There is something special about baking a Christmas Day cake and for me it brings back so many happy memories of baking with my Nan as a young child.
Quick and easy is the way forward ...
Designed for the Essential Christmas Creative Kit
Catherine's Easy Peasy Christmas Cake
Prep time: 50 mins
Cook time: 4 - 4 1/2 hours + overnight soaking
Cake tin: 20cm round or 18cm square
- 1kg mixed dried fruit
- 150ml sherry, brandy, rum or brewed Black Assam Tea for none alcoholic version + extra for feeding
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus a bit extra for the tin
- 250g light soft brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 200g plain flower
- 2 tablespoons of Sweet Mixed Spice
- 100g of whole or flaked almonds
Put your dried fruit mix in to a bowl and add your chosen alcohol or Assam Black Tea, citrus zest and juice. Mix well and then cover so you can leave to soak overnight.
Heat your oven to 160 degrees celsius, 140 degrees if using a fan oven. Butter and double line your cake tin ensuring you have enough baking parchment to appear over the top edge by about 3cm.
Take a mixing bowl and beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until you get a creamy mixture. Then add the eggs one by one whilst still beating through the mixture.
Add the flour, Mixed Sweet Spice, soaked fruit including the liquid from the bottom of the bowl along with the almonds. Stir everything together and then empty out into your cake tin.
Using a spoon create a slight dent in the middle of the mixture.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Reduce your oven heat down to 140 degrees celsius or 120 degrees if using a fan oven. Using a double sheet of baking parchment cover the top of the cake loosely and bake for another 2 1/2 hours - 3 hours (you can check your cake by poking a skewer into the centre through to the bottom, if it comes out clean your bakes ready).
Once removed from the oven allow your cake to cool. Once cool you can lift your cake out of the tin by using the baking edge of the parchment appearing from over the top.
Poke various holes into your cake using a skewer allowing you to feed your cake with further alcohol or tea. You can keep your cake in a cake tin or wrapped in tin foil, store in a cool dry place. Feed your cake up to 3 times before eating on Christmas Day.