Our simple Christmas cake recipe is delicious made in advance and fed with brandy or amaretto until you’re ready to decorate or simply made a couple of days before Christmas and decorated straight away! Full of fruit, this recipe creates an indulgent Christmas treat, ideal for sharing with the whole family. We’ve included two different decorating ideas for you, one is very traditional with a classic layer of marzipan and white icing and the other is much more contemporary, using dried fruit and nuts to create a beautiful centrepiece cake. Pick your favourite design and get baking this Christmas!
180ml Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil
45ml milk (for dairy free use any soya, almond, rice milk etc.)
250g demerara sugar
5 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp Cinnamon Ground
1 ½ tsp Mixed Spice
50g ground almonds
75g glace cherries, chopped
100g mixed peel
3 tbsp amaretto or brandy
An easy alternative to using the individual dried fruits is to use a 1kg bag of mixed fruit which contains sultanas, currants, raisins, orange peel, lemon peel. You can still add the glace cherries if you wish or if like me you may prefer to leave them out!
Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 2. Grease and line a 20cm round tin.
Pour the Mellow Yellow oil, milk and sugar into a bowl. Beat the eggs and gently fold into the oil, sugar and milk mixture. Add the amaretto or brandy and stir in well. Sieve the flour and spices into the bowl, then add the ground almonds. Fold this in to form a batter, add the dried fruit and give a final stir to mix evenly.
Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for between 3 and 3½ hours in the pre-heated oven, or until cooked through (it will be firm to press or a place a skewer in the centre and if it’s clean when pulled out the cake is cooked). After an hour of baking, you can sit some greaseproof paper on top of the cake to protect it from over browning.
Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to decorate the cake (at this stage you can pour on a little additional brandy or amaretto over a few days if you like an extra boozy cake!). To apply the marzipan layer, firstly warm some apricot jam and brush it over the cake. Roll out the marzipan to the required size and the thin jam coating should help the marzipan to stick. Ready to roll icing can be applied directly on top of the marzipan layer.