The Easiest Christmas Cake Ever!
- 800g of mixed dried fruits, such as mixed peel, glace cherries, currants and figs
- 200g muscovado sugar
- 175g butter, cubed
- 1 orange zest and juice
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 100ml brandy, rum, whisky or orange juice
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 85g ground almonds
- 200g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1/4tsp allspice
- 50g of whole almonds
- 50g of walnuts
- To Decorate
- 1 Pack ready to roll white icing, such as Renshaw's
- 1 Pack ready to roll marzipan
A cake that everyone can make – this cake can be made up to 2 months in advance, if left wrapped in greaseproof paper in a cake tin and ‘fed’ with 2 – 4tbsp alcohol or orange juice a week to keep it moist until you’re ready to decorate.
- Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin with butter then double line with parchment paper.
- Preheat your oven to 150°c / gas mark 2.
- Place the butter, sugar, dried fruits, zest and juice from the orange and lemon and the brandy, rum, whisky or orange juice into a saucepan and gently heat through until the butter has melted. Cook for a further 5 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile place the whole almonds and walnuts into a frying pan and lightly toast until the air fills with a nutty aroma, then cool and roughly chop.
- In a large bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and spices. Stir in the ground almonds, toasted chopped nuts and finally add the fruit mixture and mix well. Then add the eggs and bind together.
- Transfer to the prepared cake tin, smoothing off the top with a damp metal spoon.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the heat down to 140°c / gas 1-2 and cook for a further 1-1 1/4 hours until the cake is a rich golden colour. If you feel the cake is becoming too dark cover with tin foil. The cake is ready when a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. For a richer cake, prick all over with a skewer and spoon over 3-4tbsp of your favourite alcohol or orange juice.
If creating the alcohol free orange juice version, we recommend making the cake no more than 2 months in advance.
- Melt the apricot jam, sieve the lumps out and then brush a little all over the cake.
- Lightly dust a clean smooth surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to a circle large enough to cover the whole cake, approximately 3mm thick. Drape the marzipan over the cake and gently smooth it, before trimming off any excess.
- Brush the marzipan with apricot jam.
- Lightly dust a clean smooth surface with icing sugar and roll out the white icing into a circle large enough to cover the whole cake approximately 3mm thick. Drape the icing over the cake and gently smooth it, before trimming off any excess.
- Decorate the top as you wish, we’ve created a tree with icing tubes and sugar decorations.