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Quick Christmas Cake
- 250g plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 220g butter
- 220g brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons treacle or golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon marmalade
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 875g mixed dried fruits
- 110g chopped mixed peel
- 155g glace cherries, halved
- 110g blanched almonds, chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons brandy plus extra for sprinkling
- To Decorate
- 220g marzipan
- 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed
- Royal Icing
- 3 egg whites
- 655g icing sugar, sieved
- 2 teaspoons liquid glycerine, optional
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preparation:45min › Cook:3hours › Ready in:3hours45min
- Cake: Heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 20cm round or an 18cm square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
- Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Cream the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the sugar, treacle, marmalade and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
- Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
- Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
- Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a skewer. If not ready bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbsp of brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
- Store the cake wrapped in foil and in an airtight tin or plastic container, holes side up.
- To Decorate: Place the cake on a foil board or cake plate. Dust your hands and the work surface with a little icing sugar and knead the marzipan until soft.
- Roll out half the marzipan to fit the top of the cake and roll out the rest in strips to fit around the sides of the cake.
- Brush the cake all over with the warmed apricot jam and then place the marzipan on top and around the cake. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place for at least one day.
- Royal Icing: Lightly whisk the egg whites adding the sugar at intervals. Beat well until the icing reaches soft peaks. Add the glycerine if using and the lemon juice.
- Spread icing all over cake either flat iced using a clean ruler or by forming soft peaks. Decorate with Christmas ornaments.
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