Buttered rum Christmas cake

Buttered rum Christmas cake

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 15 mins plus overnight soaking


Serves 15 - 20
Mix dried fruit, nuts, cranberries and maple syrup on Stir-up Sunday for this crowd-pleasing Christmas cake that improves as it keeps

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice (20)

  • kcal421
  • fat16g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs59g
  • sugars50g
  • fibre2g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten



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

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • zest 1 small orange



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

  • 85g pecans or walnuts, toasted, then roughly chopped
    Pecan nuts



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

For the fruit

  • 150ml cloudy apple juice
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    Maple syrup

    Maple syrup

    may-pul sir-rup

    The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree

  • 5 tbsp dark rum
  • 800g mixed dried fruit (the kind that includes mixed peel)
  • 175g dried cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

To feed the cake (each time)

  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    Maple syrup

    Maple syrup

    may-pul sir-rup

    The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree


  1. Start with the fruit. Pour the apple juice into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the butter, let it melt, then take off the heat and add the syrup and rum. Put the mixed fruit and cranberries into a large bowl, pour over the hot rum mix, then cover tightly with cling film and leave overnight.

  2. The next day, heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and double-line a 20cm round, deep cake tin with non-stick baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale, then gradually beat in the eggs until light and fluffy. If the mix starts to split or look lumpy, add 1 tbsp of the flour and keep beating. Sift in the flour, spices and 1/4 tsp salt, and fold in using a large spoon. Fold in the orange zest, nuts, soaked fruit and soaking liquid.

  3. Spoon the batter into the tin, level the top, then make a slight dimple in the middle using the back of the spoon. Bake for 1 hr 30 mins, then reduce oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1 and bake for a further 1 hr 45 mins or until it has risen, is a dark golden colour and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Put the tin on a cooling rack and leave until warm.

  4. To feed the cake the first time, use a cocktail stick to poke all over the top of the warm cake. Stir together the rum and maple syrup, then slowly spoon over the cake. Cool completely, then remove the baking parchment, wrap loosely in clean baking parchment and store in an airtight tin. Feed the cake every week to 10 days until you decorate it.

  5. To cover, ice and decorate your cake, see 'goes well with' for instructions on how to make our Midwinter candle cake, Sparkly bauble cake or Sparkling snowfetti cake.

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Comments, questions and tips

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25th Dec, 2019
Reduce the sugar by a hell lot! You can't taste anything of the spices,its a nice cake,looks and structure wise, but God! It's a diabetics nightmare!
SONU JOJO's picture
17th Dec, 2018
Any substitute for cloudy apple juice? It’s not available in India
11th Jan, 2018
I made this cake a few weeks before Christmas, and left out the maple syrup altogether. I left it a week before starting the 'feeding of Rum' which I did up until Christmas week, the smell was fabulous every time I opened the tin. I used marmalade instead of apricot jam to seal it before putting a thin layer of marzipan on, then soft icing and decoration. My husband said it is the best Christmas cake he's ever tasted. A really good recipe which I will definitely use again.
11th Dec, 2015
I made this today and made a couple of smaller ones so we could taste it. It smelled so good we ended up eating it warm. It was delicious. I omitted the maple syrup entirely, depite loving maple syrup. After reading the comment below, I thought it would be too sweet. It turned out perfect without it. Thank you.
26th Nov, 2015
Wonderful recipe. But I did not like the flavour of Maple Syrup, it made the cake sickly sweet. The second time I used the recipe I exchanged the M.S. with Honey. I also halved the amount of honey to 1 tablesp and left it out altogether in the "feeding" of the cake. Much nicer altogether, the other flavours in the cake came through. Maple Syrup is for pancakes only, but there again, I prefer Honey!
22nd Nov, 2015
5 star based on ingredients, appearance and smell - I'll have to wait for a month or so before the cake gets decorated and eaten. I intend to "feed" it weekly with the rum/maple syrup mix so it should be wonderful by Christmas.
17th Nov, 2015
I made this yesterday 12 mini cakes (lakeland mini cakes pan loose bottom) & a half sphere (also lakeland pan next to largest size) did some QC and test a mini cake tasted lovely looking forward to the large on after weekly feeds
Mrs Legass
16th Nov, 2015
I'm a little nervous of baking a cake with no raising agent, as the recipe only states the use of plain flour. Will the eggs provide enough rise?
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