Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

Simmer-&-stir Christmas cake

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(200 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 1 hr - 2 hrs, 30 mins (cooking time 2 hrs 30 if gas oven)

More effort

Makes a 20cm round cake
An easy-to-make alternative to traditional Christmas cakes which requires no beating

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 175g butter, chopped



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

  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 750g luxury mixed dried fruit (one that includes mixed peel and glacé cherries)
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange



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

  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon



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

  • 100ml/3½ fl oz cherry brandy or brandy plus 4tbsp more



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

  • 85g macadamia nut
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten



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

  • 85g ground almond


    arr-mund or al-mund

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

  • 200g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



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

  • ¼ tsp ground allspice


  1. Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line a 20cm round cake tin. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them until evenly browned, or in the oven for 8-10 minutes - keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.

  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down evenly - you will find this is easiest with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped into boiling water.

  5. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾ hours if you have a gas oven) until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

  6. Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it's cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or you can freeze it for six months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Dec, 2011
I am a 13 year old, who loves to cook. I am also a coeliac. I made this recipe Gluten free by using "Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour Blend". This cake came out SUPERB, and I mean superb. Much better than store bought, and you can't tell I made it Gluten Free. I did not leave this cake to mature, and just took it out of the tin, cooled it, then iced and ate! I iced this cake with marzipan and royal icing. I 100% reccommend this cake recipe...Its so easy, AND yummy! My fave combination!
17th Dec, 2011
i made this cake last week, came out great. If i dont want to add the alcohol do i still need to make up for the liquid content? Also can i use self raising flour instead?
16th Dec, 2011
Superb cake for every occasion. Super moist and so nice.
14th Dec, 2011
Best Christmas cake I have ever made!
11th Dec, 2011
Made this lovely easy cake a few weeks ago and it is so easy to make. We tried it this morning, OH is now on second slice. Love it. Lovely and moist and so flavorfull. Have had requests to make again and again.
11th Dec, 2011
Hi Wurood, your fruit mix sounds great! Hope the bake went well.
10th Dec, 2011
Just made this recipe - the only alteration was changing the cinnamon to nutmeg - personal preference. If the cake comes out tasting as good as the cake mix, we are in for a treat! I also made the old Delia recipe a few weeks ago so it will be interesting to see how traditional v's this recipe compare.
9th Dec, 2011
Hi Epicurist, thanks for replying. I'm going to give it a go tomorrow. Going to try sultanas, raisins, dates and chopped apricots and of course mixed peel and glade cherries. Thanks again
8th Dec, 2011
Hi Wurood, the basic components of a packet of mixed dried fruit are raisins, sultanas and currants. As the recipe says, a luxury version will usually also contain mixed peel - crystallised peel of oranges, lemons and limes - glacé cherries and a number of other dried fruits. I used a basic mix of raisins, sultanas and currants, to which I added chopped apricots and soured cherries. I replaced macadamia nuts with hazelnuts and added extra nutmeg. It turned out great and has already been eaten!
7th Dec, 2011
I live abroad and can't find ready dried mixed fruit - could anybody help and give ingredients for the mixed fruit. Pls I'm stuck - I promised my daughter that I will make her one


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