Orlando Murrin's Deluxe Christmas Cake

Orlando Murrin's Deluxe Christmas Cake

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins - 45 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins

A challenge

Cuts into 12 slices
An 'intergalactically special' Christmas cake enriched with the honey-vanilla-whisky flavours of bourbon - it'll improve with keeping so bake it early

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal594
  • fat24g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs90g
  • sugars38g
  • fibre3g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.69g
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  • 4 tbsp bourbon
  • 200g sultana
  • 100g glacé cherry, halved
  • 100g/4oz semi-dried pineapple, roughly chopped



    With its tuft of spiky, dusty green leaves and cross-hatched, golden orange skin, the pineapple…

  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 500g crystallised fruit (including colourful ones such as orange slices, pears, figs, pineapple) roughly chopped, plus extra whole fruits to decorate
  • 100g walnut, roughly chopped



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon



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

  • 200g butter, at room temperature



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

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten



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

  • 200g plain flour mixed with ½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to fan 130C/ conventional 150C/gas 2. Butter and double line a deep 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. Stir bourbon into the sultanas and let stand while you continue with the next step, stirring occasionally.

  2. Put the remaining fruits and the nuts into a big bowl with the lemon juice. In another very large bowl, cream the butter with the lemon zest and sugar. Add the eggs alternately with the flour in three or four batches, then stir in the sultanas plus any liquid, and all the fruit and nut mixture.

  3. Transfer to the tin and smooth the top, sloping it in towards the centre so it’s 2cm below the level of the sides.

  4. Bake for about 2½ hours – it’s done when a skewer comes out with no cake mixture sticking to it. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, turn out and let it cool fully.

  5. Wrap the cake tightly in cling film and foil. (It will keep in a cool spot for up to 2 months.) To add even more flavour and moistness, pierce the top with a skewer and pour over 2 tbsp bourbon every few weeks.

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Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Nov, 2013
I had no end of trouble finding the crystallised fruit. None of the main supermarkets stocked them. Finally I have found somewhere in Edinburgh that does mail order - looking forward to them arriving later this week so I can try this recipe!
2nd Dec, 2012
So glad I found this! Made this for a few years after it appeared in the magazine, but then lost the recipe!! No other Christmas cake compares.
26th Nov, 2017
Hi Raemac I'm unsure on this recipe whether the cristallised fruit goes in the mix or on top of the cake or some in(chopped) and some on top. Can you help. Geoff
annajones's picture
19th Nov, 2009
Wonderful cake, been making it for years as Christmas presents. New slant on it this year - I'm making them fairy-cake/muffin sized.
6th Jan, 2009
I cooked two of these for xmas this year. I didn't have the varied number of fruit so used currants, sultanas and raisins and used almonds and brandy instead. Both cakes were fantastic and went down well.
1st Oct, 2008
I cook this every year since first seeing the recipe in the magazine years ago. I detest the usual over sweet, over rich christmas cake and so always went without. But since doing this, I love it. I do mine at the end of October and skewer it once a week or so and drizzle with brandy (dont like bourbon). I can get nearly a whole bottle of brandy into my cake (not child friendly, lol). I also exchange the sultanas (dont like them) for dried cherries and blueberries and the walnuts (also dont like) for pecans. I use dates, mango, papaya any tropical or unusual fruits I can get hold of. I have done this cake for birthdays and parties etc and everyone loves it, although mine does come with a drink driving warning! I have this with Mary Cadogan's Jewelled Mincemeat every year and everyone has always said its the best they have had. Even my dad who hates everything and everyone!
23rd Sep, 2008
Love this cake. This will be the third year I've made it for Christmas
26th Nov, 2017
I'm unsure on this recipe whether the crystallised fruit goes in the mixture or on top as decoration. Can anyone help as its a bit vague as to how you get from the cooling period to the finished cake in the picture.
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