Christmas Cake Recipe

British Christmas Cake Recipe: Discover the joy of a classic Christmas cake recipe – a delightful blend of fruits, spices, and buttery goodness. Perfect for the holiday season! 🎄🍰

Christmas Cake Recipe

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Christmas Cake Recipe

This British Christmas cake recipe is a decadent and aromatic fruitcake with a perfect balance of sweetness and warmth from the mixed spices. Bursting with plump dried fruits, including currants, sultanas (golden raisins), and raisins, it offers a delightful chewiness.

The cake’s texture is moist and tender, enriched with ground almonds (almond meal), then topped with marzipan (almond paste) and decorated with festive flair.

This Christmas Cake recipe is an iconic treat and is a symbol of tradition, abundance, and joy during the holiday season in the UK.

Each slice is a scrumptious is a delicious reminder of my cherished Christmas memories from childhood. My Nana used to make this treat every year, and it always brings back happy feelings.

The History of Christmas Fruit Cakes

Dating back to medieval times, the British Christmas cake evolved from fruit and spice puddings enjoyed during winter celebrations.

It became a symbol of abundance, incorporating dried fruits brought from faraway lands, symbolising prosperity and the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • Fat: Unsalted butter adds richness and a tender crumb to the cake.
  • Sweetness: Caster (superfine) or granulated sugar sweetens the cake, balancing the tartness of fruits.
  • Flour: Plain (all-purpose) or self-raising flour provides structure and stability to the cake.
  • Spices: Mixed spice infuses warm flavours, reminiscent of the season.
  • Almonds: These lend a moist texture and subtle nuttiness to the cake.
  • Eggs: Act as a binding agent, ensuring the cake holds together.
  • Milk (or Brandy): Moistens the batter, contributing to a luscious cake.
  • Currants, Sultanas, Raisins: Offer a burst of chewy sweetness and fruitiness.
  • Glacé (Candied) Cherries and Mixed Peel: Add vibrant colour and delightful zing to the cake.

A full list of ingredients and their amounts can be found in the printable recipe below.

How to Make Christmas Cake

Most of the time spent on this cake is feeding with alcohol after baking for 4-6 weeks. This step can be skipped but I would recommend feeding to enhance its flavour, moistness, and longevity.

  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fold in flour and spices, followed by ground almonds.
  4. Stir in milk (and brandy) to create a smooth batter.
  5. Mix in dried fruits, cherries, and mixed peel.
  6. Transfer the batter to a greased and lined cake tin.
  7. Bake for 3½-4 hours, until a skewer comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Cool. Decorate with marzipan (almond paste), rolled fondant or royal icing.

A full list of detailed instructions can be found in the printable recipe below.

British Christmas Cake Recipe

Christmas Cake Serving Suggestions

  • Enjoy a slice with a dollop of clotted cream for a divine treat.
  • Serve alongside a cup of steaming mulled wine or spiced tea.
  • Elevate your Christmas table by decorating the cake with holly leaves.

Christmas Cake Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Make the cake in advance. Christmas cakes are typically made 4-6 weeks in advance to allow time for the flavours to mature and develop.
  • Soak dried fruits in brandy or orange juice for added moistness.
  • Protect the cake’s surface with parchment paper during baking to prevent over-browning.
  • To prevent sinking fruit, coat them lightly in flour before adding to the batter.
  • “Feed” the cake weekly with brandy to enhance flavour, preserve moisture, longevity, and adds a traditional touch to this festive treat.
  • For a glossy finish, brush the cooled cake with apricot glaze before adding the almond paste.

How to store Christmas Cake

Once the Christmas cake has been decorated, it will keep well for 4-6 weeks – often longer when preserved and fed with brandy.

  • Once cut, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks.
  • To retain freshness, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap.

Can you Freeze Christmas Cake

Yes. This Christmas cake recipe freezes well.

To Freeze Christmas Cake:

  • For long-term storage, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and foil.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months for optimal taste and texture.

To Thaw Christmas Cake:

  1. Remove the cake from the freezer and unwrap it.
  2. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Bring it to room temperature before serving.

Christmas Cake Recipe

Now you’re ready to embrace the spirit of the season with this time-honoured Christmas cake recipe.

Rich with history, this traditional treat brings warmth and joy to every festive gathering.

Create lasting memories and savour the traditional flavours that make Christmas truly special.

Happy baking and a joyful holiday season from my home to yours. 🎄🍰

Yield: 9-inch cake (16-24 servings)

Christmas Cake Recipe

British Christmas Cake Recipe

Discover the joy of a classic Christmas cake recipe - a delightful blend of fruits, spices, and buttery goodness. Perfect for the holiday season!

