Are you wondering if it’s too early to see a recipe for Christmas fruit cake? Read on and you’ll understand why now is the perfect time to find the right recipe and how a good fruit cake needs time on its side to be the best version of itself. Also, I am that person who has already put up their Christmas tree. Have you seen the video yet?
If you haven’t read it yet, head to my earlier post on the cake fruit mix, which is almost the most important part of a good fruit cake. There’s every detail there, from what fruits to use, how to soak them and what alternatives you can use. Once you’re done reading through that, you can head back here for the cake recipe.
Making a fruit cake:
The process for making a fruit cake is fairly simple. Once you have the fruit mix ready, the rest of the cake is made in the rather usual way. Starting with the butter and sugar, then the eggs, the flavourings, the flour and lastly the fruits.
What makes the cake different, however, is one that it needs a fairly long baking time, because the cake has very little flour in it. Also, the cake is best made a few weeks in advance, so it has time for the flavours to develop. I generally make my fruit cake anytime between 2-4 weeks in advance so it has plenty of time to rest and improve before Christmas. Read below for a few tips on making this flavourful and moist cake.
Notes on making a fruit cake:
- Soak your fruit mix well in advance. If last minute, then let them soak overnight at the least.
- A fruit cake needs to bake slowly on a low temperature.
- This recipe uses black treacle/Molasses. You can find it online or at some local baking supplies stores. If however, you don’t find any, you can use 2 tbsp of caramel.
- Once the cake has been baked, you will need to feed it with rum which helps preserve the cake, develop its flavour and keep it moist. So once the cake has baked, pour a few tablespoons of rum over it. Once the cake cools down, wrap it in cling film, without removing the butter paper. Once in a week, pour a couple of tbsps of rum until serving day.
- If you want to make a non-alcoholic version of fruit cake, soak your fruits in orange juice a day in advance before baking the cake. Once the cake has been baked, the cake will need to be consumed within 2-3 days, as the cake won’t have any alcohol to preserve it for longer.
- You can store leftovers of this cake in the freezer, covered in cling film and foil for up to 3 months.
Christmas Fruit Cake:
750 gms fruit mix
100gms glace cherries, chopped
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
250gms butter, softened
Zest of half an orange
1 tbsp treacle( Read notes)
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
- Start by preheating the oven to a 140 C. Grease a 9 inch round cake tin and line the base with butter paper. Line the sides of the tin with butter paper, with the paper coming over the sides, forming a cake collar.
- Chop the cherries and add to the fruit mix. Keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, orange zest and the sugar. Using an electric beater, beat well until the mixture turns pale. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the treacle and mix again.
- Reserve 2 tbsps of flour. Sift in the rest to the butter mixture, along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.
- Mix the reserved flour with the fruit mix. This is to coat the fruits with some flour, so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while baking.
- Add the fruit mix to the cake batter and fold them in well, using a spatula.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 140 C for 3 hours.
- After the first two hours of baking, cover the top of the tin loosely with foil. This will prevent the top of the cake from burning or browning too much.
- At the end of 3 hours, insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake. The cake is baked when the toothpick comes out clean.
- Take the cake out of the oven when it is ready and pour 2 tbsps of rum over it. When it has completely cooled down, wrap it in cling film and keep in a dry and cool place. Feed the cake a tbsp or 2 of rum once a week until serving day.