Classic Christmas Cake

Classic Christmas Cake: A rich fruit cake, perfect for this time of year. Makes 4 15cm (6 inch) square cakes. Packed full of dried fruit...

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Classic Christmas Cake: A rich fruit cake, perfect for this time of year

A classic Christmas cake recipe, which makes 4 15cm (6 inch) square cakes. Packed full of dried fruit, this is a delicious traditional cake that you need to try.
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  • 700 g currants
  • 800 g sultanas
  • 400 g raisins
  • 200 g glace cherries, quartered
  • 200 g mixed peel
  • 1 grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 200 ml brandy
  • 650 g plain flour
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 150 g almonds, chopped
  • 150 g pecans, chopped
  • 650 g butter
  • 450 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp almond essence
  • 12 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

To decorate & serve

  • whole blanched almonds or pecans
  • glace cherries or cranberries
  • apricot jam
  • 300 g marzipan
  • 400 g Renshaw Ready-to-Use Royal icing
  • icing sugar
  • crushed candy canes


Combine the dried fruit, cherries, mixed peel and zest in a large bowl. Add the brandy and stir to mix well. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave overnight.
Prepare a Silverwood Multi-Size Foldaway Cake Tin for baking – place the dividers in to make four 15cm (6in) squares. Grease and line the sides and bottom of each cake compartment with a double layer of baking parchment, then tie a double thickness of brown paper or parchment around the outside of the tin.
Preheat the oven to 140°C/Gas Mark 1. In a bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, mixed spice, cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Place the chopped almonds and pecans in another bowl.
In a very large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the almond essence. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Once all the egg mixture has been added, fold in half the flour, half the fruit mixture and half the nuts, then repeat with the remaining flour, fruit and nuts. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully combined.
Divide the mixture evenly between the four cake compartments and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
Decorate two of the cakes with your choice of nuts – whole blanched almonds or pecans work well – and your choice of fruit: coloured glacé cherries or cranberries create a lovely jewelled effect. Lightly cover these two cakes with a piece of baking parchment to prevent the fruit and nuts from burning.
Bake for 21⁄2-3 hours. If the cakes are browning too quickly, cover the tin with a layer of greaseproof or baking parchment. After 21⁄2 hours, check to see if the cakes are cooked. They should feel firm to the touch and a deep dark brown colour all over. Insert a skewer into the centre of each cake: if there is sticky dough on the skewer when you pull it out the cakes need longer. If it is clean, remove them from the oven.
Leave the cakes to cool in the tin on a wire rack for about an hour, then remove the sides and dividers from the tin and allow the cakes to cool completely.
Once cool, gently warm a few tablespoons of sieved apricot jam in a saucepan and brush over the top of each cake to glaze the fruit and nut covered cakes, then prepare the remaining two cakes to be topped with marzipan and icing.
Roll out 150g (51⁄2oz) marzipan into a 15cm (6in) square and place on top of one of the remaining cakes. Repeat with the other cake. Cover the tops of the cakes with approx. 150g (51⁄2oz) of Renshaw Ready-to-Use Royal Icing. Any leftover icing can be used for piping to decorate the cake. Sprinkle with icing sugar and crushed candy canes before serving.

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