Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The cake you have when you are having a drink.

We have been giving Christmas cakes as presents for over twenty years now.  The basic recipe has remained the same, but we have improved it  fiddled with it in that time.  The smaller portion keeps adding to the list of recipients.  I am not certain how many we are making this time, but have now made seven and have the fruit soaking in booze for the next batch (which will include a medium sized cake and five or six smaller ones).  Having made the cake we water it on alternate nights with caps full of rum and brandy.  The alcohol the fruit was originally soaked in disappears in the cooking process.  Not so the additions.  Hence the cake you have when you are having a drink.  It is seriously rich and I think that if you had a big slice you would be some danger from the breathalyser bus.

Booze soaked ingredients

In a recent post about the glories of fine healthy salads (which somehow got derailed) Spectra indicated that she would like the recipe.  Lou has also expressed an interest.

So here it is.

Traditional Christmas Cake

200g (6.6oz) raisins
200g (6.6oz) sultanas
200g (6.6oz) currants
100g (3.3 oz) glace cherries
100g (3.3 oz) chopped mixed peel
100g (3.3 oz) slivered almonds
about 250g (8.3 oz)of the marmalade of your choice - which works out to 1/2 a jar
300g (10oz) Wholemeal Plain Flour
60g (2oz) Wholemeal Self-raising Flour
250g (8.3 oz )Soft Brown Sugar (I use about 125g brown sugar and the same of dark brown sugar)
250g Butter (8.3 oz) (plus a generous extra lump for luck)
5 Large Eggs
3/4 cup Brandy/Rum/Orange juice (whichever you like - we go the mixed rum and brandy route)
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon]
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
approx 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Prepare the fruit at least the day before and preferably a week or so before you make the cake.  Mix all the fruits together, including the almonds and the marmalade and half the brandy/rum/ combination.  Cover the mixture and set it aside until you are ready.  This year we have also been adding generous handfuls of dried cranberries to the mixture - it is a remarkably forgiving cake.

The cake tin you use needs to be both greased and lined with greaseproof paper - extending the paper over the sides of the tin.

Melt the butter over a low heat.  Stir in the brown sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour and the spices.

Add a little of the flour and spices to the fruit mixture alternately with the melted butter, starting with the flour.  Lastly stir in the rest of the brandy/rum and vanilla essence.  The mixture should be stiffish, but not stodgy.

I have made it in a variety of cake tins, which should not be filled more than 2/3rds the way up the sides.

Cook in a slow oven (150C or 300F) until a skewer comes out clean.  Add a cap full of your chosen alcohol(s) as soon as you remove the cake(s) from the oven and stand on a cake rack until it is cool.

When the cakes have been cooked and cooled we water them with alcohol a capful at a time at least every second night.  Yes, they are a bit of a pain to make, but they are worth the effort - and they keep really well too.

Large and two small(ish) cakes

Meduim sized cake


  1. extra butter is lucky?


    Yummy Aloha from Waikiki

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  2. That looks fabulously YUMMY!
    Hubby isn't baking this year, so I'll look longingly at this post lol.

  3. People make fun of fruitcakes, but I'll never forget the ones our aged great-aunt Gertrude sent to us every year. They were delicious, served with traditional hard sauce. Evidently Gertrude hadn't made them for decades, but her younger sister Caroline did and signed her name, as well as being at her service her whole life, after the family refused to be scandalized when she wanted to marry a (shudder) Jew. Okay, this was the 19th century, but still. Poor Caroline probably wanted a break but Gertrude lived to 100 or so. Caroline did get a few years' rest, but she only made it to 104. Whoever made the cake, it was good.

  4. I'm not surprised that they keep well, given the alcohol content. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I'll save the recipe in case I get ambitious, but I haven't made a christmas cake in years. Not even a fruit cake without alcohol. Nobody in my family likes it except me. Instead I've been buying small packets of six slices of Christmas Cake every year in December and freezing 5 slices for later while eating one immediately. Taste testing has to be carried out....

  6. I can't thank you enough for this traditional fruitcake recipe. It looks delicious, but I will remember not to drive after I have a piece ;)

  7. Your cake looks wonderful. I always find it odd when folk say they don't like fruit cake. What's wrong wrong with them?
    The last really really good fruit cake I had was the one Mom made for my wedding cake. I have her recipe somewhere.

  8. I read the ingredients and the procedure and am amazed at the results. It actually looks really tasty, and how could it not be, every ingredient is washed with lots of good alcohol! :-)

  9. Looks yummy! My grandma made fantastic cake! I think it was full of booze too!

  10. That would be so perfect for me. Have now copied and pasted out the recipe and hope that Sapph will soon be well enough to try making it with me....

