Wednesday 22 October 2008

Baking Christmas Cakes

Yes, I know it's not yet the end of October, but the truth is that a number of Christmas cakes (especially fruit cakes) need several weeks to mature properly and I'll be starting my own Christmas baking next week. As a result I'm presenting here the recipe for my family's traditional rich Christmas cake (which is also used for wedding).

Traditional Rich Fruit Christmas Cake

420g sultanas
270g raisins
270g currants
120g chopped prunes
120ml brandy or Madeira
360g butter
300g dark brown sugar
300g plain flour
120g ground almonds
pinch of salt
1 tsp mixed spice
5 eggs, well beaten
grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
juice of 1 lemongrated rind of 1 orange


The night before mix all the fruit, the wine and the lemon juice and allow to marinate. The following day cream together the butter and sugar until soft and very fluffy. Sieve all the dry ingredients together and beat the eggs well. Gradually add the flour mix and the eggs alternately into the butter and sugar mix. Beat well after each additon.

When done gradually add the fruit to the mix and beat well so that they are completely integrated.

When ready spoon the mixture into two 1kg loaf pans (or a large square or round tin) that have been well greased and lined with greaseproof paper. Place in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 150°C and cook for an hour. Cover the top with greaseproof paper, reduce the heat to 140°C and cook for a further four hours, or until the cake is done and a skewer inserted into the centre emerges clean. Allow to cool completely, cover in greaseproof paper and foil then place in an air-tight tin to mature for at least 4 weeks before decorating (preferrably more).

This recipe is adapted from the Traditional Rich Fruit Christmas cake recipe page.

Other traditional Christmas cakes include:

Scottish Black Bun
Christmas Cake (Dark Fruitcake)
Dundee Cake
Dresdner Stollen
Icelandic Layer Cake
King Cake (Twelfth Night Cake)
Mincemeat Christmas Cake (a last minute Christmas cake that does not need ageing)
Old-fashioned Yule Cake
Scottish Christmas Bun
Trinidadian Black Cake
Twelfth Night Cake
Yeasty Christmas Cake

Few of the cakes listed above would be complete without a layer of traditional marzipan and a coating of Glacé Icing Recipe.

These recipes and links are brought to you by the Celtnet Christmas Recipes collection.

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