The Ultimate Rich Christmas Fruit Cake

Juliet Sear's Christmas Cake Recipe, she says "After many years playing about with this one, tweaking here and there, I do think it is the best you’ll find"

Brought to you by Juliet Sear

Even if you've missed Stir-up Sunday, you can still make a delicious fruit cake

The Ultimate Rich Christmas Fruit Cake - this recipe is by Juliet Sear from Billingtons

Juliet says: “I LOVE this recipe. After many years playing about with this one, tweaking here and there, I do think it is the best you’ll find. It is so so easy to make, no nonsense or soaking required. The texture is to die for; it’s more a hybrid of a pudding and a cake and is best served alongside your festive cheeseboard as, thanks to the fruit, it has a chutney quality. This recipe is perfect even if you only make it a couple of weeks before eating, but of course If you are one of those organised folk (not like me!) you can make it up to 6 months in advance of Christmas and occasionally feed with extra brandy. This cake makes a good family size 8” cake. As a guide, if using a 3” depth cake tin, you need to fill it up to almost the top as it won’t rise very much.”

You will need

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  • 240g sultanas
  • 360g raisins
  • 360g currants
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 30g glace ginger (optional)
  • 300g Billington’s Glacè Cherries, washed and halved
  • 200g salted butter
  • 200g Billington’s Molasses Sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract
  • 180g Allinson Plain Flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Large pinch of ground cloves
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 160ml brandy, plus about 150-200ml brandy to feed the cake once it is baked
  • 60ml vodka


  1. Preheat the oven to 140ºC. Weigh out all the dried fruit, peel and place cherries into a very large bowl and mix together with a large wooden spoon.
  2. Weigh the butter and molasses sugar into a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in a microwave for a minute at a time, stirring with a whisk each time to mix the butter and sugar together. You could also do this in a non-stick pan on a low heat and melt gently.
  3. Beat the eggs together with the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the spices to your flour and mix well with a metal spoon.
  5. Tip the warm butter and sugar mix into the large bowl of fruit and mix well.
  6. Add the beaten egg and mix well
  7. Add the flour and spice mix and stir until just mixed.
  8. Finally add your brandy and vodka.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for an hour at 140ºC, then turn the heat down to 125ºC and continue to bake until completely cooked through. This will take approximately 3 ½ to 4 hours in total depending on your oven. Check that a sharp knife or a skewer comes out almost clean. When cooked, repeatedly stab cake with a sharp knife or skewer and generously brush over with all of the extra brandy and leave to rest to absorb the alcohol.
  10. Leave to cool completely in the tin. To store, turn out onto more parchment, wrap well and then wrap in two layers of strong foil. Store in a cool dark place. If making a few months before, occasionally brush with more brandy.

This recipe was from Billingtons Check out more cookware essentials at Debenhams to fulfil your baking needs.  *This article contains Affiliate links.

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