With Christmas Day racing around, now is the time to start preparing your Christmas Cake! If you decide to 'feed' your cake with alcohol, you need to prepare it a good time in advance, to give you plenty of time to mature it deliciously with alcohol over the coming weeks.
We were lucky to chat with our founder Rebecca's lovely mum Sue, who has shared her very own special family Christmas Cake recipe with us - for your own baking adventures for you to make yourself at home.
No time to bake? Or you're not a baker? Our Christmas Sweet Treats hampers are perfect to stock the pantry for sweet tooths on Christmas day, or to send to family and friends if you can't be there. Click here to check them out.
Christmas Fruit Cake
227g caster sugar
450g plain flour
1.5kg mixed dried fruit
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lemon essence
1 tsp almond essence
1 cup milk
Pre-heat your oven to 140 degrees celsius, and prepare a medium-sized cake tin, lined with baking paper.
In a big mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour. Then add all other the dry ingredients and essences. Cover the bowl and leave that mixture to stand, ideally overnight or at least for a few hours.
Once that mix is done resting, heat the milk in a pan, until nearly boiling. Lightly beat the eggs together, then add the eggs to the nearly boiling milk in the pan and keep mixing (you're aiming to make a light custard).
Leave the egg/milk custard mix to cool fully. Once cool, mix it into the prepared ingredients, until it's all well mixed. Pour the finished mix into your cake tin.
Bake for 3 - 4 hrs at 140 degrees celsius. It'll be done when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once done, remove the cake from the oven and leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Feeding / Maturing Your Cake
You might decide you want to 'mature' or 'feed' your Christmas cake with your chosen alcohol in advance (this is optional). To do so, when the cake first comes out of the oven, poke holes in it on top with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol (rum, brandy or whisky). Then, once the cake is totally cool, wrap the cake well in cling-film and store it un-iced in a cool dark place. Every week until Christmas, unwrap the cake, poke holes in it on top with a skewer, and spoon over the 2 tbsp of alcohol again. Don't feed the cake during the final week before Christmas, so that the edges can dry out in time for icing.
Brandy Butter Icing
This delicious recipe from the Edmonds Cookery Book is the perfect topping for your Christmas Cake creation.
175g butter, softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat the butter until it's light, smooth and fluffy.
Add in the icing sugar, brandy and vanilla, then continue to beat until light and creamy.
Once the cake has fully cooled, ice the cake with the brandy butter icing. You can put store-bought almond icing underneath if you like.