Gramum's Christmas Cake Recipe

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 Updated 22/06/2015

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An excellent Christmas cake recipe passed down through many generations. Originates from Tring in Hertfordshire, England. Traditionally served at Christmas teatime.


  • 12oz (1 1/2 cups) raisins
  • 1lb (2 cups) currants
  • 12oz (1 1/2 cups) sultanas
  • 4oz (1/2 cup) almonds
  • 6oz (3/4 cup) mixed peel
  • 12oz (1 3/4 cups) moist brown sugar
  • 4oz (1/2 cup) glace/candied cherries
  • grated rind of half a lemon and the juice of 1 lemon
  • 12oz (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 12oz (3 cups) plain flour
  • 1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 level tablespoon black treacle
  • at least 2 tablespoons brandy, rum or sherry as preferred plus extra to "feed" cake when baked.
(see measure conversions for more information on quantites)


  1. Grease a 9-10 inch tin.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and grated lemon rind until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Mix dry ingredients together well.
  5. Add to creamed butter etc.
  6. Add treacle.
  7. Combine thoroughly.
  8. Mix in the chosen alcohol and lemon juice (add a little extra if the mixture seems too stiff) to form a dropping consistency.
  9. Turn into lined tin, ensure there are no pockets of air and the surface of the mixture is flat.
  10. Tie a double band of brown paper around the tin approximately 3 inches above the rim of the tin.
  11. Place in oven one rung below the middle at 160 degrees centigrade (see temperature conversions).
  12. Bake for 2 hours and then reduce heat to 150 degrees centigrade for a further 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  13. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
  14. Remove paper and turn cake upside down and make holes with a steel knitting needle or cocktail stick.
  15. Pour in extra spirit and leave cake upside down until the spirit has been absorbed.
  16. Wrap the cake in fresh grease proof paper and leave for at least 48 hours before icing.
  17. Before icing, the cake can be stored for up to 2 months wrapped in foil.
  18. Keep "feeding" the cake with alcohol until you are ready to put almond icing and then royal icing onto it.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 240 minutes

Yield: 6 - 10 portions


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