Snow-topped holly cakes

Snow-topped holly cakes

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(18 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins


Makes 2 cakes, each serves 8
This square Christmas cake is cut into two loaf-shaped cakes, so you can give one to a friend

Nutrition and extra info

  • Undecorated cake can be frozen


  • kcal584
  • fat20g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs97g
  • sugars87g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.32g
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  • 8 glacé cherries
  • small holly sprigs, washed and dried
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g butter, chopped



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

  • 700g luxury mixed dried fruit
  • 50g glacé cherry
  • 2 tsp grated fresh root ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • zest and juice 1 orange



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

  • 100ml dark rum, brandy or orange juice
    Dark rum cocktail with a lime slice



    Rum is a type of spirit based on sugar cane. First produced in the 1600s on slave plantations in…

  • 85g pecan
    Pecan nuts



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

  • 3 large eggs, beaten



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

  • 85g ground almonds


    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 mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon



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

  • 250g pack marzipan, halved
    Marzipan cake



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp warmed apricot jam
  • 500g pack fondant icing sugar


  1. Tip the sugar, butter, dried fruit, whole cherries, ginger, orange zest and juice into a large pan. Pour over the rum, brandy or juice, then put on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring frequently to melt the butter. Reduce the heat and bubble gently, uncovered for 10 mins, stirring every now and again to make sure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Set aside for 30 mins to cool.

  2. Stir the nuts, eggs and ground almonds into the fruit, then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices. Stir everything together gently but thoroughly. Your batter is ready.

  3. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Butter and line the base and sides of a 18cm square tin with baking paper. Spoon the cake mix into the tin and level the top with a spoon dipped into boiling water. Bake for 45 mins, then turn oven down to 140C/120C fan/gas 1 and cook for 1 hr more or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Will keep well-wrapped in foil for 2 months or freeze for 1 year.

  4. Carefully cut the square cake in half and trim the edges so that you see the texture of the cake on all sides. Roll out each piece of marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar until the size of the top of each cake.

  5. Generously brush the top of the cakes with jam, place jam-side down on top of the marzipan, then trim away the excess marzipan with a sharp knife.

  6. Make up the fondant icing to a spreading consistency, then spread on top of the cakes so that it slightly runs over the edges. Top with cherries and holly, then leave to set. Will keep in a plastic container in a cool place for 4-7 days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Oct, 2012
If baked in 2 loaf tins, how long should the cooking time be please?
25th Sep, 2012
Anyone know how far in advance you can make it and how do you store it as im making some xmas hampers for the school raffle and would like to make some mini versions of this cake. Thanks x
11th Jan, 2012
Never made a christmas cake before and this one came out perfect!
29th Dec, 2011
Love this cake. My tin was 9" so I doubled the ingredients and cooking time at 120 deg C fan and got a lovely result.
Sakura Sunshine's picture
Sakura Sunshine
28th Jun, 2011
I made this as a christmas present for relatives and they loved it! Takes some time but absolutely worth it and easy! highly recommended.
Sakura Sunshine's picture
Sakura Sunshine
28th Jun, 2011
Also I used 2 loaf tins and it came out perfect.
12th Jan, 2011
I've made this cake in a round tin before about 20cm diameter. Also I slipped up and put in too much fruit but increased on the other ingredients to compensate and it was still delicious.
30th Dec, 2010
I write this as i savour the last slice, it was by far the tastiest christmas cake i have ever made so i will stick to this recipe from now on.
20th Dec, 2010
The cake recipe for this is lovely. I substituted the pecans for walnuts, which i chopped roughly (just because that's what I had in). I cooked it in 2 loaf tins and it turned out suberbly! Very proud of the result and the walnuts gave it lovely crunch every so often, without making it too crunchy. Will definately be keeping this recipe
6th Dec, 2010
Can anyone tell me if I can cook this in a round tin? if so what diameter?


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