This is my favourite Christmas Cake recipe. I love rich fruit cake so I will probably make one this year. I’m not so good at cake decorating so I usually top mine with nuts but it is a very good cake to ice and decorate not just for Christmas but would probably work nicely as a wedding cake too as it keeps well.
This rich fruit cake is very easy to make and although I like to make it ahead you don’t really have to. It’s just as nice if you make it the night before Christmas, but do allow sufficient time for baking. I first found it in the Australian Women’s Weekly (published monthly) of November 2006 and I have been using it ever since. The measurements are in metric and I have included a couple of conversion charts as links for readers overseas.
Night Before Quick Mix Christmas Cake
The mixture will make either:
- one large cake in a 22cm round or 19cm square deep cake tin
- two smaller ones in either a 17cm round or 15cm square tins
- four small cakes in 12.5cm round or 9.5 cm square tins
- 475 gram jar of fruit mince
- 750 grams dried mixed fruit
- 125 ml/ 1/2 cup sweet sherry
- 250 grams butter/cooking margarine, melted and cooled
- 200 grams/ 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 4 eggs beaten lightly
- 300 grams/2 cups plain flour
- 150 grams/ 1 cup self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- blanched whole almonds, pecans, Macadamia and walnuts to decorate
Note: If you don’t have sherry you can use brandy or run or for a non alcoholic cake use 2 tablespoons of brandy or run essence combined with 1/3 cup of orange juice.
Read the instructions before you go any further. One or two of these things need to cool before you can use them and planning ahead saves time. Melt the butter and heat the fruit first. While you are waiting for them to cool you can prepare the baking tin as follows:
Line the tin with two layers of brown paper and two layers of baking paper. Extend the paper 5cm above the top of the tin. I have never seen brown paper being sold by the roll around here so getting brown paper is a bit of a problem. Usually my hoarding instinct saves me and if I get anything wrapped in brown paper during the course of the year I save it. A couple of years ago I was volunteering at our local radio station and one of the sponsors sent round some goods to be used as raffle prizes in brown paper bags. After the bags were no longer needed I asked if I could have them so I have a good supply of brown paper for the next couple of years. If you really can’t get any brown paper just use extra baking paper instead.
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius or if you have a fan forced oven 120 Celsius is fine.
Combine the dried fruit, fruit mince and sherry in a large microwave safe bowl and heat it, covered, on HIGH (100%) for 4 minutes, stirring once. Cool, uncovered, for half an hour.
Stir in the cooled, melted butter and sugar until combined. By the way if you don’t have dark brown sugar I’ve done it with light and it turns out fine.
Stir in the eggs and the sifted dry ingredients.
Spread mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top.
In my recipe you can then decorate the top with nuts before putting it into the oven. If you prefer not to have nuts skip this step and you can ice the cake later.
This may vary according to your oven of course.
- For 1 large cake 3 1/2 – 4 hours
- For 2 medium-sized cakes 2 – 2 1/2 hours
- For 4 small cakes 1 3/4 – 2 hours
Remove cake from the oven and brush it with more sherry. Cover the hot cake with foil and wrap it in a large towel. Leave it to cool in the tin overnight.
- http://www.sciencemadesimple.net/conversions.html – convert metric to Imperial or US.
- Delia’s Classic Christmas Cake (acookbookcollection.wordpress.com)
- Christmas Cake Wrapping (allaboutgiftbaskets.wordpress.com)
- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (or, how not to make a Christmas Cake) (mummetamorphosis.wordpress.com)
- Last Chance Foods: Getting a Start on Christmas Cake (wnyc.org)