Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to decorate the tree, hang stockings above the fireplace and cook delicious Christmas dinner. A lot of preparation and hard work goes into what many people would describe as the most important meal of the year. It’s a joyous occasion and one that has become a family tradition in homes all around the world. You’ve got the roast turkey as the main focus on the table, along with roast potatoes, stuffing, veg and it’s all topped off with the perfect dessert.
From chocolate logs to tasty mince pies and Christmas puddings, there’s nothing like finishing the meal with a sweet treat. Of course, there’s one dish that we all love more than anything and that’s the traditional home-made fruit cake layered with white icing and topped with some edible holly (if you’re lucky!).
If you thought it was too late and too close to Christmas to start making your own Christmas cake, think again. Our easy Christmas Cake recipe is simple and quick to make. There’s no fuss, so you don’t have to worry about preparing it weeks in advance. Simply make your way to the kitchen and follow the instructions below:
Here’s your list of ingredients:
- 175g butter, chopped
- 200g dark muscovado sugar
- 500g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas and currents)
- 100g mixed peel
- 100g chopped glacé cherries
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 85g ground almond
- 200g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
How to make the perfect Christmas Cake
If you’re short on time, this easy cooking method is perfect. Fetch your weigh platform scales and make sure you have the right amount of each ingredient. Add the butter, sugar, fruit, zest, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in a large pan. Keep stirring until the butter has melted and reduce the heat slightly, allowing it to bubble gently for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for 30 minutes.
While you’re waiting, preheat the oven to 150C/ fan 130C / gas mark 2 and line a 20cm round cake tin. If you want to include nuts (this is completely up to you), then you’ll need to toast them in a dry frying pan until they’re nice and brown. To make sure you use exactly the right amount of nuts and ground almonds, use some handy measuring spoons to make the process simpler. Let them cool before stirring in the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan and stir gently.
When everything is mixed well, you can start to spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake for 45 minutes and then turn the heat down to 140C/ fan120C / gas mark 1 and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours. You’ll know it’s ready when the cake turns a dark golden colour and is firm to the touch. Insert a cake tester to make sure it’s done and make some holes all over the cake to spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes. This will soak into the cake, giving it more flavour and a delicious smell.
Once the cake has cooled, you can remove it from the tin and peel off the lining paper. Now, it’s time for the fun part. You can decorate it however you like but most people will add a layer of white icing and some sort of Christmas themed decoration to finish it off.
And there you have it, an easy Christmas Cake recipe that’s never too late to bake!