Last month I shared my go-to rich Christmas fruit cake recipe; I promised I would share my step-by-step photos once I had made this year’s Christmas cake and here’s my kept promise!
How To Make A Rich Fruit Cake
1. Prepare the fruit
The day before you want to bake your cake, you need to prep your fruit. And by prep, I mean soak it in alcohol! My favourite is rum, but you could use brandy, whisky or sherry if you like. Mix everything together well and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a cool place for 24 hours. I actually ended up leaving mine for 3 days!
2. Prepare the cake tin
To prepare your cake tin for the long cooking process, you will need to double line it.
Place double thickness of baking paper into the bottom of the tin. Double over a length of baking paper and line the insides of the tin – you want it to be about 1″ (2.5cm) higher than the sides of the tin.
Take a length of brown paper to fit around your tin and fold in half to double thickness. Wrap this around the outside of the tin and secure with string. Place your prepared cake tin on a baking sheet that has been lined with 3 or 4 sheets of brown paper.
This may all seem like overkill but it will help to keep the cake from being burned!
3. Mix the ingredients
All the other ingredients for the cake are mixed together in one bowl. I use an electric mixer and beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes until combined and smooth.
4. Add the fruit
Nows the time to add the booze soaked fruit to the cake mixture. Give it a bit of a stir in the bowl that you were marinating it in, then add it to the batter. Fold in gently until everything is evenly mixed.
5. Transfer cake mixture to tin
Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared tin. Give the tin a couple of sharp bangs to disperse any air bubbles, and using the back of a spoon, make a depression in the center of the cake.
6. Bake the cake
The time to bake this cake is around 2 hours and 15 minutes. But I’ve learned that this can really depend on your oven. Check the cake after the time suggested – if you insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean. If it doesn’t, pop back in the oven and check at 15 minute intervals.
7. Leave to cool
When your Christmas fruit cake is completely cooked, leave it in the tin to cool. Remove it from the tin, but leave the baking paper lining on it.
8. Add more booze!
Poke holes into the top of the cake and pour a large spoonful of your chosen alcohol into the holes.
9. Wrap the cake for storing
Cover the cake with the saved baking paper, then wrap in a double layer of aluminium foil. Keep in a cool, dark and dry place until ready to decorate.
10. Remember to feed your cake
Yes, you read correctly – feed your cake with more booze! I do this every week for about 4 weeks! I unwrap the cake, and pour more alcohol into the earlier poked holes.
And that’s it! I hope you can now see that it’s pretty easy to make a rich Christmas fruit cake! I’ll be back again to finish off the cake with marzipan, icing and decorating!
- 250g raisins
- 250g sultanas
- 155g currants
- 125g dried apricots, chopped
- 150g glacé cherries, quartered
- 60g mixed peel, chopped
- 60g mixed chopped nuts
- 2 tsps lemon zest
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- 3 tbsps brandy (or whisky or sherry or rum)
- 280g plain flour
- 3 tsps ground mixed spice
- 60g ground almonds
- 220g soft dark brown sugar
- 220g butter, softened
- 1½ tbsps black treacle
- 4 medium eggs
- Extra brandy (or whisky or sherry or rum) to feed the cake
- Place the raisins, sultanas, currants, apricots, cherries, mixed peel, mixed nuts and lemon zest into a large bowl.
- Add the lemon juice and alcohol and stir everything together until well mixed.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 24 hours to infuse.
- When you are ready to bake your cake, preheat the oven to 140C/Gas 1.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, mixed spice, sugar, butter, treacle and eggs until smooth and glossy.
- Gently fold all of the booze soaked fruit and nuts into the cake mixture until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bang the tin to remove any air pockets and make a depression in the middle of the cake with the back of a spoon.
- After 2 hours and 15 minutes of cooking time, check to see if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle. It should come out clean. if not, retest every 15 minutes. Up to 3 hours total cooking time may be necessary.
- Leave to cool in the tin.
- When cool, remove from the tin, but leave the baking paper wrapped around it - this helps to keep the cake moist.
- Before getting ready to store your cake for a 2 or 3 weeks before decorating; poke a couple of holes in the top with a skewer and "feed" alcohol into these holes - about a tablespoon should be enough. I do this every 5 days! It's up to you!
- Wrap the cake in a double thickness of of foil and store in a cool, dry place on its base.
- Always wrap the cake well after feeding it!
Create Christmas is an annual series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog where I blog each day with something to cook, craft or create for Christmas. This year I’m also sharing a round-up post with ideas and inspiration from other bloggers. If you’d like to be involved, just check out the Calling All Bloggers post here. Don’t forget to check out the blogger Create Christmas Linky too!