This last-minute Christmas cake is rich and moist, and it’s perfect when you want to whip up an easy dessert with a traditional touch this holiday season.
Christmas trees, lights, songs, presents, Santa -I think Christmas is the most joyous season of the year. It never fails to fill our homes with happiness and cheer.
When it comes to Christmas food, I think the traditional cake has a very special place. However, I don’t add it to our Christmas menu every year. And when I have it, i bake it at home. Truth to be told, I hate store bought Christmas fruit cakes. For that one reason, whenever I feel like having this traditional cake, I make it at home from scratch. Believe me, it tastes much better.
This last-minute Christmas cake doesn’t require pre-soaking of fruits a week ahead. Just 4 hours is all you need to get your fruits super soft and plump. Did you hear that? Well, that means you could whip up a marvellous cake even on the day before Christmas. Now that sounds awesome.
For this recipe, I used 3 cups dried fruits and 1/2 cup mixed peel. If you like nuts, you could add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds.
Making Christmas cake from scratch is literally super simple and easy. Why not add this to your Christmas menu this year? Enjoy!
The first step is obviously soaking fruits in alcohol. I bought mixed dried fruits for this recipe. You could buy the fruits separately if you like. And the soaking alcohol I used is rum.
- Place fruits and mixed peels in a saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the alcohol.
- Boil the mixture. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Then transfer the mixture to a bowl. Cover with cling film or a lid. Leave to soak for 4 hours. Do not forget to give it a stir occasionally.
- This is how it looked after 4 hours. All fruits soft and plump.
Before you begin the next preparations, make sure you keep the eggs and butter outside to bring them to room temperature.
You should also preheat your oven to 170ºC.
- Now place the soaked fruits in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup plain (all purpose) flour into the bowl.
- Mix well. Make sure the fruits and peels are well coated in the flour. Set aside.
- Place all the dry ingredients – rest of plain (all purpose) flour, self raising flour, bicarb soda, mixed spice and ground cinnamon in a sieve.
- Sift into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Now we can prepare the baking tin. I used a 23cm round tin for this cake. You’ll need to cut out two circles to cover the bottom of the tin, and two long strips to cover the side of the tin.
- As you can see in the picture, the paper should extend 5 cm outside the rim of the baking tin. Set aside.
Now we can start making out last-minute Christmas cake.
- Place butter (at room temperature) and brown sugar in a bowl.
- Beat well using an electric mixer. The mixture should turn very pale and creamy.
- Now you can add in eggs one by one. After you add each egg, beat really well.
- At this stage, the mixture may look curdled. But that’s completely okay.
- add the sifted flour and soaked fruits to the mixture.
- Mix well, but gently.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
- Smooth the top. Transfer to the oven. Place on the lower rack. Bake for 2 hours.
- Remove from oven. Leave it to cool completely in the tin. Last-minute Christmas fruit cake is ready. You can dust it with icing sugar like I did, if you like.
- 3 cups dried fruit
- ½ cup mixed peel
- 1 cup rum/ brandy
- 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- You must start the preparation a day ahead.
- Place dried fruits and mixed peel in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour rum (or brandy) into the mixture. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the fruit mixture to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or lid. Let it soak overnight. Stir occasionally.
- The next day place eggs and butter outside the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
- When you are ready to bake the cake, preheat oven to 170C.
- Line a 23 cm baking tin with double layer of parchment (baking) paper, extending 5 cm outside.
- Tip ½ cup plain (all purpose) flour into the fruit mixture. Coat the fruits well in the mixture. Set aside.
- Sift rest of plain (all purpose) flour, self raising flour, bicarb soda, mixed spice and ground cinnamon into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture may look curdled at this stage. Add fruits and sifted flour to the mixture. Fold in gently. Make sure there are no pockets of flour.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the top. Place on the lowest rack in the oven. Bake for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven, and allow to cool completely in the tin.
- To serve, dust with icing sugar or cover with white fondant, if you like.
-Oven temperatures may vary. So it’s a good idea to check the cake occasionally after an hour.
Like this last-minute Christmas cake recipe? Then check out: