Easy Christmas cake

(326 ratings)
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  • Serves: 14-21

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Freezable
  • Make in advance

Make your own Christmas cake with our easy Christmas cake recipe. This simple, all-in-one recipe makes the perfect fruit base for your festive treat. This hearty Christmas cake will serve between 14-21 people and will take around 3hrs to prepare and bake. It's well worth making this classic Christmas cake in advance so its got plenty of time to absorb all of the flavours from the mixed fruit and brandy. And if you're trying to be good this Christmas, you'll be glad to know that a slice of this mouth-watering fruit cake works out at only 242 calories per serving - yes, really! This tasty Christmas cake has been tested in the GoodtoKnow kitchen and is certainly a favourite. Once you've mastered this recipe you can get decorating with your chosen topping, be it traditional fondant and marzipan or royal icing or if you're looking to keep it simple, don't decorate this cake at all and serve glazed in a light drizzle of honey, golden syrup or warmed apricot jam.

When unwrapping the cake to decorate, an extra couple of tablespoons of brandy can be spooned over it to add extra.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 300g (10oz) plain flour
  • 250g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 250g (8oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 410g jar of mincemeat
  • 500g (1lb) dried mixed fruit
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 20cm (8in) round or 18cm (7in) square cake tin, lined with baking parchment


  1. To ensure the cake is positioned centrally in the oven, put one of the shelves just below the centre of it. Set the oven to 140C/280F/Gas Mark 1.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the brandy. Beat the mixture until smooth, then spoon it into the lined cake tin. With a wet hand, press the mixture into the tin and smooth on top, so that it's level.
  3. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 3 - 3.5 hours, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack. Leave the cake to cool for about 15 minutes, then spoon over the brandy. Leave it to cool completely in the tin.
  5. Remove the cake from the tin and peel away the lining paper. Wrap it in clean baking parchment and then foil, and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, until ready to cover with icing and decorate. If you're planning to cover your Christmas cake in marzipan and icing, click here to follow our step-by-step guide.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 242(kcal)
  • Fat 11.0g
  • Saturates 2.0g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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Average rating

  • 3
(326 ratings)

Your comments


yes you can make it now


No, I love this recipe as so easy and all family ate it last year. I am making mine next week. Good luck

dawn banks

thank you you are alife saver i promise to do this year x mas cake and not got round to doing it yet. with your recipe i can do it


yeah I would also like to know is it too late to make this?


I haven't made a Christmas cake for a number of years but bought the ingredients today as this seems a much easier recipe. Looking forward to the result (and so is hubby)!


Hi, I love your cake and demonstration! Would you please provide the US measurements in cups and teaspoon measurements?


Do you have to leave it for 3 months before icing etc? Can I make the cake and now ready for xmas?

Hazel Smallman

I used this recipe to make my first ever Christmas cake and was thrilled with the results. Everyone who tried it loved it and it was very easy to make. In fact I've just made it again but won't bother icing it this time.

Jolene goodtoknow Editor

Hi Sharon You could use soft brown sugar instead.

sharon alice

What sugar can be used in place of muscovado ?

Carla Cladder

Hi I was wondering if i have to use mince meat. Cause wear i live they dont sell mince meat


haxe never made a christmas cake before in my life,we gaxe this a try and have to say WOW






It turned out amazing i made it yesterday,6th dec 2014,and added cherries and mixed peel too and so i used a 10 inch round tin,also DID NOT USE MARZIPAN as we do not like it and so warmed up APRICOT JAM to seal it,and then added the home made ROYAL ICING,thank you for this easy and INCREDIBLE RECIPE


hi there am going to make this cake tomorrow but i want to cover it straight away can i do that plz x


I only have one star lit but all should be his cake was so good I am making a third


I've just made some in mini bean tins and they took about an hour, medium oven.


You can substitute the alcohol with freshly squeezed orange juice.


Hi, I want to make this recipe with some children at school. (Without the Brandy!!!!) Because of cost restraints (They pay £1 for ingredients) I am thinking of dividing the recipe by 3 (1 egg, 100g flour etc) Does anyone know roughly how long they would take to cook if they are smaller but there would be 3 in each oven please? Thank you

Kerrie ONeill

Hi mincemeat is fruit! a mixture of sultanas raisins cherries peel and alcohol usually!


Quick and simple to make


This is so easy and everyone that has tried this cake love it


is mincemeat( is it beef) necessary since it is a baking item and you are adding non-veg in a cake recipie??? Pls urgently reply on my hotmail address.


Hi I have bought everything to make this cake when is the best time and see when you store it do when do you top it up with brandy? X


Can I not use mincemeat?

Ohemaa Abena Nyarko Nkum

What can you use instead of mincemeat


It's never too late to make your cake, so don't mind the critics. This one is gorgeous so try it now.

Ohemaa Abena Nyarko Nkum

Can I make it now for my friends as Christmas gift? The Christmas is less than three months


made this xmas cake today in loaf tins came out lovely .


Hi what else can I use instead of brandy would I get off with using a orange liquer or sherry/rum etc


just made this cake looks lovely, can not wait to eat it. can I keep on feeding the cake before ice it


How do I use this recipe in a tree shaped cake pan? (I have bought the Wilton cake pan). Will it still be the one quantity mixture and will I still have to cook it for the amount of time it states above?


hi can you make this cake without the brandy? as i have a t-totaller coing over for christmas!?!?

Rose Fitzsimmons

can you use sherry instead of brandy in this recipe.

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