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 Christmas Cake Recipe

PRINTER FRIENDLY
VERSION

Christmas Cake without icing
Our Christmas Cake recipe is illustrated with step by step pictures to ease you gently through the process. At key stages we give you hints and tips which make it as easy as pie!


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KEY POINTS

Preparation Time:    Cooking Time:  
How Difficult  Medium  Freeze?   Yes (see comment 16/01/2012)
Servings  25cm (10 in) cake

CHRISTMAS CAKE
This Christmas Cake Recipe page deals with making and baking the Christmas Cake. When you are ready to marzipan and ice your Christmas Cake click on one of the following pages:

How To Make and Bake a Christmas Cake
How To Marzipan a Christmas Cake
How To Ice Your Christmas Cake with Ready-To-Roll Icing
How To Ice Your Christmas Cake The Traditional Method

A Recipe That Your Children Can Cook

We use the Christmas Cake baked with this recipe for marzipan and icing.

Recipe by .

TIME
45 minutes preparation time
3 hours cooking time but be extra sure to check (see below) after 2 hours as some ovens vary considerably.

INGREDIENTS
The ingredients below will make enough to fill a 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inch) cake tin.

Christmas Cake Recipe ingredients. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks
Note, Mixed Spice is missing from the picture.


Ingredients Imperial Metric
Butter or margarine at room temperature (1 hour or so out of the fridge) 8 oz 230 g
5 medium eggs - -
Mixed Fruit (e.g. currants, raisins, sultanas, peel) 1 lb 680 g
Glace cherries - roughly chopped 2 oz 60 g
Mixed spice teaspoon teaspoon
Ground almonds 2 oz 60 g
Demerara sugar 8 oz 230 g
Almonds - roughly chopped 2 oz 60 g
Self-raising flour 12 oz 340 g
Brandy or rum 4 fl oz 110 ml
Milk - if needed to adjust consistency of mixture 2 fl oz 55 ml


NOTE: You will need more brandy to add to the cake as it matures. Allow for another 4 fl oz / 110 ml.

COOKING EQUIPMENT
1 cake tin - 20 to 25cm diameter
Food blender or a a lot of manual stirring!
A large bowl
Grease proof paper

OVEN TEMPERATURE
170 C, 325F, Gas Mark 3

METHOD 
Grease proof paper in a cake tin.Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks Grease the inside of the cake tin with butter, margarine or oil. Cover the inside of the cake tin with greaseproof paper as shown in the picture on the left.

It's important to get the paper sat neatly in the cake tin. Click here for our page on how to do this the professional and easy way! With step by step pictures of course.

 
Place the sugar and butter in your food blender and mix them well - this will take around a minute at medium to high speed.

The texture after blending will be thick and creamy. Start the blender going again and add the eggs. Keeping the blender going at medium to high speed will stop the eggs curdling.

Blending Christmas Cake ingredients. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks.

 
Blending Christmas Cake ingredients. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks. The process of blending in the eggs will incorporate a lot of air into the cake mixture (click picture to enlarge it and see more clearly the air bubbles).

It's the air in the cake mixture which will keep the cake 'light'. Turn the oven on now so that it is pre-heated to the right temperature.


Remove the mixture from the blender and gently spoon it into a wide bowl Add the flour, ground almonds and mixed spice into the bowl and gently mix them in. The object here is to mix all the ingredients well but not to 'knock' the air out of the mixture. Do this by using a spoon and gently stir in a figure of 8. It will take about 30 seconds to mix up all the ingredients. Incorporating air into a Christmas Cake mixture. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks

 
Stirring the ingredients of a Christmas Cake. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks. Add the mixed fruit, glace cherries, chopped almonds and brandy. Gently mix the ingredients together using a spoon as described in the previous paragraph.

The consistency of the mix should be such that the mixture will drop off a spoon with some reluctance (click picture to see more clearly). If the mixture is too thick, add some of the milk and mix gently again.

 
Gently spoon the mixture into the cake tin lined with greaseproof paper. Level out the mixture using the spoon.

Make a small well in the centre of the mixture. This will prevent the cake form rising too excessively in the centre when it is baking. Click picture to see more clearly.

Christmas Cake mixture. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks.

 
Picture of Christmas Cake. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks Put the cake tin in the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 3 hours (pre-heated oven 170C, 325F, Gas Mark 3), 20 minutes less for fan assisted ovens. Check after two hours.
Turn the cake round in the oven once or twice during baking to ensure that it evenly cooks. When the cake is cooked (see next para for judging this), the top will probably be slightly cracked. This matters not one jot because we will turn the cake over to ice it!

