Christmas Cake Recipe
Boiled Fruit Cake
Prep – 30 mins - but take your time and enjoy the process, it’s kind of a ritual cake. I like to set aside a day when I decide to make this cake, and do fun things in the kitchen while I make it. Like cleaning out old jars, or rearranging things, or just sipping tea and reading recipe books….
Cooking time – allow 2+ hours.
19cm square or 22cm round baking pan
For the fruit mix;
2 ¼ cups (375g) sultanas
2 cups (340g) raisins (some people chop them first but I don’t bother)
1 ½ cups (250g) currants
½ cup (85g) mixed peel
¾ cup (155g) halved red glace cherries ( I leave these out because I don’t like them)
250g butter, chopped (change this to coconut oil if you wish, I did it a few times but I can’t remember the quantity so just do the same)
1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar (I have also used alternate sugar but it’s Christmas, so what’s the point?)
½ cup (125ml) Brandy (I’ve missed this out several times because by the time I get around to making the cake the Brandy has all been drunk!)
½ cup (125ml) water
5 eggs, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 ¾ ( 260g) cups plain flour
1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (80g) blanched or plain almonds
¼ cup (60ml) Brandy, optional extra
Combine fruit mix ingredients (as above) in a large saucepan. Stir constantly over heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a big mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 150c. Grease a deep 19cm square or 22cm round cake pan, line the base and sides with 2 layers of baking paper and bring the paper above the edge of the pan.
Add eggs, jam & rinds to the fruit mix and stir until combined. Carefully stir in sifted dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread the top evenly. If you are decorating with almonds, arrange these on top and bake in a low-heat oven for 2 ½ - 3 hours. Keep an eye on it though as you know your oven! Ours bakes things faster than they should so I check my cake before 2 hours is up just to make sure it's cooking evenly. If it's over-browning, cover it with foil during the bake.
Optional – brush the extra Brandy over the top of the hot cake, cover lightly with foil and cool the cake in the pan. Do this if you like Brandy and intend on baking your cake a few weeks early.
I found this recipe in an old magazine at a place I was staying at in Whitianga 20 years ago so I have made a lot of cakes since then and they are always good. I have also substituted the flour for a gluten-free mix and changed the butter to coconut oil. If you don’t eat eggs I’m sorry I don’t know what you would do. Crackers?
I’ve also iced this cake with traditional icing, but mostly I like making a pattern with the almonds – blanched gives you more contrast but you can use the plain ones too.