Easiest-ever Christmas cake
No soaking required – this really is the simplest Christmas cake recipe you could ever wish for. Simply boil and bake!
Bake and decorate next month!
CUTS INTO 16 SLICES PREP 15min, plus cooling and maturing COOK 2hr 15min
• 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
• 500g (1lb 2oz) each raisins and sultanas
• 100g (3½oz) each ready-to-eat prunes, natural glacé cherries and stem ginger, chopped
• Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
• 150ml (¼ pint) Amaretto, plus extra to feed
• 175g (6oz) dark brown muscovado sugar
• 100g (3½oz) blanched almonds, very roughly chopped
• 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
• 1tsp each mixed spice and ground cinnamon
• ½tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice
• 3 medium eggs, beaten
1 Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan) mark 2. Grease then line the base and sides of a 20.5cm (8in) deep round cake tin with baking parchment.
2 Put all the dried fruit and stem ginger into a very large pan with the lemon zest and almond liqueur. Bring the mixture to the boil, then cook on a medium heat for 5min. Add the butter and sugar and heat gently to melt, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
3 Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for 5min. Stir in the almonds, flour, spices and beaten eggs and mix well. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface (there’s no need to make a dip in the mixture).
4 Bake the cake for 1hr 45min to
2hr, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly.
5 Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. When cool, remove from the tin (leaving on the parchment paper). Wrap a few layers of clingfilm around the cake in its paper, then cover with foil. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. After two weeks of maturing, prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and pour over 1tbsp almond liqueur. Re-wrap and store as before.
We have a wonderful icing idea for your cake next month...
FEEDING YOUR CAKE The Christmas cake will keep for up to three months stored in this way. It can be fed with more almond liqueur every week, if you like – although if you prefer a less sweet and boozy cake, every few weeks is fine.
COOK’S TIP Chill the dried fruit in the fridge first before you make your cake – you’ll find it much easier to chop.