An easy Christmas cake recipe can be hard to find, ironically, but we think we've hit the nail on the head with this one. We haven't sacrificed any of the traditional ingredients but we have slimmed down the recipe ever so slightly so that you can get your cake in the oven in under thirty minutes once you've soaked your fruit!
- 175g (6oz) currants
- 75g (3oz) sultanas
- 75g (3oz) raisins
- 50g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped
- 50g (2oz) dried figs, chopped
- 25g (1oz) candied peel
- 3tbsp whisky
- 100g (4oz) plain flour
- pinch salt
- 1/4tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp mixed spice
- 1/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 100g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 100g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 40g (11/2oz) Brazil nuts, toasted and chopped
- 2tsp black treacle
- grated zest 1/2 lemon
- grated zest 1/2 orange
- you will need
- 15cm (6in) round tin or a 12.5cm (5in) square tin
Preheat the oven to 140 C, 120 C fan, 275 F, gas 1. Whether you’re using a round or a square tin, it needs to be double-lined with Bakewell paper. The reason for this is because the mixture is so dense and full of fruit that it needs to cook slowly to reach all the way through. If you don’t double-line the tin, the outside edges of the cake have a tendency to dry out or even burn before the centre of the cake has cooked through.
Place all the dried fruits in a bowl, pour over the whisky, mix well, cover the bowl and leave overnight for the fruits to soak.
Sift the flour, salt and spices into a bowl and set aside. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixture and beat on high speed until very soft, fluffy and pale in colour. Gradually add the eggs to the mixture, beating well all the time until all the egg is incorporated. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled at this stage – it will be fine once you add the flour.
Gently fold in the flour and spices, being careful not to knock out too much air. Fold in the whisky-soaked fruits, plus the Brazil nuts, treacle, and lemon and orange zest, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Make a small indentation with the back of a teaspoon in the centre of the cake, so that the centre doesn’t rise. You want a nice even top.
Place a band of brown paper around the outside of the tin and cut another double thickness of Bakewell paper to cover the top of the cake, so that it doesn’t brown too much. Make a hole in the centre of the bakewell paper the size of a £1 coin.
Place the cake on the lower shelf of the oven. Don’t open the door until three-quarters of the way through cooking. To check that the cake is cooked, insert a skewer through the centre, and if there’s no wet mixture clinging to the skewer, then the cake is cooked. If not, return to the oven and test again after 20 minutes or until cooked.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin before wrapping well in double greaseproof paper and storing in an airtight tin. They can take up to 4 hours to cool. To “feed” the cake with whisky, make a few holes in the top with a skewer and pour a couple of teaspoons of whisky over the cake. Repeat every few days for a couple of weeks and ice however you like when ready.
Find more Christmas cake recipes here