- 10 ozs butter
- 10 ozs brown sugar
- Grated rind of 2 lemons
- 6 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons rum, brandy or sherry
- 12 ozs plain flour
- 1½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 ozs chopped blanched almonds
- 2ozs chopped walnuts
- 3lbs 6ozs mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, finely chopped apricots, dried cranberries – your choice and combination)
- 4ozs chopped mixed candied peel
- 4ozs glacé cherries (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons Cross and Blackwell gravy browning (not gravy mix!!)
A big thanks to Margaret Armstrong for donating the Christmas cake recipe. She told us: “This recipe was used by my maternal grandmother and mother, both of whom made Christmas cakes and puddings for family members and neighbours. I have now taken over the recipes and followed their tradition of making them for family and friends.”
- Place all the dried fruit in a large bowl and pour over the three tablespoons of brandy. Add the two teaspoons of gravy browning. Cover and leave to soak turning occasionally.
- Prepare Cake tin using double layer of greaseproof paper. 7 inch square or 7 inch round tins.
- Turn on oven to 170 C.
- Weigh out all ingredients before beginning. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in the grated lemon rind. Whisk the eggs and GRADUALLY whisk into the mixture incorporating well each time, add a little of the flour if the mixture shows signs of ‘curdling’. Mix the spices with the flour and sieve gradually and stir into the mixture. Stir in the nuts, dried fruit, candied peel and glace cherries.
- Pack the mixture firmly into the prepared tin. Cover the outside of the tin in double layer of brown paper, cover the top of the cake with double layer grease proof paper. Place in preheated oven at 170c for one hour then reduce the temperature to 150c and cook for a further two hours.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from tin. Store in an airtight tin.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of spirit of your choice over the cake weekly for the next two to three weeks until covering with Marzipan and Icing or decorating with candied fruits.
- And don’t forget if you’re the hard working cook in the kitchen a glass of mulled wine might help set the festive mood!