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Classic Christmas Cake

Stirring up a traditional Christmas cake this year? Head to Barton Grange to find all the ingredients you need to make it a sweet success.

It’s Christmas time, and what better way to embrace the festive spirit than by baking a delicious Christmas cake! A rich, fruity, and beautifully decorated Christmas cake is the centrepiece of many celebrations and traditions. To get started on your culinary journey, you’ll need to gather the finest ingredients from The Farm Shop and the essential baking tools from The Cook Shop. We’ll guide you through the process and provide you with a delicious Christmas cake recipe everyone will be talking about!

Mixing bowls and spoons
Weighing scales
Rolling pin
Cake tin
Cake base
Wire rack
Cake decorations

Browse some of the decorations available from The Cook Shop

Wessex Mill Flour
Lyle’s Golden Syrup
Mintons Good Food Dried Cranberries and Raisins
Quay Ingredients Mixed Spice
Keynon’s Free Range Eggs
Carron’s Lodge Unsalted Butter

Christmas Cake Recipe

Now that you have your ingredients and tools ready, let’s get baking!

12 tbsp whisky or brandy
1 medium orange, juiced and zested
1 tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup
3 tsp Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Extract
2 tsp mixed spice
450g raisins
225g dried cranberries
110g prunes, roughly chopped
50g glacé cherries, halved, rinsed, dried & finely chopped
110g chopped candied peel
50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
125g Lyle’s Golden Syrup
125g Tate & Lyle Dark Muscovado Sugar
250g self-raising flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp salt

To feed the cake (optional)
225ml whisky or brandy

For the decoration
3 tbsp smooth apricot jam
1 tbsp water
600g Dr Oetker ready to roll white marzipan
Tate & Lyle icing sugar, to dust
700g Dr Oetker ready to roll regal ice white icing
Silver edible cake pearls
Edible cake glue or Tate & Lyle icing sugar and water

For the icing on the cake!

Shake together the whisky or brandy, the orange juice and zest, vanilla, 1 tablespoon of syrup and the mixed spice, using a large saucepan. Add the raisins, cranberries, prunes, cherries, candied peel and nuts. 

Stir, bring to just under the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes. Stir once or twice, until the liquid has been absorbed and the fruit has plumped up nicely. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 140°C/120° Fan, 275°F, Gas 1 with the shelf set on the middle. Cream together the butter, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and the dark sugar in a large mixing bowl, then add the flour, eggs and salt. Mix well until smooth, then stir in the fruit mixture until well combined.

Spoon into a 20cm (8”) round cake tin (greased, with the base and sides lined with a double thickness of baking parchment). Level the surface and make a gentle hollow in the middle (you don’t want the cake to peak too much). Bake for 3 hours then cover with a double thick layer of parchment paper. Bake the cake for a further 20-30 minutes or until the centre springs back nicely when lightly touched.

Cool the cake in the tin for 30 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Peel off the paper. 

Optional: Got time to do a special job? Feed the cake with whisky or brandy at intervals over a month to enrich it. To do this you will need to poke holes in the cake with a fine skewer or cocktail stick and then drip about 2 tablespoons of the alcohol over the top each time. Wrap in foil between feeding the cake and store in an airtight container – it will last for up to 3 months. Transfer the cake to a 25.5cm (10”) round cake board.

Heat the jam and water in a small pan for 2-3 minutes, stir to combine, then brush all over the cake.

Roll out the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar to slightly larger than the cake. Cover the cake, cut away the excess and leave out to dry. One day later, brush the marzipan with water and cover the cake with the rolled-out fondant (slightly larger than the cake), cut away the excess and leave out to dry.

Thinly re-roll the excess fondant – you should have about 95g (3½oz) left. Stamp out 8 snowflakes with a 6cm (2½”) cutter, dipping each one into a little icing sugar each time. Use the edible ‘glue’ to stick the snowflakes around the edge of the cake. Alternatively make your own edible glue: Mix 1 tablespoon of icing sugar with a drop of water. 

Stick the silver balls onto the snowflakes. Leave to dry for a minimum of 2 hours before storing in an airtight container.