Ingredients

For the Christmas cake:

  • 350g (2 ¾ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour (or self-raising if you prefer a more open texture)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g (1 cup) ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) Milk (or ½ milk, ½ brandy)
  • 225g (1 cup/2 sticks) butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 225g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) granulated or caster (superfine) sugar
  • 225g (1 cup) currants
  • 225g (1 cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 225g (1 cup) raisins
  • 100g (½ cup) glacé (candied) cherries (halved)
  • 100g (½ cup) mixed peel

Christmas Cake Topping:

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • ready to roll marzipan (almond paste)
  • ready to roll fondant or royal icing
  • (optional) Christmas decorations

Instructions

    1. To make the cake; preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2. Grease and line a 23 cm (9 inch) round or 20.5 cm (8 inch) square tin with parchment paper.
    2. Whisk or sift together flour, spice and ground almonds (almond meal). Beat eggs with milk (and brandy, if using).
    3. Cream butter and sugar, then stir in flour mixture and egg mixture alternately, a little at a time.
    4. Lastly, add fruit, and mix until combined, then pour into the prepared pan.
    5. Bake for about 3½-4 hours, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with some moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
    6. Once cool, remove from the pan, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and airtight container and allow to rest for 1 week before decorating.
    7. To ensure the best rich flavours, I would recommend feeding this cake on a weekly basis "feeding" the cake with brandy for 4-6 weeks. See notes.
    8. To decorate the cake; once cooled, roll out marzipan (almond paste) to around 1/4-inch (6mm) thick. Brush the cake with a heated apricot jam then cover the cake, trim excess with a sharp knife. Repeat with the rolled fondant to around 1/8-inch (3mm) thick and adhere over the marzipan with a little cool boiled water. Alternatively, you can use royal icing as a substitute to rolled frosting. Apply after covering with marzipan.
    9. (Optional) Add Christmas cake decorations on top of the cake. If decorating with holly or ribbons, allow the fondant or royal icing to firm before applying.
    10. Once firm, cover the cake with plastic wrap, being careful if using royal icing not to damage the icing, and place in an airtight container

Notes

The most traditional choice of alcohol for a Christmas cake is brandy, but you can also use rum or sherry. So feel free to experiment.

How to Feed a Christmas Cake

Feeding a Christmas cake is adding a small amount of alcohol regularly to enhance its flavour, moistness, and longevity.

Here's a simple step-by-step guide on how to feed a Christmas cake:

  1. Prepare the Cake: Once the Christmas cake has entirely cooled after baking, use a skewer or toothpick to make small holes on the top surface.
  2. Choose the Alcohol: The traditional choice is brandy, but you can also use rum or sherry. Pour the chosen alcohol into a small, clean container.
  3. First Feeding: Using a pastry brush or spoon, generously brush or drizzle a small amount of alcohol (about 1-2 tablespoons) over the top surface of the cake, ensuring it seeps into the holes.
  4. Storage: Wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap to retain its moisture. Store the wrapped cake in an airtight container or a cake tin.
  5. Weekly Feedings: Repeat the feeding process once a week. Each time, brush or drizzle the same amount of alcohol over the cake's surface and allow it to absorb.
  6. Maturation: Continue feeding the cake for several weeks or up to a few months before serving, depending on your preference. The longer you feed it, the richer the flavours will become.
  7. Marzipan (almond paste) and Icing: If you plan to cover the cake with almond paste (marzipan) and icing, do so after the final feeding. The alcohol will help preserve the cake even after it's decorated. (optional).

Remember to store the cake in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources during feeding. Regular feeding helps create a beautifully flavoured and well-preserved Christmas cake.

Serving Suggestions, Storage, Freezing, and Thawing Guidelines

 

This recipe is courtesy of Be-Ro. And may also be known as 'Be-Ro Christmas Cake recipe', or 'Be-Ro Fruit Cake recipe'.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 28gProtein: 5g

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5 Comments on “Christmas Cake Recipe”

  1. Samantha proud November 24, 2020 @9:12 pm Reply

    Thank you so much my husbands nana and mum used to make the famous Be-Ro Christmas cake and sadly the recipe book has been lost you are such a lifesaver!

  2. Eri November 11, 2022 @10:41 am Reply

    I’ve not been able to bake for a few years due to ill health but I ventured into the kitchen yesterday and baked chocolate muffins and lemon drizzle cupcakes (woo hoo go me lol) My mam used to bake this cake when I was a child many many years ago, as did I until approx 10 years ago. I went onto the bero website and ordered the book, then went to the recipe section to find that they’ve taken most of them off .. including this cake *sad face* I really wanted to make the cake now, before the book arrived. It’s taken me a day but finally found your website. I am so so grateful that you posted it. Thank you! I am now going to bookmark you and look for other goodies to bake while I can haha

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking November 13, 2022 @9:04 pm Reply

      I had no idea that Bero have removed most of the recipes off their website. What a shame, but glad you found the recipe archived here. :) Like you, I haven’t baked since around 2017 now - also due to ill health - but hoping to start venturing back into the world of baking and blogging more recipes.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. There’s plenty of tasty treats here if you’re looking for something new to bake. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend. Happy baking.

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