until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

  6. Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it's cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or you can freeze it for six months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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pikacle
10th Dec, 2011
Just made this recipe - the only alteration was changing the cinnamon to nutmeg - personal preference. If the cake comes out tasting as good as the cake mix, we are in for a treat! I also made the old Delia recipe a few weeks ago so it will be interesting to see how traditional v's this recipe compare.
wurood
9th Dec, 2011
Hi Epicurist, thanks for replying. I'm going to give it a go tomorrow. Going to try sultanas, raisins, dates and chopped apricots and of course mixed peel and glade cherries. Thanks again
epicurist
8th Dec, 2011
5.05
Hi Wurood, the basic components of a packet of mixed dried fruit are raisins, sultanas and currants. As the recipe says, a luxury version will usually also contain mixed peel - crystallised peel of oranges, lemons and limes - glacé cherries and a number of other dried fruits. I used a basic mix of raisins, sultanas and currants, to which I added chopped apricots and soured cherries. I replaced macadamia nuts with hazelnuts and added extra nutmeg. It turned out great and has already been eaten!
wurood
7th Dec, 2011
I live abroad and can't find ready dried mixed fruit - could anybody help and give ingredients for the mixed fruit. Pls I'm stuck - I promised my daughter that I will make her one
lesley-holmes
4th Dec, 2011
5.05
I am not a fan of traditional Christmas cake but I made this a couple of years ago to have a cake for family coming round at Christmas and it was delicious. Everyone really loved it and it has become a Christmas essential now each year. Really moist and full of flavour - cannot recommend enough!!
halifaxlady
2nd Dec, 2011
5.05
Really easy to make best xmas cake I have ever made, so moist yummy. Will definately use this receipe again.
kbsylvester
29th Nov, 2011
5.05
The easiest and most successful Christmas cake I have made (not tasted yet as it's maturing for Christmas). Highly recommend.
londongirl11
29th Nov, 2011
Hi have just seen this recipe as I am about to make Delias cake! Has anyone reduced the sugar successfully please? Thanks
londongirl11
29th Nov, 2011
Hi have just seen this recipe as I am about to make Delias cake! Has anyone reduced the sugar successfully please? Thanks
denisel03
27th Nov, 2011
so i have just made this cake and house smells fab , just put it in the oven - wish me luck

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