 
Check if the Christmas Cake is cooked properly by inserting a skewer or thin knife into the cake. If it's reasonably clean when you take it out, the cake is cooked. If there are bits stuck to the skewer / knife it needs cooking a bit more.

The example on the left was from a cake that needed about 20 minutes more cooking.

Testing if a Christmas Cake is cooked. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks.

Ovens differ in how fast they cook so check your cake after 2 hours and then every 20 minutes to see if it is cooked.
 


View of base of cake

Let the cake cool for a couple of hours then prepare it for storage. Cover with greaseproof paper then either wrap it in foil or store it in an airtight container.

Ideally, the cake should be matured for a month or more before icing it. If storing the cake for more than two weeks, add a small amount of brandy to the cake every two weeks.

The best way to add brandy is to turn the cake upside down, prick it with a fork in several places then sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of brandy over the base of the cake. Rewrap the cake as before, base downwards.

MORE CAKE RECIPES

33 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE4.5 star rating

20 October 2013 From: Lisa
Easy to make....fab to eat! Took advice about lower temperatures and mixing fruit with flour before adding...ensured that there was an even distribution through the cake, no dropping to the bottom. The only thing I changed was using golden caster sugar instead of Demerara, made the cake lighter. I've been using this recipe since I first found it and it has never let me down!

22 September 2010 From: Laura
Nice easy Christmas Cake recipe, made it already in preparation for Christmas, can't wait to try it!

24 September 2010 From: Bill Monds
For cooking small sized Christmas cake(s) simply reduce oven temp to 275F.Actually I would suggest 275F for the full size cake also. Rich fruit Christmas cakes cook better (prefer) the lower temp and longer cooking time. Happy Baking.  Bill.

25 September 2010 From: Anita Carvill
Used this cake in 2009 and it was brilliant, other half loved it. Using it again this year with some slight alterations to the fruit and nut mixture as my mum prefers brazil nuts so a handful have gone it. Thank you :o)

Not Given 14 October 2010 From: Jeanette Wills
If you mix half the flour into the fruit this will prevent the fruit from sinking.

16 October 2010 From: Q Rego
Wonderful recipe, tried it before and turned out great, getting ready to make more this year! Thank you for the step by step guide.

16 October 2010 From: Marian Hoblyn
Thank you so much. have been looking for an easier recipe than my mum's for years. very impressed.

31 October 2010 From: Denni Hemsworth
First year used this recipe left out the almonds and made the cake 1 with brandy 1 with Rum and 1 with Disaronno always soaked the fruit in liquid first for 24hrs. Brilliant, all the family have been around as the cakes were baking all expecting invitation for Xmas for a piece of the xmas cake all mine and the wife and I have been chef for 30 years. One of the best recipes I have found for years so simple.

31 October 2010 From: Ranju
ITS REALLY NICE RECIPE TRIED IT AND CAME OUT REALLY AS IT WAS IN THE RECIPE GONNA MAKE IT THIS YEAR FOR CHRISTMAS.

11 November 2010 From: Dee
Made this Christmas cake last year in a square tin and cut in half to make 2, one for the m/law. Will be making it again this year but soaking the fruit first over night using sherry instead. Cant wait for the out come.

13 November 2010 From: Not Known
Sounds like a great Christmas cake and an easy to follow recipe...I'm going to have a bash at making this on Monday. Thanks for the recipe :)

15 November 2010 From: Adrian
I made this recipe, on Saturday - 13/11/10 - and it was a perfect result.
It was the first time I had made a Christmas cake.  My family decided that it should be "a test" cake - just in case there were any "complications", but it was absolutely excellent!

I did think that it could have used a little more mixed spice, but I suppose that that is to one's own taste.

I'll be making another cake, next week, ready for the 'big day'.

Many thanks!  Very helpful.

20 November 2010 From: Rebecca
Its the first time I have ever baked a Christmas cake and I am so chuffed. Can't wait to try it. I feel all christmassy and the house smells wonderful. Now I need to plan the decoration of it!

21 November 2010 From: Shirley
Made it this morning and it turned out brill. Thanks for the advice about the quantity.

21 November 2010 From: Not Given
Very nice and I hope everyone else thinks so!

26 November 2010 From: Des Holmes
I FOUND THIS RECIPE WITH THE PICTURES VERY HELPFUL, AS THIS IS  THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER DONE ONE, AND THE SMELL WAS JUST FANTASTIC, THANKS AGAIN, YUM YUM .

