Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

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(161 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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stephenjoanne
22nd Nov, 2012
Cake took 2 3/4 hours but look great. Did anyone else's take so long ? (Electric oven)
stephenjoanne
21st Nov, 2012
Made this cake tonight and its still in the oven. I have put it in a 7inch tin so I'm guessing that's why it's taken longer to cook. Won't be eating until Xmas just a little worried that cake feels a little rubbery like its got a skin on it. Is that due to the baking technique?
nosilac
20th Nov, 2012
Cake tin size stated to left of cooking time panel at top of instructions - makes a 20cm round cake.
Sathyai
17th Nov, 2012
20cm MrsT!
kt08kel
17th Nov, 2012
Hi, Can anyone tell me what size cake tin is needed for this recipe. Thanks
kt08kel
17th Nov, 2012
Hi, Can anyone tell me what size cake tini need to use for this recipie? Thanks
tilly44
17th Nov, 2012
This recipe whizzed round the expat Brits in Brittany last Christmas and deservedly so. After nearly 50 years of trying many different recipes this is the one I am sticking with. Easy, fail safe and impossible to tell it has not been made in the traditional way.
michyd29
7th Nov, 2012
5.05
This cake looks really moist and nice. Will give it a go for Christmas...
FlourCoveredGirl
3rd Nov, 2012
5.05
Fabulous cake. Incredibly easy to make, and tastes superb. A bit more detail: I tripled the quantity to fill a 30cm square tin (the type that divides in to 9). As I don't have a saucepan big enough to cook all the ingredients in one go I pre-soaked the fruit, and then added the cooled butter and sugar mix, and then followed the rest of the instructions. I wrapped the tin with a triple layer of brown paper, and half-way through cooking I also loosely covered it with greaseproof paper. I swapped the macadamias for almonds, and added some ginger too. The result is an excellent, very moist and (slightly Christmas-pudding-y) cake, that was a breeze to make.
lemaid
2nd Nov, 2012
5.05
Everyone loved this cake when I made it last year, so just looking up the recipe to make another this year. I leave out the nuts because I don't like them but everything else is per recipe. Great simple recipe.

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