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Photo: TheSpruceEats.com

Learn how to make Christmas cake with our easy recipe. This simple, all-in-one recipe makes the perfect fruit base for your festive treat. This hearty Christmas cake will serve between 14-21 people and will take around 3hrs to prepare and bake.

It’s well worth making this classic Christmas cake recipe in advance so its got plenty of time to absorb all of the flavours from the mixed fruit and brandy. And if you’re trying to be good this Christmas, you’ll be glad to know that a slice of this mouth-watering fruit cake works out at only 242 calories per serving – yes, really!

Love a good Christmas recipe? We’ve got loads more delicious recipes for the festive seasonright here. Why not have a go at making a delicious stollen loaf, Goodtoknow.co.uk's easy recipe shows you how to make this tasty treat.


  • 3 1/2 cups/525 g currants
  • 1 1/2 cups/225 g golden raisins/sontanas
  • 1 1/2 cups/225 g raisins
  • 3/4 cup/110 g mixed candied peel (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup glace (candied) cherries (halved)
  • 3 1/3 cups/300 g all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 10 ounces/300 g butter (slightly softened)
  • 1 1/3 cups/300 g soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon (zested)
  • 6 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons brandy (plus extra for feeding)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 300 F/150 C/Gas 2.

  3. Line a 9-inch cake pan with 2 thicknesses of parchment or greaseproof paper. Tie a double band of brown or newspaper paper around the outside. This acts as an insulator and helps prevent the cake from burning on the outside.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the currants, sultanas, raisins, candied peel, and cherries with the flour, salt, and spices.

  5. In another large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture slowly a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition; otherwise, the mixture could curdle. If it does, simply add a tablespoon of flour and mix to bring it back together. If it doesn't, don't fret; the cake will still be delicious.

  6. Carefully fold in half the flour and fruit into the egg and butter mixture, and repeat until fully incorporated. Add the brandy.

  7. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin, making sure there are no air pockets. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon and make a slight dip in the center—this will rise again during baking to create a smooth surface for icing the cake.

  8. Use a paper towel to clean up any smears of cake batter on the parchment so they don't burn. (It won't affect the cake; it just doesn't smell good.)

  9. Stand the tin on a double layer of newspaper in the lower part of the oven. If you have a gas oven, ensure the paper is well away from any flame. Bake for 4 1/2 hours. If the cake is browning too rapidly, cover the tin with a double layer of parchment paper after 2 1/2 hours.

  10. Check the cake after 4 1/2 hours. It should rise well and be a deep brown all over. Insert a skewer or fine knife into the center of the cake; it should be clean when you pull it out. If the dough sticks when you pull it, return the cake to the oven for a little longer.

  11. Cool the cake on a wire rack for an hour, then remove it from the pan to cool completely. Then, prick the surface of the cake with a toothpick or skewer and slowly pour over 2 to 3 tablespoons brandy. Repeat this feeding every two weeks up until Christmas.

  12. Store the cake wrapped in greaseproof or parchment paper in an airtight tin, until ready to serve. Enjoy it with your family!

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Photo: AdobeStocks.com

How to serve Christmas Cake

This Christmas Fruit Cake is rich and moist, with a ton of flavour from the fruit so it’s absolutely delish eaten plain. No frosting, no fondant – nothing needed – and it’s certainly how I pick away at the leftovers for weeks and weeks!

But if you really want to make it special, serve it with custard. Homemade custard, if you can. But if you opt for store bought, do my little pimping up trick – just stir in some vanilla bean paste. The little black specks gives it a little “extra special” look and it does wonders to freshen up the flavour too! - According to Recipetineats.

And lastly, you’ll be very happy to know this keeps for weeks and weeks! 3 months in the fridge, a year in the freezer.

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