Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake

This cake is the epitome of festivity! This is one to make in advance of Christmas and feed with Sherry, rum or whisky on the run up to the big day to keep it moist and build on the sweet and warming flavours. No marzipan or icing is required for this cake to be a showstopper, but feel free to ice yours if you desire!

Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake

Difficulty: Easy
Prep time


Baking time


Total time





This recipe makes approximately one large or two smaller cakes. You will need a 20 cm x 10 cm deep cake tin, or two 20 cm x 5 cm deep tins, lined with two layers of baking parchment.



  • Start by heating the all of the dried fruit, zest and juice of lemon and orange, Sherry , soft light brown sugar and the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Tip the fruit into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/ 130 degrees C fan and prepare the baking trays with layers of parchment.
  • Add the flour, ground almonds, mixed spice, cinnamon, flaked almonds, eggs and vanilla extract to the fruit mix and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.
  • Tip into your prepared tin or device equally between the two, levelling out the top with a spatula. Before baking, top the mixture with the pecan halves and almonds in a pattern of your choice for decoration.
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes/ two hours. Remove from the oven and poke holes in the cake with a skewer, them spoon over 2 tbsp of your favourite alcohol. Leave the cake to rest and cool completely in the tin.
  • To preserve the cake, wrap it well in the parchment and a clean tea towel (or a beeswax wrap if you wish) and feed it every 3-4 days with a little bit of alcohol until needed.


  • If you choose to ice your cake do not feed any alcohol into the cake for at least 4 days to give the surface a chance to dry.

Lydia Brayshaw