  11. MMMMM. I remember rum-soaked sultanas, and cherries.
    Now, I soak the fruit in strong tea with orange juice. I can't take the liquor!

    Oh, by the way, I am awarding you "Sassy Writer's Award". You need to write 7 things about yourself, and then choose a few bloggers who are sufficiently sassy.

  12. Your homemade fruitcakes look most yummmy indeed, but whatever happened to throwing in a couple of five pence/cent pieces into the mix like my mum used to do when i was a little tacker or is this too old fashion these days :-).

  13. It is nice to see that you fiddled with the cake...I do not care for the fruit cakes. I am a chocolate addict

  14. Three letters: w, o and w.

    I thought jam doughnuts for channukah were full-on, but your recipe takes the cake. Enjoy!

  15. this is my kind of confection!

  16. Cloudia: Of course extra butter is lucky.

    Jayne: Thank you. It is a good one.

    Murr: A good fruit cake is indeedd a thing of beauty. Where did your aged aunt Gertrude come from?

    Cat Drawings: The alcohol might have something to do with its keeping qualities.

    River: Perhaps you could water your slices of cake?

    Denise: If you are thinking of making it, I will be really chuffed.

    mybabyjohn/Delores: I suspect they have had a nasty inadequately fruited, dry cake to stick in their mouths and memories.

    DJan: It is really tasty. Trust me, would I lie about something this important?

    Karen: The best cakes often are booze filled.

    Kath: I hope Sapph is well enough to make it with you SOON.

    Susan Kane: Strong tea does the trick well. And it is amazing what different tastes you can get from different teas. (and thank you for the award).

    Windsmoke: The threepenny bits went in the Christmas Puddings, not the cakes. Or that is my recollection.

    Kim @ Stuff: I am v fond of chocolate myself, but not prejudiced.

    Mitzi: I do so admire your way with words. Each and every one of your comments I have seen here or elsewhere is so apposite.

    daisyfae: It probably has a million calories per slice, but who cares. It is not a cake that I think anyone could really pig out on. I give v small ones to my brother's wives and they last days.

  17. Yum - what a great present!

  18. Last year I accidentally substituted whisky for rum/brandy. The result was a hit so 'whisky fruit cake' is on the agenda again. Christmas cakes are quite a treat!1

  19. Christine: We are not whisky fans so there is never any in the house. However, it is one of the beauties of this very forgiving cake (and I made another ninc today) that it will adapt to the spirit of your choice.

  20. Hey, if you're pouring, I'll take a shot of that cake!


  21. Pearl: Not before Christmas. But then, you would be very welcome.

  22. Thank you, Babe!
    Gonna try the recipe out for myself if I get a chance and I'll let you know how I do. Love ya!

  23. Thanks Lou. I am looking forward to hearing how it went for you.

  24. Well, this sure does look deliscioso! How long do I keep pouring on the capfuls of liquor? Is there an end-date to this? Like, if I do it for the next 17 weeks, would that be tooo much? I think I will try this cake out. I have tins, but do you bake it in the tin, or just store it in a tin the same size as your cake? I seriously don't know the answer. Are shoe boxes off limits?
    Thank you for putting this up for me, and others, to try out. I am certain your tweakings have made it a better cake.

  25. Spectra: Bake it in the tin, turn it out when it is cold and store it somewhere air tight. Watering it for 17 weeeks might be a tad excessive - but you could try it and see.

  26. oh they do look lovely! and i'm sure recipients who like this kind of cake are very happy:) me, i have to say that i absolutely hate fruit cakes, can't stand them, never have, never will, such a waste on a good nut cake to put all that nasty fruit in it if you ask me;)

  27. Pia K: Given the way you feel about fruit cakes I am complimented that you even like the look of them. I hope someone treats you to something more to your liking.

  28. EC - wow, this cake looks delicious! Nothing wrong with drunken dessert food, or what are holidays for? I recall a Christmas fruitcake my mother once made that needed to be stored in the refrigerator while being wrapped and re-wrapped daily in bourbon-soaked gauze for weeks. Every time you opened the fridge it smelled like you had just walked into a bar! One slice of that creation and you were definitely unfit to drive!

  29. Two Tigers: Thank you. Fruit cakes definitely seem to be in the love it or loathe it category don't they? We will have to try bourbon one year.

  30. Heck that looks good. Nearly time again this year (Nov 2012. I am backtracking through a few of your past posts :)

    1. Don QuiScottie: You have come a long way back. Thank you. It is a good recipe - but also a lot of work. And yes, the time for concentrated cake making is looming.