Christmas cake

Makes 1 generous cake


500 g currants

500 g sultanas

250 g raisins

250 g candied peel

250 g glacé cherries

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) brandy

250 g blanched or slivered almonds

250 g (1 cup) butter, at room temperature

300 g sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence

5 ml (1 tsp) almond essence

4 extra-large eggs

500 g cake flour

15 ml (1 tbsp) ground mixed spice

10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

125 ml (1⁄2 cup) marmalade or apricot jam

5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 15 ml (1 Tbsp) milk


  1. Pour boiling water over all the fruit, drain and then soak in the brandy overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 °C.
  3. Grease and double line a large cake tin.
  4. Roast the almonds on a baking tray in the oven until just browned and then chop.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together well.
  6. Add the vanilla and almond essences and the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.
  7. Sift in the flour, spices and salt and fold in.
  8. Mix in the marmalade or jam, fruit, brandy and nuts.
  9. Add the bicarbonate of soda and milk.
  10. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and cover with foil.
  11. Bake for 2 hours at 180 °C and then reduce the heat to 140 °C and bake for a further 4 hours.
  12. Allow to cool completely in the tin and store wrapped in greaseproof paper and foil.

Christmas cake

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