If you are looking for a traditional Christmas cake recipe, here is a fabulous one from an experienced cook, renowned for her cakes and Christmas pudding.
Traditional Christmas Cake
- 500g / 1lb Self-raising flour – wheat or Dove wheat and gluten free
- 55g / 2oz caster sugar
- 125g / 4oz light brown sugar
- 125g / 4ozs dark brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 250g / 8ozs salted butter
- 250g / 8ozs unsalted butter
- 1 dessertspoonful golden syrup
- 1 dessertspoonful black treacle
- 1 dessertspoonful marmalade
- 1 glass brandy + milk to mix
- 1 apple, grated
- 1 potato, grated
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 340g / 12oz Sultanas (previously soaked *)
- 340g / 12oz Currants (previously soaked *)
- 500g / 1lb Raisins (previously soaked *)
- 250g / 8ozs Candied peel (previously soaked *)
- 250g / 8ozs Glace Cherries (previously soaked *)
- 1 lemon, rind and juice
- 1 lime, rind and juice
- 1 orange, rind and juice
- 125g / 4oz Mixed chopped nuts (optional)
- ½ teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 1 pinch Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamonoon
- ½ teaspoon Almond Essence
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence
- Soak fruit for approx 2 weeks in Brandy, Whiskey, Cherry Brandy, Sherry or any other spirit of your choice, stir daily and add whichever preferred alcohol you like to prevent drying out. If preferred fruit juices such as cranberry, orange, apple and pineapple can be used to substitute alcohol.
- Beat softened butter together with the sugar
- Add eggs 1 @ a time (if there is any sign of curdling add a little of the flour).
- Slowly add the sifted flour and fold in.
- Gradually add (mixing all the time) fruits, syrups, essences, spices, juices and Brandy.
- The mixture must not be allowed to become too wet, if too stiff add a little milk. Then place in well greased (and lined if preferred) baking tin(s).
- Place in pre-warmed oven for 1 hour 165 degrees c then 5 -7 hours at 150 degrees C
- Do not allow to burn on the top, you may need to tie brown paper over the top of the baking tin.
- Test with a knife or skewer to see if cooked Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ it should come out cleanly when cake(s) are done. Timings vary greatly depending on oven type and the shape, size and depth of baking tin(s) used.
- When cooked remove from oven and allow to stand in the tin(s) on wire rack(s) to cool, then gently remove from tin(s) and leave on rack(s) until completely cold.
Store in airtight container for at least 2-3 weeks before applying marzipan. If storing for longer to prevent drying out you can make small holes in the cake and pour a little alcohol over.
Cake must be dry prior to covering with the marzipan.
- 500g / 1lb Granulated Sugar
- 340g / 12ozs Ground Sweet Almonds (or whole almonds)
- 85g / 3ozs Sifted Icing Sugar
- 2 Egg whites
- 7fl ozs Water
- To Prepare
- When using whole almonds now is a good time to finely grind.
- Place the granulated sugar and water in a pan and boil.
- Allow the syrup to cool slightly before adding the almonds and egg whites.
- Stir on a very low heat for a few minutes and turn out onto a board, add the icing sugar and mix and work in with a spatula until cool enough to handle.
- Knead until smooth, dust a board and rolling pin with icing or caster sugar to prevent sticking and roll out to fit over the cake.
- This can now be pressed straight onto the cake.
The almond paste / marzipan covered cake will need to be put somewhere warm, dry and dust free (can be loosely covered with a sheet of greaseproof paper if needed) for between 2 -7 days prior to final sugar icing. This will help prevent the natural oils from the almonds seeping through and staining the icing.
- 750g / 1½lbs Sifted Icing Sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 lemon juice
- 1 dessertspoon Glycerin (Optional, helps stop the icing becoming too hard and brittle)
- Place icing sugar in a large mixing bowl
- Add the beaten egg whites and beat well till smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and beat again until the icing stands up – if too wet add some additional sifted icing sugar.
- Place cake on a large inverted plate or revolving stand (a light dusting of icing sugar over the cake first may be useful if an almond/marzipan covering have been used)
- Put a large spoonful of icing in the centre, using a pliable spatula or pallet knife spread across the top and then use to press onto the sides of the cake until the smooth or peaked finish required has been achieved. A deep jug or bowl of very hot water may be helpful for dipping the spatula.
- Decorate the cake with any ornaments before the icing becomes hard
- Finally place the cake somewhere warm, dry and dust free, can be loosely covered with a sheet of greaseproof paper if needed to keep the surface clean until ready to serve.