Subscribe To Rosie Bakes A 'Peace' of Cake

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Christmas Fruitcake

An elderly lady who baked this cake every year kindly passed this recipe onto me many years ago. I would assume this recipe would be at least forty years old if not more! It has all those wonderful ingredients for making a good rich fruitcake. Black treacle brown sugar, and a little cocoa powder give this cake its lovely dark colour. Brandy adds that little extra special touch to the flavour and texture after “feeding” the cake for several weeks. You can see the brandy on top of the cake after its first feeding in the above pic.

I would advise a little time is spent preparing the cake tin to ensure its lined and greased well before starting on the cake mixture. I always have a hand written list of ingredients to tick off as I follow the recipe with it being such a long list, I wouldn’t want to miss adding anything!

Christmas Fruitcake

225g (½ lb) plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp cocoa powder
175g (6 oz) soft butter
175g (6 oz) soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
Grated zest 1 lemon
Grated zest 1 small orange
4 medium eggs
500g (1lb ¼ oz) mixed dried fruit, currants, sultanas and raisins
100g (4 oz) chopped mix peel
100g (4 oz) chopped flaked almonds
50g (2 oz) chopped glace cherries, washed and dried
4 tbsp of Brandy
2 tbsp milk
Brandy for “feeding” the cake
2 tbsp of brandy for feeding after baking
Extra brandy for “feeding” the cake every week


You will need 20cm (8 in) round cake tin or 18cm (17 in) square cake tin. Brush the cake tin with melted butter. Line the base and sides with double thickness if greaseproof paper. Grease the greaseproof paper with more melted butter.

When the cake mixture is in the tin, you will need to tie double thickness of baking paper or news paper around the outside of the tin, allowing it to stand proud 2.5cm (1 in) above the tin.

Preheat oven to 150°C/fan 140°C/300°F/Gas mark 2.

In a large mixing bowl add the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the treacle, lemon zest and orange zest and beat in well. Add an egg one at a time beating in until all combined into the mixture.

Stir in the mixed fruits, chopped peel, nuts and glace cherries making sure they are all coated in the mixture well.

Sift the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, grated nutmeg and cocoa powder. Fold into the mixture alternately with the brandy and milk.

Place all the mixture into the prepared cake tin; smooth the top with a spatula leaving a small indentation in the middle to help prevent the top from doming.

Place the brown paper tied around the outside of the tin as instructions above.

Place into the preheated oven for about 3¼ - 3 ½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning to quickly cover loosely over with a circle of baking paper.

Leave in the cake tin until completely cooled then remove the greaseproof paper, make little holes into the top of the cake and pour the 2 tablespoons of brandy over.

Wrap the cake in clean greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight tin. Every week unwrap the cake and feed it with a little brandy then wrap the cake back up and store as before.

Note. This cake will keep well wrapped and stored for 3 months.


Jeena said...

Yummy a real rich treat! I think sometimes you get te best recipes ever off our older friends. :)

Rosie said...

Hi Jeena,

I think you are quite right about old recipes. I really enjoy cooking or baking from tried and tested old recipes.

Rosie x

Maria said...

Gorgeous Christmas fruit cake, i can't wait to see it in all its decorated glory ;o)


Rosie said...

Hi maria,

I'm not quite sure what the theme of fondant icing I will be trying to create on my Christmas cake this year ;)

Thanks as always for calling by and posting your lovely comments.

Rosie x

Antonia said...

Looks wonderful. I am making a start on mine tonight - the first time I have made a Christmas cake. I would love some decorating tips - I am not at all talented in that department and am wanting to do something very simple but that looks lovely.

My sister is a professional cake decorater and my mother is also excellent so I need to impress them both at Christmas! All tips gratefully received.
Thank you,

MrsB said...

Hi Rosie, your christmas fruit cake looks delicious, are you going to cover it in icing? Christmas cake is my favourite thing i love it, my mum makes a really good one, i am thinking about attempting one myself but i need to buy a better cake tin first!

Rosie said...

Hi Antonia,
How exciting, your first Christmas cake bake. I am sure you'll really have fun making and baking your own. How lovely to have two expert cake bakers in the family :)

I have a link here for a very pretty Christmas cake that looks stunning and sophisticated but appears quite simple to do. They have a few other ideas on this site. I hope this helps and of course I'm always happy to assist where I can :)

Hi Mrs B,
This also will be very exciting time for you too your first Christmas cake bake! Lakeland have some really good tins in but can be quite expensive too.

I am planning on some form of fondant icing and hopefully colouring some fondant to make figures and shapes for the top of the cake, if my idea works out heehee.

Thank you both for calling by and your kind very kind comments.

Rosie x

Happy cook said...

Rosie i used to make a christmas cake, but now for the last years i have notmade them.
Your is looking wonderfull. Enjoy them in the christmas period.
Send it to Zlamushka's even a spoo,full of christmas, i am sure she would love to have this from you, here is the link

Rosie said...

Thank you happy cook for the link... I will have to look into this asap :)

Rosie x

Antonia said...

Rosie - thank you for the link. That is a lovely one that looks simple enough to achieve. And I just love anything to do with stars! Have baked my cake but am a little concerned that it is overcooked (despite following Delia's instructions to a T). I'll be posting about it soon!

Rosie said...

Hi Antonia,
Ovens do vary so much with temps and hot spots but I am quite sure your cake will be beautiful in all its glory. A few weeks of "feeding" will make it even extra special too. I'm pleased you found the link helpful and there's a starburst cake on this site too, which is also lovely.

Looking forward to viewing your Christmas cake :)

Rosie x