There is nothing more thoughtful than a homemade gift for Christmas and I am going to share my family’s traditional Christmas cake recipe so you can make your very own mini Christmas cakes!
My mum has been making the most amazing Christmas cake each year for a long, long time now, maybe since before I was born! The recipe came from my Grandma who had it handwritten in her recipe book. My Aunty Jan typed it out and now I have rewritten it for the blog.
There are a few tricks to making a Christmas cake bursting with flavour. The most important one is to soak your fruit and nuts in some luscious booze. My Mum normally uses brandy. I used a combination of Port and Armagnac (which is like cognac) and I really loved the flavour. You need to soak the fruit for at least 24 hours but I soaked mine for a week to get an intense flavour. My Grandma had a little note on her recipe to stir occasionally but not to keep picking out all the nuts – ha ha! When I was little we all used to have a stir of the fruit and make a wish which I think is a lovely tradition. My Mum is super organised and makes her Christmas cake as early as September but a few weeks before at least is good.
You will need to keep a close eye on your cakes as they are nearing the end of their cooking time. Use a skewer to test the cakes and as soon as it come out clean your cakes are cooked. Cooking times will vary depending on your oven – My Mum found her new oven this year took much longer to cook the cakes than her old one. I used small cake tins for my mini Christmas cakes but you can easily use larger tin – you just need to increase the cooking time. I love to serve the cake with custard or icecream but it is also lovely on its own with a cup of tea.
MINI CHRISTMAS CAKES
- 350 g mixed fruit
- 350 g currants
- 250 g mixed peel
- 250 g glace cherries
- 60 g chopped dates
- 60 g crystalised ginger chopped
- 125 g almonds
- 90 g walnuts
- 100 ml brandy or a combination of brandy/port/sherry/cognac
- 250 g butter
- 180 g castor sugar
- 1 packet lemon jelly crystals
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbsp golden syrup
- 1 Tbsp marmalade
- 260 g plain flour
- 90 g self raising flour
- ½ tsp bicarb soda
- 30 g mixed spice
- 1 Tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
- 125 g almond meal
- 1 tsp almond essence
- Extra brandy or port
- Blanched almonds and cherries to decorate
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place all fruit, ginger, nuts and alcohol in a large container and leave to soak for at least 24 hours (1 week is ideal).
- Beat butter, sugar and jelly crystals to a cream.
- Add eggs one at a time, then golden syrup and marmalade
- Sift together the flours, soda, spice, cocoa and salt. Add to butter mixture then add almond meal and essence.
- Add to butter mixture to fruit and nut mixture and gently stir until combined.
- Spread mixture evenly over 8 x 10cm cake tins. Decorate with blanched almonds and cherries.
- Bake in oven 150 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until when tested, a skewer comes out clean
- Leave cakes to cool in cake tin.
- When cakes are cool sprinkle them each with ½ capful of port or brandy and let it soak in.
- Keep in an airtight container until needed.
Do you have any family Christmas recipes?