Cookbook:Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake
Iced christmas cake.jpg
Category Dessert recipes
Servings 10
Time 4 days approx

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Dessert

Christmas cake is a fruitcake traditionally served around Christmas in the United Kingdom, especially after long walks to be had with tea.

This is a traditional, somewhat extravagant recipe which is quite easy to make, but steeping the fruit should be done over a long time for best results. The resultant cakes should last in very good condition for several months if kept whole in air-tight tins.


To make a round 10-inch diameter cake.

The fruit
  • 600 g currants
  • 400 g sultanas
  • 400 g glacé cherries, quartered
  • 200 g raisins
  • 100 g cut candied peel
  • 200 ml sherry
  • 100 ml brandy
  • 50 ml kirsch (or rum)
The cake mixture
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 300 g lightly salted soft margarine (The "Stork" brand is traditional)
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 100 g finely-chopped almonds
  • 2 teaspoons of ground mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons of black treacle


The fruit

Place all the fruit in a large bowl and pour the spirits over the mixture. Cover the bowl in metal foil and leave in a cool place. Mix and stir the fruit every day for at least three days; after a fortnight most of the alcohol will have soaked in and further soaking has no benefit.

The cake mixture

First beat together the sugar and margarine with the eggs. Add the almonds and black treacle and mix further. Sieve the flours and the mixed spice into the mixture, beating until a smooth mixture results. Then combine with the pre-prepared fruit (above) and place in a tin lined with baking parchment.


Bake at a low temperature (140C, 275F, Gas mark 1) for at least four hours. It may take up to five hours, depending on the oven. Once a knife comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow to cool fully. Stored in an airtight box the cake should keep for at least four months. Traditionally, the cake is made on the first Sunday of Advent and (once cooled) is 'fed' with alcohol (brandy or rum) every few days until just before Christmas, when it is iced.