26 November 2010 From: Jenny
Fantastic Christmas Cake recipe, made this today and was so easy. Can't wait to eat it at xmas x.

27 November 2010 From: Terence
Great recipe thanks ;-)

Not Given 1 December 2010 From: Terry
Great recipe made it in preparation for Christmas. Wife had a slice before i could wrap it made another successful one. Like Adrian she had to test it.

2 December 2010 From: Heather
Making my 3rd batch today. Taster cake already eaten and my son took one home. Really simple recipe. Cooks much quicker in a fan assisted oven would recommend that the temperature reduced if using fan assisted.

22 December 2010 From: Geetha
Thank you so much for the recipe. It worked like wonders for us.

23 December 2010 From: Subramanian.s
I SAW A LOT OF CHRISTMAS CAKE RECIPE FROM VARIOUS SITES BUT THESE ONE REALLY NICE THANKS A LOT FOR IT.

04 January 2011 From: Paula
This was my first ever attempt at Christmas Cake. It was easy, quick and yummy!!  didn't take 3 1/2 hours though, nearer 2 3/4 so keep an eye on it!

10 August 2011 From: Paula
This was my first ever attempt at Christmas Cake. It was easy, quick and yummy!!  didn't take 3 1/2 hours though, nearer 2 3/4 so keep an eye on it!

9 October 2011 From: Rothman
Made one practise cake and it was yummy, will be using this recipe for my daughter's wedding cake and will saving a lot of money.

27 October 2011 From: Michelle
I have just made this Christmas cake and it is now in the oven cooking away. It was really easy to make, thank you.

29 October 2011 From: Kez
The is the best Christmas cake I have ever made. It took 3 1/2 hours at 150c in a fan assisted oven. I also added 3 tablespoons of treacle! Can't wait to eat it. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

13 November 2011 From: Jodie
I used this recipe last year for my daughters christening and everyone loved it and it was the first time I have ever made a xmas cake and have had orders for my granddad's birthday and a few people want me too make it for xmas for them as well. Thank you soooo much.

Not Given 17 November 2011 From: Anne
I used this recipe last year for my daughters christening and everyone loved it and it was the first time I have ever made a xmas cake and have had orders for my granddad's birthday and a few people want me too make it for xmas for them as well. Thank you soooo much.

21 November 2011 From: aj Sunderland
Only took 2+ hrs to cook, it tasted wonderful, going to make another one but with black treacle added this time. Will let you all know how it turns out

29 November 2011 From: Ruthie
This is great and so easy to make!! I added lots more nuts, cherries and brandy!! I also used the main mix and divided it into 6 small cake tins so I can send these as mini Xmas cake gifts!! Fantastic!!

02 December 2011 From: Al
A wonderful cake, but I made two and a sampler out of my mixture. Now I'm feeding the two with loads of brandy!

Not Given 02 December 2011 From: Susanneinfrance
What temperature should the interior of a fruit cake reach to be cooked, but not overcooked! I make smaller size cakes and it's difficult to judge.
Answer: I'm not sure that checking the interior temperature of a cake would work. I would cook at 275F (lower than a larger cake) and check after 90 minutes and then every 20 minutes after that until the skewer check (see main article) is OK.

4 star rating 16 January 2012 From: Rosemary
I have frozen the top tier of a wedding cake for 3 years and it was still fine. Made Jan 2008 and used for christening feb 2011- still perfect

05 October 2012 From: Parky
Use this recipe every year thanks guys !! It never lets me down and it is one of the best Christmas cakes i have ever made !!! Thank you so much !!!! I have had a few orders for this cake off friends this year lol

10 November 2012 From: Mandymoo
I made this cake last year and it was very popular with all the family , so have made it again this year . I would say it doesn't need the full recommended cooking time.

11 November 2012 From: Zappy
I've used this recipe for the last 2 years and going to use it again this year. Looking forward to the lovely aroma coming from my kitchen this afternoon.

12 November 2012 From: Carron
Thanks brilliant step by step guide even for someone like me who can NEVER follow recipes I always add and change something. It's cooking now and smells divine. The cold mixture taste brilliant. Thanks x

15 November 2012 From: Vanessa
Thanks for the recipe it was easy to follow and cant wait to tuck into it at Christmas if anyone doing a fruit cake for the first time this is the one to follow. xx

25 November 2012 From: Terry
Cooking now, the aroma is fantastic, can't wait to get tucked in..hurry up xmas ..easy recipe to cook.

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