Fig & honey Christmas cake

Fig & honey Christmas cake

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins

More effort

Serves 8 - 10

This traditional Christmas cake is the perfect combination of fruit, nuts and spices

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal782
  • fat30g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs121g
  • sugars98g
  • fibre5g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.64g
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  • 750g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g blanched whole almond, roughly chopped


    arr-mund or al-mund

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

  • 100g chopped peel
  • 200g dried fig, roughly chopped



    Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…

  • 100g glacé cherry, well rinsed and quartered
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



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

  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • zest 1 lemon



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

  • 250g lightly salted butter



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

  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp clear honey



    Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…

  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 large eggs



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

  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 3 tbsp brandy, plus extra to feed



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


  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin first with a double layer of brown paper, then with a double layer of baking parchment. In a large bowl, mix the fruit, almonds, peel, figs and cherries. Turn well and add the flour, spices and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar thoroughly, then add the vanilla extract, honey and treacle. Still beating, incorporate the eggs, then stir in the fruit and flour mixture. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and stir in thoroughly. Add the brandy by the spoonful, until you have a soft dropping consistency.

  2. Turn the batter into the cake tin and make a dip in the middle using the back of a spoon. Bake for 3½ hrs, then insert a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s ready. If there is any cake mix on the skewer, give it 10 mins more and test again. When it’s done, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in its tin. The next day, remove from the tin, wrap in fresh greaseproof paper, then put it into an airtight tin or wrap tightly in foil. The usual thing is to keep the cake for at least a month before icing it, and to unwrap and sprinkle it occasionally with more brandy.

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Comments, questions and tips

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28th Dec, 2017
Excellent cake!
12th Nov, 2017
Forgot to add, I used a 23cm (9inch) cake tin, and in my oven it took about 3 hrs 15 mins.
12th Nov, 2017
This cake is absolutely delicious! I made it over the summer for my birthday cake, and my family have asked for the recipe too. I made two a couple of months ago, as I'm now converted from my usual xmas cake, and feed them both with a couple of tablespoons of sherry every fortnight. For the mixed fruit, I used a combination of dried apricots, cranberries, raisins, sultanas, currants and dates. Also used some left over glace ginger the first time I did it. I also put marzipan and royal icing on, but that is just personal preference. I'm sure it'll taste just as nice without.
fionablandford's picture
15th Dec, 2016
~Very very good cake, i soaked the fruit in ornage juice as I am teetotal, left it overnight and it made the fruit and the cake very moist and tasty, loads of compliments! I didnt have quite the right proportions of fuit so i made up the amount with what I had and this worked well. I used a mix of dried cherries, cranberries, rasins etc!
15th Feb, 2014
Lovely cake I don't add the brandy and in my oven it take 4.5 hours to cook but it's such a favourite with everyone I can't make it quick enough!
9th Nov, 2013
Hear hear - have also made it for the last 3 years - and just off to make it 4. Easy to make and so moist
31st Aug, 2013
I love this cake and have made it for the last 3 years. By family were so impressed with it I had to make them all one! It is a lovely moist cake. I would comment that it does take a little longer to cook but is so good you don't mind.
missflops's picture
12th Jan, 2013
Excellent fruit cake. Rich, moist and delicious. Perfect for Xmas when layered with marzipan and icing. Its a huge cake so plenty to enjoy after the festive season is long gone. :-)
25th Dec, 2012
Family very happy with the cake, sadly no matter which type of fruit cake I make, I still don't like it.
9th Dec, 2012
Now made two in the last week, looks good smells good will be interested to see the reaction by friends and family when tasted. I did cut out the peel and added extra nuts instead, surprising the number of people that do not like it


13th Oct, 2016
Which mixed fruits are best to use please?
30th Sep, 2014
I have never made a Christmas cake before and am going to try this recipe, the only thing throwing me is the fact that it says leave to cool in the tin until the day after!! Do I literally do that or do I cover it? Sorry I'm such a novice :)
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2014
Hi there, thanks for the question, leave it in the tin until it's fully cooled. Depending on the time you make it it may be the next day, don't cover it until it's fully cool or it will sweat. It will take a long time to cool as it's a dense cake. 
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