This Easy Peasy Christmas Cake is a well tried and tested family recipe that has stood the test of time (several decades in my family). It doesn't need feeding and so is suitable to give to kids - if they'll eat it!!
Course Dessert, Pudding, Snack
Prep Time 1hour
Cook Time 3hours
Total Time 4hours
Author Eb Gargano
250glight soft brown sugar
125gdiced mixed peel
50mlsherry(or apple juice if you want to make this alcohol free)
1very heaped tablespoon golden syrup
Shredless marmalade or sieved apricot jam
Ready-rolled white icing
A large mixing bowl
Two smaller mixing bowls and a little bowl for the cherries
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, ground almonds and spices.
Wash the sultanas, raisins and currants and place in a third bowl together with the chopped mixed peel.
Rinse and dry the cherries. Place in a small bowl and dust with a little flour (to stop them sinking in the cake).
In a jug, mix the eggs, golden syrup and sherry (or apple juice).
Line the base and sides of a 20cm / 8inch cake tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper, having greased the tin first. Make sure the paper which lines the sides stands 7cm above the rim of the tin.
To ensure the cake does not have a hard base, line a baking sheet with 4 layers of thick brown paper.
Preheat your oven to 165C / 145C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F.
Add a handful (or large spoonful) of flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Then add a small amount of the egg mixture and a handful of the fruit mixture and work together well, ideally with your hands (but you could do it with a wooden spoon if you don’t fancy the idea of getting your hands messy).
Repeat this process until all the ingredients are well mixed, then finally add the cherries and mix again.
Put the mixture in the prepared tin and flatten down evenly.
Place the cake tin on the prepared baking sheet and put into your preheated oven for 1 hour.
Reduce the heat to 150C / 130 fan / gas mark 2 / 300F and cook for a second hour.
Cover with a little hat of greaseproof paper and bake for a third hour.
Remove from the oven and check it is cooked properly by inserting a skewer – the skewer should be clean when removed.
Trim the greaseproof paper back to the level of the tin’s rim and place on a cooling wire upside down still in its tin.
Leave until completely cold (ideally the next day).
Slide the cake out, wrap securely with foil and store in a cake tin until Christmas.
Cover the entire cake in warmed shredless marmalade (or sieved apricot jam).
Place the ready-rolled marzipan onto the cake and gently smooth down the sides. Trim off any excess. Lightly cover and leave for 1-2 days, ideally.
Lightly brush the marzipan with water and place the ready-rolled icing on top of the cake. Gently smooth down the sides and trim off any excess.
Decorate if desired.
Suitable for freezing.Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.