The Christmas Cake Recipe You Need for Stir Up Sunday!

I made our Christmas cake yesterday because my real man gets a bit anxious this time of year in case we don’t have enough tonnage of food for the two of us to eat!

This is the recipe I use which, by making adaptations to various recipes through the years, is apparently getting close to what my real man’s Mam used to make. Also it is delicious. 

Why not pin it for easy reference?

Christmas Cake Recipe

This is for a 23cm (9”) round cake tin –probably easier to buy a new pan than try and calculate for smaller or larger cake tins!

1 kg mixed dried fruit (mine included cranberries which is extra Chritmassy)
120g glacé cherries – cut into quarters
4 tablespoons brandy

~   Mix all of the above together and leave overnight to soak.

The next day …

275g soft dark brown sugar
275g soft butter
275g plain flour
a very generous pinch of salt – maybe ½ teaspoon
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
60g ground almonds
5 large eggs
grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
a generous amount of brown paper
a length of string

~   Preheat the oven to 140ºC/275°F/120ºC fan/gas 1.
~   Grease the 23cm cake tin, line with baking parchment and grease again.
~   Cut two long strips of brown paper sufficient to tie a band round the cake tin plus cut a circle of brown paper the size of the cake tin and cut 3cm hole in the middle.


~   In a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter until really fluffy and well combined.  Don’t stint on this.

~   In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt and mixed spice.  Then add the ground almonds.
~   In another bowl beat the eggs together.
~   Stir the zests and the golden syrup into the fruit and brandy mixture.
~   Gradually, a little at a time, whisk the beaten eggs into the creamed butter and it is a good idea to add just a spoonful or so of the flour mix at the same time – this will prevent curdling.
~   When fully combined fold in the rest of the flour mixture. When I say fold I mean fold in, not stir– see below.


~   Now stir in the fruit and all its juices – I know it seems a lot, I am perturbed every year but it works.


~   Decant into your prepared cake tin, level the top and tie the bands of brown paper around the cake tin, place the piece of paper with a hole on top and then put it in the oven.

~   Make a cup of coffee (or tea I suppose) and scrape the bowl.  For this reason it is best to make this when your family is out.
~   The cake will take 4½ - 5 hours and ignore for at least 4 hours.  It is really when a cocktail stick or similar inserted into the centre comes out clean.
~   Cool for a little while in the pan then carefully remove and finish cooling on a rack.

Store the cake wrapped in parchment in an airtight tin and every now and then pour a spoonful of brandy into its bottom till Christmas.

How to "fold in"

Although it is difficult to explain an action in words, for those of you unsure of how to fold in I’m going to give it a try because it is important - you want to retain the air that has been whisked in and even to fold in a tad more.

Using a large metal spoon or a spatula cut across the middle of the mixture, slide the spoon or spatula under it to the edge of the bowl and fold that portion over the rest.

It’s quite easy to do, just hard to describe. Keep cutting and folding from different angles, rotating the bowl, till everything is merged together in a light and airy way.

Please pin!

Stress Free Christmas Recipes

I would, of course, just like to mention my Christmas book Easy Festive Food for a Stress-Free Christmas!

Catering for Christmas can be time consuming, tiring and a bit stressy, so I thought I’d offer some suggestions to make it quicker, easier, more relaxed and perhaps more impressive!

This book does not contain all the information and directions that you can find everywhere in books, magazines and on the net such as roasting times or mince pie recipes. This contains a collection of useful ideas and recipes that as a professional chef I have used over the years to delight guests and customers without knackering myself! 

Included are over 50 interesting recipes such as The Quickest, Easiest, Smoothest and Richest Chicken Liver Pâté I know, a super easy but Really Luxurious Bread Sauce and a gorgeous no-churn Christmas Pudding Ice Cream. I have also added every useful idea, hint and tip I can think of!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Aaaargh, I still haven't made my Christmas cake! I really must get on with it. I always seem to start making it too late in the day so I'm up in the middle of the night checking if it's cooked.