Christmas Cake

The festive season is right around the corner, and November is the perfect time to start making your Christmas cake so you can feed it with brandy, whisky or rum ready for a rich, delicious cake on the big day!


  • 1kg mixed dry fruit
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 150ml brandy, whisky or rum
  • 250g butter
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almond
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Get a large saucepan and add in the dried fruit, orange and lemon zest and juice, butter, sugar and your chosen alcohol. Set over a medium heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Tip the fruit mixture into a bowl and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 150c / 130c Fan / Gas Mark 2 and line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Now wrap a double layer or newspaper around the outside of the tin and secure with string.
  3. Pop the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, cloves, flaked almonds, eggs and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer along with the fruit mixture and mix well.
  4. Tip into your prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours. Remove the cake from the oven and prick all over with a wooden skewer. Spoon over 2tbsp of your chosen alcohol and leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Once cool, remove from the tin and peel off the baking parchment. Wrap well in cling film, and feed with 2tbsp of your chosen alcohol every two weeks.
  6. Stop feeding the cake with alcohol one week before you ice it, as this will allow time for the top of the cake to dry out.

Lead image: marilyna via Getty images.