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The Best Rich Fruit Christmas Cake Recipe (Mary Berry)

Here is the best recipe for a large homemade Christmas cake. Why? Because it’s not just a cake, it’s a centuries-old tradition wrapped in flavours and memories, brought to you by none other than the queen of baking herself, Mary Berry.

moist christmas cake uk recipe

Easy And Moist Christmas Cake

This traditional large rich fruit Christmas cake recipe is a delightful symphony of succulent fruits, aromatic spices, and the finest quality ingredients that bring alive the spirit of Christmas in every bite. Each slice is a promise of an unforgettable taste experience that will make your festive season even more special.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Tradition Meets Taste: This rich fruit Christmas cake recipe is a perfect blend of tradition and taste. Mary Berry brings her signature twist to the classic Christmas cake, making it an absolute must-try for the festive season.
  • Quality Ingredients: The recipe calls for the finest quality ingredients that not only ensure a delicious outcome but also add a healthy touch to your festive indulgence.
  • Easy to Follow: With clear, step-by-step instructions, this recipe is easy to follow. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll find baking this cake a breeze.
  • Versatile: This cake isn’t just for Christmas. It’s a versatile recipe that can be adapted for other celebrations or even as a delightful treat for the family on weekends.
  • Impressive Presentation: This rich fruit cake, with its festive decorations, makes an impressive centerpiece for your Christmas spread.
  • Great for Gifting: Packaged in a beautiful box, this cake makes a thoughtful homemade gift for friends, family, and neighbours.

When to make a Christmas Cake

The best time to bake a Christmas cake is typically in late October to early November. This gives the cake ample time to mature and allows for the flavours to truly meld together, creating a richer and deeper taste.

It also provides enough time for the traditional ‘feeding’ of the cake with alcohol such as brandy or rum, which is done every week until Christmas. This process not only enhances the flavour but also helps to preserve the cake.

However, if you prefer a lighter, less rich cake, you can make it closer to Christmas. Try my quick last minute Christmas Cake when you’ve no time to spare.

Regardless of when you choose to bake your Christmas cake, remember that the process is part of the festive fun and should be enjoyed just as much as eating the cake itself!

large christmas cake uk recipe mary berry

Top Tips

Here are some top tips to ensure your Christmas cake turns out perfectly:

Soak the fruits: Soaking the dried and candied fruits in alcohol or a substitute such as orange juice overnight allows them to absorb the liquid, resulting in a moist and tasty cake.

Line the tin properly: Make sure to line your cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. This helps to prevent the edges of the cake from burning during the long baking time.

Feed the cake: ‘Feeding’ the cake is a traditional process where you poke holes in the cooled cake with a skewer and spoon over small amounts of alcohol every week until Christmas. This keeps the cake moist and enhances the flavour.

Check for doneness correctly: To check if your cake is done, insert a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, your cake is baked. If not, bake for a bit longer and check again.

Store properly: Store your cake in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. The cake needs time to mature, so resist the temptation to cut into it too soon!

Decorate close to serving: Wait to ice and decorate your cake until closer to when you plan to serve it. This will keep the icing fresh and vibrant.

Adjust recipe to taste: Feel free to adjust the types and quantities of dried fruits and nuts used in the recipe to suit your personal preferences.

Remember, baking should be fun! Enjoy the process and don’t stress about making it perfect.

Ingredients for a Seasonal Christmas Cake

The ingredients for this cake is for a large cake. If you haven’t a large baking tin you could distribute the mixture into smaller tins, which I have done in the past but you will have to adjust the baking time.

Fruit Mix

  • 425 g Currants
  • 250 g Sultanas
  • 250 g Raisins
  • 300 g Glacé Cherries (washed, rinsed and quartered)
  • 150 g Dried Apricots
  • 75 g Mixed Peel

Other Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Brandy (plus extra if soaking the fruit overnight)
  • 300 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 300 g Butter (softened)
  • 300 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 5 Egg
  • 60 g Chopped Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Black Treacle
  • 1 Lemon Zest (Finely grated)
  • 1 Orange Zest (Finely grated)

How to make the very best Christmas Cake

For the overnight soak. Combine the fruit and candied peel in a large bowl. Add the brandy, and stir to mix well. Cover and leave over night.

