Traditional Christmas Cake

Recipe by
Total Time:
4-5 hours
Serves: 8
Nutrition facts:

240 calories, 9 grams fat

Category: Festive Recipe
Technique: Bake Recipe
Difficulty: Hard

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  • Raisins - 600 gms
  • Blackcurrants - 200 gms
  • Dried, sour or glazed cherries - 100 gms
  • Mixed dried fruits, dry prunes, apricots, apples, pears, finely chopped - 250 gms
  • Liquor, plus extra to feed' the cake (brandy, sherry, wine and rum - all work well) - 400 ml
  • Butter - 300 gms
  • Dark brown sugar - 200 gms
  • Lemon - 1
  • Eggs - 4
  • Treacle - 2 tbsp
  • Plain flour - 300 gms
  • Ground ginger - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • Ground almonds - 150 gms
  • Walnuts, chopped - 150 gms

How to Make Traditional Christmas Cake

  • Soak all the fruits in the liquor well in advance (1 Month).
  • Preheat the oven to 150 C and line the base and sides of a 23cm round tin or a 20cm square tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper. You'll need the side lining to be a good 8cm higher than the tin.
  • Blitz half the soaked fruit in a food processor to make a paste, and stir back into the rest of the fruit.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Grate in the zest of your lemon and beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Mix in the treacle. Sift the flour and combine with the spices and ground almonds.
  • Mix into the butter mixture, alternating with the soaked fruit.
  • Finally, fold in the walnuts. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the oven for about 3 hours.
  • Check after 2.5 hours and then every 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush with a little more liquor.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins and then remove, placing it directly onto a large sheet of tin foil.
  • Wrap it up twice to retain the heat for as long as possible.
  • After a few hours, remove the foil and wrap the cake up again in a double sheet of greaseproof paper and a double sheet of tin foil.