How to make a Christmas cake

Make this Christmas fruitcake a few weeks in advance and feed it regularly with brandy in the run-up to the big day. It's a deliciously boozy and moist cake that's well worth the effort.

Bake this make & mature Christmas cake from Stir-up Sunday onwards. Feeding the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight will ensure you have a really luxurious fruitcake that's full of flavour. However, don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing. 

Make & mature Christmas cake recipe

  1. Line a 20cm deep cake tin with baking parchment. Line the outside with newspaper and tie with string (this provides an insulating layer to keep the outer edges of the cake from burning before the middle is cooked).
  2. Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 150ml brandy (or sherry, whisky or rum), 200g light soft brown sugar and 250g softened butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. 
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Leave to cool for 30 mins. 
  4. Tip into a mixing bowl and add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 4 large eggs. Stir well.  
  5. Tip into the lined tin and level the top with a spatula. 
  6. Bake at 150C/130C fan/gas 2 for 2 hours. Leave to cool. 
  7. Poke holes all over the cake with a skewer. Spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. 
  8. Store in an airtight container and feed with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight (for up to two months). 

Decorate your cake just before Christmas. Find out how to marzipan and ice a fruitcake and check out our Christmas cake decorating ideas.  

More Christmas cake inspiration 

Best ever Christmas cake recipes
Make & mature Christmas cake recipe
Easy-peasy fruitcake 
Gold Christmas drip cake 
Snowman cake 

What's your favourite way to decorate a Christmas cake? Leave a comment below...

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