Christmas cakes can be stored for weeks before the big day, so there’s no reason not to start planning or having a little practice of making yours now. Here our Homemaker baker Felicity Hudson shares her top fruit cake recipe for Christmas. Send us photos of your finished cake, we would love to see how you got on. Enjoy!
- 20cm round tin or 18cm square tin
- Greaseproof paper
- Tin foil
- Brown paper
- 75ml Sherry
- 300g raisins
- 300g sultanas
- 115g dried apricots
- 140g glace cherries
- 60g mixed peel
- 60g flaked almonds
- 250g plain flour
- 60g ground almonds
- 3 tsps ground mixed spice
- 200g butter, room temperature
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 200g egg, approx 4 medium at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsps of black treacle
Pick over the raisins and sultanas and remove any stalks or stones. Put them into a colander, rinse with hot water and dry on a clean cloth/muslin. Next, rinse the whole glace cherries with hot water and dry on a clean cloth. Chop the cherries, the apricots and the mixed peel as finely as you wish and place them in a mixing bowl with the raisins, sultanas and flaked almonds. Pour the sherry over the fruit and cover with cling film. You can leave this mixture for up to a week or just for an hour or two if that is all you have time for.
When you are ready to bake the cake,preheat your oven to 150 o C/fan 140 o C/gas mark 2. Place a pan of cold water into the bottom of the oven, as this will give a moist heat. Line the tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper and tie a band of brown paper (or newspaper) around the outside of the tin for insulation.
In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the ground almonds, mixed spice and black treacle. Lightly whisk the eggs and gradually beat them into the mixture. Fold in the flour. Beat all the batter mix at the same time. If there is any liquid that has not absorbed into the soaked fruit mixture, strain this of f, then stir the fruit into the batter mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Loosely cover the top of the tin with a piece of thick card (a piece of cereal packet will do), and put into the pre-heated oven. Bake for approximately 3-3.5 hours. Ovens do vary, so this is only a guide time. Once the cake is baked, allow it to completely cool in the tin. Turn out and wrap in greaseproof paper and then in tin foil. Store for at least two weeks before covering with marzipan and icing.
Serve up and enjoy!