Makes: Christmas Cake

A couple of weeks ago my Mum and I attempted our first ever homemade Christmas cake (I know, I know, we are rubbish). When I suggested trying to make one this year I was mostly excited about the decorating (and the eating), and a bit nervous about the actual cake making. It turned out to be much easier than we'd imagined though, and (trust me) if we can manage it, then anyone can! 

Here's how we did it (adapted from this recipe):


500g mixed dried fruit 

  • 100g dried cranberries 
  • 150g dried apricots, chopped 
  • Zest of two oranges and juice of one large orange
  • 100ml brandy, plus 4tbsp extra 
  • 175g unsalted butter, diced 
  • 200g soft dark brown sugar 
  • large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 100g ground almonds 
  • 200g plain flour
  •  ½tsp baking powder 
  • 1tsp mixed spice 
  • ½tsp grated nutmeg 
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 CD of Christmas classics


    Put on apron and pose for awkward photo in the mirror.

    Put Christmas CD on. Realise that first track is 'Stay Another Day' and skip track.

    Grate orange to get the zest, and accidentally grate finger in the process. Scream in pain when juicing the orange using said finger. Laugh bitterly at your own stupidity.

    Place the mixed dried fruit, dried cranberries, apricots, orange zest and juice and 100ml (3½oz) brandy in a large saucepan and very gently bring to the boil. Stir in the butter and, once it has melted, simmer gently for 10 minutes. Put nose over pan and inhale deeply.

    Remove from the heat and leave to cool while your Mum prepares the tin, with a level of precision and commitment that will astound you (seriously, she measured the sides with a ruler). Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. line the base and sides of a greased 20cm (8in) round cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment so that it comes about 5cm (2in) above the tin. Take photo of aforementioned tin.

    Stir the brown sugar, eggs and ground almonds into the fruits, and then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices. Mix gently until the flour is no longer visible.

    Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth over the surface. Place in the oven for 45 minutes before reducing the temperature to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. 

    Lick bowl. Lick spoon. Remember that licking wooden spoons feels a bit gross.

    Continue to cook the cake for a further 1½ -2 hours until the surface is deep golden and firm to touch. insert a skewer - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. if not, then continue to cook for a further 10 minutes at a time. To prevent the surface becoming too dark, cover loosely with foil.

    Notice that 'Fairytale of New York' is playing and turn CD up. Try to sing along. Discover you don't know 80% of the words. Compensate by dancing enthusiastically.

    Remove the cooked cake from the oven and pierce it with a skewer. Slowly pour over the 4tbsp of brandy until it has soaked in. leave the cake to cool in the tin and, once cold, take out, remove the parchment and wrap tightly in a layer of parchment and then in a layer of foil.

    Come back drunk from pub and admire your good work. Come dangerously close to dropping cake on the floor.

    Store in a cool, dark place until Christmas (or up to 3 months), and 'feed' it with brandy every two weeks.



    1. I think we've all come close to dropping a homemade cake on the floor (I know I have). I haven't decided what to bake this Christmas but it will probably just be the usual chocolate cake xxx

    2. I'd love to make a Christmas Cake, sadly no-one in my house likes it (including me!)

    3. Best recipe method I have ever encountered. Or at least the most entertaining. I feel the need to bake my own Christmas cake now but I think I will stick to making a pudding as usual. I will make sure it is securely strung up before going to the pub though.

    4. This cake looks lovely! I wish I could bake. I am feeling very festive now! xx

    5. That Christmas cake looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

    6. Oh, this post made me giggle. I'm going to try your recipe! :)


    I'd love to hear what you think...