For the past 6 years I’ve been baking our own Christmas cakes. I chose a random recipe and it was so fruity I felt it was miles better than any shop bought effort. With the amount of fruit in it it isn’t cheap, but then again, Christmas isn’t cheap!
- 1.5kg of mixed fruit (sultanas, Raisins, Mixed peel, Figs, Dates, Prunes, Cherries, Apricots (anything!)
- Spiced Rum
- 255g Butter
- 200g Brown sugar
- 5 Medium sized eggs
- 300g plain flour
- nuts (optional)
I have to admit this is a slightly freestyle recipe that starts 24 hours before you want to bake. Fill a bowl with a mixture of dried fruits. I usually cook 2 at a time, but your looking for 1.5kg (per cake) in approximate total weight. Raisins, Sultanas, Cherries, Figs, Prunes, Dried Mixed peel.
Pour a good slosh of spiced rum over and cover. Allow the fruit to soak in the rum over night.
Cream the Butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and stir. If the mix starts to “curdle” add a little flour. Continue until all the eggs are in.
Next add the fruit and any remaining soaking liquid from the bowl. combine the fruit and cake mix.
Finally add the flour a third at a time and combine the cake mix together. This starts to get quite stiff, but merges together quite quickly.
Line a cake tin with grease proof paper, up the sides and the bottom.
Add the cake mix to the lined tin and cook for 3 hours in an oven at 150C/300F/Gas 2.
The cake is cooked when you can pierce the cake with a skewer and it comes out clean.
As the cake cooks it can start to darken up on the top. If you want the cake without icing, then you will need to try and protect it from burning with a layer of greaseproof paper on the top. I’ll be icing mine, which also means that I can simply slice off the top section to give a flatter top.
I’m not a big fan of nuts, which makes this freestyle recipe ideal. Macadamia nuts are a good option to add, but I leave them out!
Store in an air tight container wrapped in grease proof paper and “feed” the cake spiced rum every 2 – 3 weeks. I usually cook our Christmas cake in the beginning of October ready for Mid December. I’ll bring them out into December and start icing them… that will be Part 2.