Our Traditional Family Christmas Cake… By Lucy Simmons And My Nana

By lucy  , , , ,   , ,

November 3, 2014

Aromas of Christmas filled our house this week, as my nana and I baked our traditional Christmas cake. A recipe passed down to her by her mother, probably her mother too. Early November is our time, stepping the glorious fruits in a bath of alcohol, bringing all the Christmas spices together and baking until deep golden, another dousing of brandy whilst still warm from the oven, finally wrapping it up to mature over the coming weeks. Watch this space as we take the cake on its journey of feeding, a blanket of marzipan and its final decoration of icing and fruits ready for our family to share on the big day.

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Yields: 14


1 Kg Mixed dried fruit

1 Lemon, zest and juice

1 Orange, zest and juice

150 ml Brandy

250 Grams Butter, softened

200 Grams Light soft brown sugar

175 Grams Plain flour

100 Grams Ground almonds

1/2 tsp Baking powder

2 tsp Mixed spice

1 tsp Ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp Ground cloves

100 Grams Flaked almonds

4 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla extract


In a large pan add the dried fruit, zests and juices, butter, sugar and don’t forget the brandy (or alcohol of your choice).  On a medium heat bring the mixture to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes.  Place the fruit into a clean bowl and leave to cool.  This will take a while, try putting the bowl in bucket of ice to speed up the process.

Pre heat the to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.  Now line a deep 20cm cake tin.  Put a double layer baking parchment inside the tin and grease with butter and wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside and secure with string

When the fruit has cooled add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon so there are no pockets of air.  Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level out.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours.

When the cake is cooked remove from the oven and poke the cake with a skewer making holes.  Pour 2 tbsp of brandy over the cake.  Then leave in the cake until completely cooled.

When cooled turn out of the cake tin and wrap a layer of cling film around the cake with a layer of foil over the top and store in a cake tin.

Every fortnight feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp of brandy.  This will need to be done until a week before it is iced so it is dry.



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