Easy Christmas cake recipe

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serves: 14 - 21
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 3 hr

Nutrition per portion

Calories 242 kCal 12%
Fat 11g 16%
  -  Saturates 2g 10%
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  • 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.

    Love a good Christmas recipe? We’ve got loads more delicious recipes for the festive season right here.


    • 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


    • 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 140°C/280°F/Gas Mark 1.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    Top tip for making Easy Christmas cake

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

    What is the best alcohol to put in a Christmas cake?

    When boozing up a Christmas cake you want to know that it's only going to add to the flavour, rather than leaving you feeling a little tipsy! You want to add in a reasonably strong spirit (around 40% ABV), such as rum, brandy or whisky. If the liquor has a warm, fiery flavour it'll definitely compliment the cake. A strong alcohol will also help to preserve the cake so it will keep for longer and you can enjoy every last slice!

    Can you make a non-alcoholic Christmas cake?

    A boozy Christmas cake isn't everybody's cup of tea and definitely not one for the entire family! Instead of your usual liquour such as brandy, grape juice is a good alternative! If you're looking to make a lighter coloured fruit cake, orange or apple juice are also good choices to achieve that result. Just make sure to soak your dried fruit overnight in a glass bowl if you're choosing to make a non-alcoholic Christmas cake to avoid the cake being too dry.

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