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. While cow…

  • 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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4th Dec, 2012
Really good recipe. Made it last year and it was amazing, really moist. Best christmas cake I've tasted. I just made this year's and can't wait to eat it - also cooking time was spot on.
jobarley's picture
26th Nov, 2012
Oops, forgot to rate!
jobarley's picture
26th Nov, 2012
This is the first Christmas cake I've ever made, I'm on my 3rd year of making it now and it's so delicious I've not been tempted to try another recipe yet, everyone who's tried it has loved it! I soak all the fruit and almonds in brandy for a day before I make the cake, then feed it with more brandy every week. This year I used a 9 inch cake tin & it only took 15 mins more, when I used and 8 inch tin it took upto an hour longer than the recipe states. I'm getting married this year & going to make it for my wedding cake.
23rd Nov, 2012
I am going to make the cake on Sunday, but I haven't got possibility to buy black treacle - can it be replaced by anything else?
23rd Nov, 2012
CookeryQueen - thanks for the advice will check that out! I made some individual ones using largeish ramekins and caved and tried one and oh boy this is one tasty cake! I honestly don't think it needs icing but i know some people do like the full works - get some hot custard on this or brandy sauce and you will be yummy heaven!
22nd Nov, 2012
Oops! Used the largest bowl for the fruit. It's okay, the creamed mixture easily transferred into the largest bowl to be mixed with the fruit and flour. And all the mixture fitted into the tin.
20th Nov, 2012
FGeri82. I haven't made this cake although I am thinking of doing so. Found a site "Scaling up cake recipes from Delia online". Most of the ingredients for her 6 inch cake are half of the 8 inch . Maybe you could check it out and see what you think. Happy baking!
13th Nov, 2012
I have made three of these cakes now and even though I have not tasted them yet (not cooked anyway but the mix tastes good) they look and smell delicious. They certainly look like they are going to be super moist and tasty. Based on smel, look and ease of recipe 5 stars! I do have a question though, I have made them so far using an 8inch round tin, does ayone know how to go about recalculating the recipe quantities to make it smaller like a 6inch tin? I have a recipe converter but s from the US so everything is in cups etc. Any help would be appreciated :)
31st Oct, 2012
3rd year of making this cake. Have done 6 up to now, the family all love it
15th Sep, 2012
I couldn't be more impressed with this recipe. For years my mum has bought the family cake from a friend who makes her own and we always thought hey we're beautiful until last year when I made this one. It was my first ever try at a Christmas cake and it came out beautifully (purely down to the recipe) and was very moist and not at all heavy. I made mine in late September and it matured very well and was delicious when served at Christmas. I also fed it with brandy every two weeks which gave it a lovely boozy undertone but was not too strong. This year I am making it for the family again and have been asked to make it as a 3 tier wedding cake for my brother who is getting married in December! I have to add the cake mix by itself tastes incredible, better than the actual cake. If I could buy it in the shop as a snack I would.


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