Christmas Cake is seasonal staple that’s perfect to enjoy when you can relax with a cup of tea.
What better way to mark the festive season than with a slice of this rich and decadent Christmas cake with brandy? Packed with dried fruit, spices and a hint of warmth from a glug brandy, it will fill your home with all the classic scents of the season. And as well as being enjoyable to both cook and eat, this cake’s decorative flourishes will mean it will take pride of place in any Christmas party. You can even try your hand at making the festive wreath yourself using some fragrant rosemary. Display on an eye-catching cake stand to make this Christmas cake with brandy even more of a show stopper.
- 850g mixed fruit
- 75g candied peel
- 100g glacé cherries cherries, washed, dried and chopped
- 4tbsp brandy or rum, plus extra for soaking
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g soft brown sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 250g plain our
- 1tsp grated nutmeg
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 50g almonds
- zest of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 large orange
- 2tbsp black treacle
- To decorate:
- 300g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting 500g pack golden marzipan
- 2tbsp apricot jam
- 50g egg whites
- You will need:
- 20cm cake tin, greased and lined with 2 layers of baking parchment; festive wreath
In a bowl, blend the mixed fruits, candied peel and glacé cherries. Pour over the brandy, cover and leave overnight to absorb the liquid or, if you’re in a rush, warm them together in a pan instead.
Heat the oven to 140C/Gas 1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs a little at a time and combine. Sift over the flour and spices with a pinch of salt. Add the nuts, zests, treacle and soaked fruit. Mix until well combined.
Transfer into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 4 hrs 30 mins. If the top is starting to brown too much put a sheet of foil on top. Leave the cake in the tin to cool.
When cold, turn it over and make a few holes evenly over the base with a skewer and drip in more alcohol. Carefully rewrap the cake in baking paper and keep it airtight afterwards.
To decorate, dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to a thickness of 3mm, large enough to cover the cake. Warm the jam and spread over the top and sides of the cake. Lay the marzipan over and smooth down using your hands.
Using an electric whisk, mix the icing sugar and egg whites on a low speed for 5 mins. Spread the icing over the cake and use a palette knife to create a texture by pulling it away from the cake. Top with a festive wreath.
Top tip for making Christmas cake with brandy
You could also decorate this cake using anything from a stencil to any festive cake decorations.