Tuesday, 27 November 2012

No fuss Christmas Cake

I found this recipe in Good Housekeeping magazine in 2006 and have made this cake every Christmas since. It's one that doesn't have to be made ages in advance to cut well, infact it could be made a week before Christmas if need be. I always used to make Delia's classic christmas cake, which was lovely, but there were a lot more ingredients and it did seem more of a hassle to make. This one tastes great, there is not a huge list of ingredients and it really doesn't take long to make. It's cooking now and it smells fantastic. I have always used ground almonds in the place of the roasted marcona almonds. I can't see the point of grinding the almonds myself, and today as I could only get raspberry and vanilla vodka from tesco I have used that. It may add an interesting flavour to the cake. It's not a huge cake but it's sufficient for us to cut up and share at Christmas. 


cuts in 24 slices
250g  each plump raisins and sultanas
100g dried cranberries or blueberries (I always use cranberries)
200g natural glace cherries, halved
200ml vanilla vodka (or normal vodka with 2 tbsp vanilla extract)
150g roasted Marcona almonds ( I use 150g ground almonds)
200g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g unrefined dark muscovado sugar
4 medium organic eggs, beaten
100g  plain flour

Put the raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries and cherries in a large bowl. Add the vodka and stir well. Cover and leave to soak for 2-3hr or overnight.
Grease and line the base and sides of a 8in round tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 150ÂșC. Put the almonds in a food processor and blend lightly until coarsely chopped. Tip out 75g and blend the remainder until ground. (no need for this if you are using ground almonds)
Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a handheld electric whisk for 2-3min until light and creamy. Gradually whisk in the beaten eggs, adding a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle. (mine often looks like it is starting to curdle) Stir in the ground and chopped nuts (or just add the bag of ground almonds) and flour. 
Tip the soaked fruit mixture into the bowl with any unabsorbed liqueur. Mix well, then spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 3½ (check at 3 hours mine is usually done then) or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and wrap in a double thickness of foil until ready to decorate. Once baked you can boost the cakes vanilla flavour by dousing with extra vodka before wrapping it it and storing it.

The photos above are the cakes from previous Christmas's and my mum and dad's Golden Wedding Anniversary cake, all from this recipe. The photo on the cake was a great idea from the site http://www.eatyourphoto.co.uk/index.php
Making marzipan fruits has become a tradition of mine now, and Rachel loves helping me make them (and eat them as she goes along). I got the idea of decorating the cake with them from some magazine or other. I'll post the method for marzipan fruits in December, they make lovely presents. 


  1. Ha, love that photo of Hugh n Pat. They look like they might've danced behind Cliff in Summer Holiday

    1. It great isn't it. They have so many lovely photos like this, I was spoilt for choice. We made them a lovely photo book of all of the favourites for their anniversary. Mum looked like a model, very stylish. x

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