I love to make my own Christmas fruitcake, it’s an all-time favourite. This cake stores incredibly well; in fact, I make it during the year and freeze it, ready for Christmas time. By making it yourself, you can make it the size you like, and you can tailor the ingredients to suit your own taste.
A few weeks ago, I shared our family recipe for Christmas pudding (here). This recipe for the fruitcake is pretty much on along the same lines. The pudding is perfect for rounding off Christmas day, complete with brandy custard. The fruitcake is ideal for morning or afternoon tea, and for sharing with friends and family throughout the holiday season.
Christmas fruitcake is a fairly dense cake which makes it a lot easier to work with if you choose to decorate it. You can cover the cake’s top and sides with white royal icing and decorate anyway you like; create your own winter Christmas landscape. As the fruit is soaked in alcohol, it will keep for a long time, the icing too.
To make the cake, start by soaking the fruit in your choice of alcohol, like rum, brandy or sherry. Let it stand overnight for best results.
Every now and again when you’re in the kitchen, give the mixture a stir to ensure all the fruit is soaked in the alcohol. Leave the soaking fruit on the kitchen bench lightly covered with a tea towel, not in the fridge.
The following day, start by putting the butter and sugar in a saucepan on the stovetop, add the fruit mix and bring to the boil. While this is happening, prepare the dry ingredients and lightly grease and flour a cake tin.
I found that I need to add an extra ½ cup of water to the butter and sugar mix on the stove as the mixture was a little dry. This is quite a dense cake so it should be a firm batter – nothing like your regular cake mixture, so you don’t want to add too much liquid.
Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients and combine well. It will take a bit of work to combine due to the firmness of the batter, but it will come together. Don’t add any more liquid, trust me – it’s enough.
Once combined, pour into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Cover with alfoil and place in the oven at 180°C for 1½-2 hours, depending on your oven. Covering the cake with alfoil before you put it in the oven will prevent the top from burning due to the long cooking time.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a bit before turning out, then it’s ready to eat. This cake will last a long time, just keep it wrapped in foil. You don’t even need to keep it refrigerated. If you’re making it in advance like me, wrap in foil place in an air tight container and freeze until ready.
I like to take it out the night before I need it and place it on the kitchen bench to defrost naturally. If it’s a hot day, just place it in cool dry place to defrost.
- 1 pkt mixed fruit
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups SR flour
- 125 gms butter or suet
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 cup sherry or brandy rum works well as well
- Soak fruit in alcohol overnight, lightly covered with a tea towel, and place on the kitchen bench.
- The following day - place butter, sugar and bicarb soda in a saucepan.
- Add the fruit mix to the saucepan and bring it to the boil.
- Place the mix into a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
- While the mix is cooling, sift flour and spices together in a large bowl.
- Add in eggs, one at a time.
- Mix well. If the mixture is a dry, add in a small amount of hot water a little at a time, until the mixture is moist but not runny. The batter should be thick.
- Place into a lightly greased and floured cake tin. Cover the tin with alfoil.
- Cook in the oven at 180 degrees celcius for 1.5 to 2 hours until the cake is cooked through. Half an hour before end of cooking, remove the alfoil and allow the top to brown. Timing will depend on your oven.
- Cool before slicing.
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