Festive Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake Fruit and Nut FilledDON’T BE AFRAID OF THE FRUIT CAKE


If you are like me during the Christmas holidays there’s nothing better than sinking my teeth into a rich piece of Christmas Cake or mincemeat pie with a cuppa tea to finish the day off.

My dad loves his Christmas cake also known as a fruit cake and it just so happens that my sister makes them for Christmas as well.

Like me she does some baking on the side with December and January being the busiest time of year.

You can make this recipe as frugal as you like it or make it as expensive depending on the quality and type of ingredients that you buy.

Obviously with the addition of nuts and alcohol you can easily see a price difference in the cake had you of left those ingredients out.


Christmas Cake


What is a Christmas Cake?

A Christmas Cake is a popular seasonal tradition made in Britain and Scotland. The Christmas cake can take on many forms such as a light or dark cake.

The shape of the Christmas cake can be round, oblong and even rectangular and you can choose to add alcohol or leave it out.

Some people make a mini Christmas Cake as well to package up for friends and family as homemade edible gifts. The Christmas Cake is alcohol soaked in the Scottish tradition and topped with icing, glaze, marzipan or left plain.

You may also see the fruit cake decorated with leaves or fir trees to celebrate the holiday season. Today I’ve added leaf and berries to decorate the top of my Christmas Cake.

This year I am attempting my mums Christmas Cake recipe in hopes that it turns out just as delicious as I remember it.

The Christmas Cake ingredients such as the deep flavoured spices and the cherries are all festive flavours of the holidays and make the house smell wonderful.

If you want to keep your Christmas cake rich and  moist don’t forget to layer the alcohol. Alcohol will ensure your cake doesn’t get dry and helps keep it longer although it rarely last a couple of days in our house.

The one pitfall of the Christmas Cake is the time it takes to bake in the oven. It takes a long while as it needs to be baked slowly to enhance all of those festive flavours.

The one pro with a Christmas Cake is that they are easy to store as they don’t need to be frozen.  As long as the Christmas Cake is placed in an air-tight container it will keep for around six months. I know hard to believe but it’s true.

When my husband and I got married the top-tier of our wedding cake was a Christmas Cake filled with fruits and nuts. Surprisingly it kept fresh and moist for 3 years then, as it’s traditional. I used that same Christmas Cake for my first sons christening cake.

We just re-iced the fruit cake and it was so good. Sometimes I think the longer it sits the richer it gets as the flavours have time to unfold and come together like a fine wine. I hate to think how much alcohol went into it to keep it so fresh.

Mr.CBB told me that his mum makes a traditional Christmas Cake filled with nuts and fruit every year as well. His mom adds as much liquor as the cake will soak up and normally does a clean-out of the alcohol cabinet so they can re-stock for the new year.

Along-side the Christmas Cake he has fond memories of his mum making Christmas pudding another tradition from back home.

So, don’t be afraid to tackle making the Christmas Cake like some people are as it’s more time-sensitive more than anything.


How to make Christmas Cake filled with fruit and nuts


How to make a Christmas Cake

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 4hrs
  • Oven temps – 160oC/325oF first hour , 140oF/275oF second hour then cover with grease proof paper for a further 11/2 to 2hrs until skewer comes out clean

Christmas Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you are a fruit cake lover this easy recipe will make the top ten list of things to bake every holiday season.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Christmas Cake
Serves: 8-10
  • 1-1/4 cups butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups plain flour sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1-1/2 cups currants
  • 1-1/2 cups seedless raisins
  • 1-1/2 cups golden sultanas
  • ⅓ cup chopped Glace cherries
  • ⅓ cup mixed peel chopped
  • grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon blanched and finely chopped almonds
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • 1-1/2 lbs marzipan
  • 1-1/2 lbs royal icing
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160oC/325oF
  2. Grease a deep round 8 inch cake tin and line it with a double layer of greaseproof paper
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl, beating in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each one so it doesn't separate out.
  4. Sift the remaining flour with the salt and spices and fold into the mixture with the ground almonds.
  5. Stir in the dried fruit, cherries, mixed peel, lemon rind and the juice and the almonds.
  6. Mix all the ingredients well until they are thoroughly combined.
  7. Put the mixture in the cake tin, smoothing the top and then slightly hollow the center.
  8. Bake in the oven for 1hour and then for a further hour at 140oC/275oF.
  9. After that hour cover cake with greaseproof paper and bake it in the oven for a further 1½ - 2hrs.The cake is fully baked when a skewer pushed into the center comes out clean and the cake is firm to touch.
  10. Leave cake to cook completely then prick the bottom with a fork and gently pour the brandy over the cake. The cake will absorb this and make it moist.
  11. Cover the cake straight away or leave it in a sealed container until ready to use.
  12. My mum made her cakes at least a month ahead and topped up the cake with alcohol every week as to make it really rich and moist. This cake does not need freezing.
  13. To top the cake with marzipan take it out two weeks before Christmas and cover with marzipan leave it for a couple of days to dry then cover the cake with royal icing. I usually miss out the marzipan and just cover with the royal icing.

My mum made her cakes at least a month ahead and topped up the cake with alcohol every week as to make it really rich and moist. This cake does not need freezing.

To top the cake with marzipan take it out two weeks before Christmas and cover with marzipan leave it for a couple of days to dry then cover the cake with royal icing. I usually miss out the marzipan and just cover with the royal icing but the choice is up to you.

Enjoy this rich fruit cake and if you make it let us all see the beautiful pictures.

Nicky x



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Nicola Don
Nicola Don was born in Aberdeen Scotland and lived most of her years in Ellon Aberdeenshire ,Scotland. She is a stay at home mom of three kids to whom she adores and a passionate mom chef at heart. Nicola has been married for 16 years to a wonderful husband. Her family moved from the UK 8 years ago to Ste Anne MB, Canada where they are now permanent residents. Nicola loves to cook and experiment with flavours while creating recipes. She aims to give her family the best food and variety of tastes from all over the world while using fresh ingredients with-in her grocery budget.


  1. Irene Amruthkumar says:

    I’m so excited about trying this recipe. Just wondering how you get the dark color for the cake, since I don’t see any instructions on caramelizing the sugar?
    Thank you!

    • No caramelizing, you get the dark colour from the brown sugar and alcohol.you feed into the cake. That gives it its colour and richness and not dry at all. Enjoy, let me see pics too X

  2. I have to admit that I hate…hate….did I say hate….fruitcake. With that being said the one in the picture doesn’t look so bad. Hmmmm….could there actually be good fruitcake out there in the world. I don’t know….maybe will never know.

  3. That Fruit cake does look good. I’ve only been subjected to the commercial fruit cakes, and they haven’t made me a fan of the whole idea. I think if I could have a slice of yours…

  4. Christine Weadick says:

    This does look good Nicola!! I make a dark fruit cake every year in9X5 loaf pans lined in brown paper. My daughter’s former boss at the chocolate shop she worked at as a teen and through college gets one all to himself every year as he says it tastes just like his grandmother’s did and he just loves it!! I don’t add the alcohol to mine but it doesn’t last long enough here to get that. I wonder if one of those little bottles of alcohol they sell would be enough for the cake as we don’t usually have any around the place. I don’t drink much at all, hubby can’t anymore(he’s been known to sneak the odd glass of wine at his sisters) and the boys have their beer.
    Merry Christmas to you and the family Nicola!!!

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