STEP 2: Preheat the oven to 140℃/120℃fan/Gas 1/280℉

STEP 3: Put the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Stir in the mixed fruit and any liquid.

STEP 4: Grease and fully double line a large deep 23cm (9in) round tin or 20cm (8in) square cake tin. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Cover with baking paper and bake in the oven for 4¾ – 5 hours or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

STEP 5: Pierce the cake several times with a fine skewer and pour over a little brandy. Remove the cake from the tin, but leave the lining paper on. Wrap the cake in more baking paper then overwrap with foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, unwrapping and adding more brandy occasionally (1-2 tbsp).

Christmas Cake FAQ’s

Can I make a Christmas cake without alcohol?

Yes, you can substitute the alcohol with apple juice or orange juice to soak the fruits and to ‘feed’ the cake.

How long does a Christmas cake last?

If properly stored in an airtight container, a Christmas cake can last several months. The high sugar content acts as a preservative.

Why is my Christmas cake dry?

The cake may be overbaked or it may not have been fed enough alcohol or juice after baking. To prevent this, be sure to check the cake regularly towards the end of baking time and feed it regularly until it’s time to serve.

When should I ice my Christmas cake?

It’s best to ice your Christmas cake no more than a week before you plan to serve it. This will keep the icing fresh and bright.

Can I use different dried fruits in my Christmas cake?

Absolutely! Feel free to mix and match your favourite dried fruits according to your taste preferences.

What can I use instead of candied peel in my Christmas cake?

If you’re not a fan of candied peel, you can substitute it with other dried fruits like dried cranberries or cherries.

How do I store my Christmas cake?

Store your Christmas cake in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If you’ve already cut into it, make sure to wrap it well in cling film to prevent it from drying out.

Can I freeze my Christmas cake?

Yes, you can freeze your Christmas cake. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in cling film and then in foil before placing it in an airtight container. You can freeze it for up to a year.

moist christmas cake uk recipe

The Best Christmas Cake

Rachel
A moist and rich fruit Christmas cake
No ratings yet – be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Course Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 30
Calories 318 kcal

Ingredients
  

Fruit Mix

  • 425 g Currants
  • 250 g Sultanas
  • 250 g Raisins
  • 300 g Glacé Cherries (washed, rinsed and quartered)
  • 150 g Dried Apricots
  • 75 g Mixed Peel

Other Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Brandy (plus extra if soaking the fruit overnight)
  • 300 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 300 g Butter (softened)
  • 300 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 5 Egg
  • 60 g Chopped Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Black Treacle
  • 1 Lemon Zest (Finely grated)
  • 1 Orange Zest (Finely grated)

Instructions
 

  • For the overnight soak. Combine the fruit and candied peel in a large bowl. Add the brandy, and stir to mix well. Cover and leave over night.
    425 g Currants, 250 g Sultanas, 250 g Raisins, 300 g Glacé Cherries, 150 g Dried Apricots, 75 g Mixed Peel
  • Preheat the oven to 140℃/120℃fan/Gas 1/280℉
  • Put the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Stir in the mixed fruit and any liquid.
    300 g Plain Flour, 1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice, ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg, 300 g Butter, 300 g Dark Brown Sugar, 5 Egg, 60 g Chopped Almonds, 1 tbsp Black Treacle, 1 Lemon Zest, 1 Orange Zest
  • Grease and fully double line a large deep 23cm (9in) round tin or 20cm (8in) square cake tin. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Cover with baking paper and bake in the oven for 4¾ – 5 hours or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Pierce the cake several times with a fine skewer and pour over a little brandy. Remove the cake from the tin, but leave the lining paper on. Wrap the cake in more baking paper then overwrap with foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, unwrapping and adding more brandy occasionally (1-2 tbsp).
    4 tbsp Brandy
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Nutrition

Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 90mgPotassium: 363mgFiber: 3gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 483IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg
Keyword brandy, Christmas treats, mixed fruit, rum, seasonal cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was! or tag @rachelsrecipepantry on Instagram and hashtag #rachelsrecipepantry Thank you!!

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