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One extra-fruity Christmas cake on a white plate

Extra-fruity Christmas cake

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus overnight soaking and a few weeks feeding
  • More effort
  • Serves 18 - 22

Make this beautifully rich Christmas cake a month ahead of the big day. With brandy-soaked fruit in every bite, it's a taste of the season

Nutrition: Per serving (22)


  • 400g currants
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 100g pitted dates
  • 150g dried apricots
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 175ml brandy or bourbon, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g dark muscovado sugar
  • ½ tbsp treacle
  • 4 large eggs
  • 275g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g ground almonds


  • STEP 1

    Put all the dried fruit, the mixed peel and citrus zests in a large bowl, the pour over the brandy. Stir, cover and leave to soak overnight.

  • STEP 2

    The next day, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line the base and side of a deep 23cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, so it comes a few centimetres above the rim.

  • STEP 3

    Beat the butter, sugar and treacle together in a large bowl using an electric whisk, until pale and creamy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a separate bowl, then stir this into the wet ingredients along with the ground almonds until combined.

  • STEP 4

    Stir in the rehydrated fruit along with the soaking liquid, then spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 2 hrs 25 mins-2 hrs 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.If the cake starts to darken too quickly, cover with foil.

  • STEP 5

    Leave to cool completely in the tin, then prick small holes all over the surface using a cocktail stick or skewer and brush over a little brandy. Wrap the cake in baking parchment, then a sheet of foil. Store in an airtight container and feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp brandy each week for three or four weeks, stopping the week before you want to ice it. Will keep in a cool, dry place for six months.

Recipe tip
Amaretto & cherry Christmas cake Swap the brandy for amaretto, and add 1 tsp almond extract along with 100g chopped glacé cherries to the dried fruit.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, Christmas 2020

Goes well with


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A star rating of 4 out of 5.6 ratings

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