Friday, 5 December 2014

Kerrie Christmas 6 - Christmas Cake

A rich, moist and dense fruit cake that can be served plain or iced and decorated. It keeps very well provided it is in an airtight container.  I wrap the cakes in foil and then put the cake in a freezer bag. I have a large plastic crate that I store the cakes in until I am ready to gift wrap them. 

Vary the fruit according to to your taste and budget, the important thing is to keep the weight of the fruits and nuts about the same. Glace fruits are expensive and can be substituted with prunes or additional raisins. One year, when it was difficult to get glace fruits I left them out and used some chopped and pitted prunes and extra cherries instead.  I have even made the cake without cherries - by request. I usually do some with nuts and some without.  I also use this mixture for wedding cakes.

 Lots of these are made each year, mostly as gifts for people who do not bake.Wrap in cellophane and tie with a big ribbon bow, sometimes I attach a Christmas decoration to the middle of the bow.

I make it in different sized tins according to the the number of people in the house receiving the cake.

The recipe is easily doubled or as I do quadrupled. If making a large batch invest in a cheap plastic washing up dish, it makes it easier to mix and is light to pick up and handle. As you can see it is also easy to get an electric hand beater into it.

Wrap the outside of the tins with newspaper and place on a tray covered with newspaper. This helps insulate the cake and stops the outside from cooking too quickly.

Pour a generous amount of rum/brandy/whiskey over the cake  when you take it out of the oven, with more going to the sides as these will be slightly drier than the rest of the cake.

As a guide four quantities made one 7 inch square, five 4 inch round and four 6 inch round cakes.

Fruit Cake

This mixture will make a 8/9 inch or 20/22 cm cake.

Substitute more glace cherries/fruits for nuts if preferred.

Stage 1

200 g sultanas
200 g raisins
120 g currants
120 g mixed peel
120 g glace cherries
250 g glace fruits (apricots, figs, pineapple)
250 g nuts (almond slivers, walnuts, pecans)
1 cup brandy/rum/whisky or port

Combine all ingredients in a plastic airtight container or stainless steel/glass bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hrs to allow fruits to absorb all the moisture.

Stage 2

125 g butter - softened
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup marmalade or fruit mince
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
¼ cup rum/whisky/brandy to pour over cake after cooking


Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well, add marmalade/fruit mince and vanilla essence.

Sift flour and spices together and stir into butter mixture.

Stir fruit mixture into cake mixture.

Spoon into greased and lined (sides and bottom) cake tin.  Fill tin no more than 1cm from the top and create a little hollow in the middle.

The cake tin should be insulated on the outside with newspaper and placed on several layers of newspaper on a tray.  Bake at 150 deg Celsius until a skewer tests clean. (approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hrs)

Brush or pour rum/whisky/brandy over hot cake. Allow cake to stand in tin for at least 30 minutes. Then remove from cake tin and place on a cooling rack.

When cold wrap in foil and put inside a plastic bag . Store in an airtight container.


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