Easy Peasy Christmas Cake
The Christmas Cake is almost as essential as the turkey when it comes to all things Christmas Food. And in the same way that a Christmas Pudding is more often than not a family tradition to make, why simply buy a Christmas cake when you can bake your own, with all the family, in no time at all, well in advance, and it tastes YUMMY.
This cake can be frozen, it can be made weeks in advance (in fact the further in advance the better so that the flavours fully mature), and can be decorated however you fancy. Once you’ve mixed up this Christmas Cake you’ll wonder why you ever bothered spending money on shop-boxed creations.
Serves: approx. 18 (depending on how generous your slices are)
Cooking Time: 3hrs
Prep Time: 20mins
What you'll need:
- 300g plain flour
- 3 large free range eggs
- 250g softened, slightly salted butter
- 250g Soft brown sugars
- 1tbsp of ground mixed spice
- 410g jar of mincemeat
- Pinch of salt
- 500g (1lb) dried mixed fruit
- 4tbsp brandy or sherry (or if baking for non-drinkers you can use orange juice)
- Apricot Jam
- Royal Icing
How to prepare:
Start by preparing the cake tin. You’ll need either a 8” round tin or a 7” square tin. Grease first before lining with baking paper. Set to one side.
Preheat the oven to 140oC.
In a very large mixing bowl start by whisking the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients apart from the alcohol/orange juice. Beat with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are well mixed. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin. Ensure the top of the ‘cake’ is smooth by patting flat with slightly wet hands.
Place in the oven and leave to bake for 3hrs or until the cake is firm to the touch or a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Take the cake out of the oven and leave on a wire rack for 30mins. Using a cocktail stick, prick a few holes into the cake and then drizzle over the alcohol or fruit juice and then leave the cake to cool completely overnight (keeping it in the tin).
The next morning, take the cake out of the tin, removing the lining paper and place on a cake base/plate. Re-cover with fresh baking paper and then with a layer of foil and leave until you want to decorate (up to 3 months).
When you’re ready to decorate the cake, remove the baking paper and foil. In a small non stick saucepan, gently warm up 6tbsps of apricot jam. When it’s warm to the touch, use a small cake knife or brush and cover the top and sides of the cake with the jam.
Then layer with the ready rolled marzipan and finish with the Royal Icing. Adorn with festive decorations galore and anticipate slices of cake with cups of tea throughout the festive week!