Mature Christmas Cake

21 Nov

Making Christmas cakes has to be one of my favorite things to do at Christmas. I just absolutely love every single thing about it licking the last bit of whiskey flavored cake batter from the bottom of the bowl to the aroma of the spicy cake wafting through the house as it cooks slowly. It is just magical!

It is also the first Christmasy thing I do so I start getting all excited as soon as we buy the ingredients. It is a really simple recipe but just remember to do it well in advance so that the cake has time to mature fully and develop the flavors. Also don’t forget to soak the cake for the second time as this makes the cake lovely and moist. You could even open up the cakes after two weeks of maturing and soak it again then to make it super super moist. I make a few of these every Christmas and give it to friends as gifts. Everyone loves it. I hope you all try this recipe and tell me how they turned out!

Mature Christmas Cake (Makes 1 x 22cm round cake or about 24 mini cakes)

750g dried mixed fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins)

100g glace cherries, halved

50-75g candied mixed peel

100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped

250g butter, softened

250g dark brown sugar

4 eggs

250g plain four

2tsp mixed spice

100g ground almonds

200ml whiskey

For Icing the Cake:

2tbsp apricot jam

500g  almond marzipan

1 bag of instant royal

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/355ºf and grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.
  • Place the dried mixed fruit, cherries, mixed peel, almonds and 100ml of the whiskey. Mix to combine then leave to soak overnight.
  • The next day, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs a bit at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle add a tablespoon of flour then beat in the last of the egg.
  • Sieve in the flour and mixed spice then add the ground almonds and 50mm of the whiskey and fold in gently but thoroughly.
  • Mix in the soaked fruit then spoon into the prepared tin. Smooth the top of the mixture with a spoon creating a shallow dip in the middle of the cake so that it is flat after it rises.
  • Bake the cake in the oven at 150ºc/300ºf with a sheet of baking parchment over it to prevent it from burning on top. Bake for 3-4hrs until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the tin then remove and make holes all over the cake with a skewer. Pour the remaining 50ml of whiskey over the cake.
  • Once the whiskey has been absorbed, wrap the cake in baking parchment and then in tin foil. Leave the cake for at least a month to mature.
  • After a month, unwrap the cake and drizzle with a little extra whiskey and leave that to be absorbed for about a day. Now you are ready to ice the cake.
  • Heat the apricot jam in the microwave for about 20sec to make it more spreadable then brush all over the cake.
  • Knead the marzipan for 1min until softened then roll out into a fairly thin sheet big enough to cover the cake. Smooth it over the cake and cut off the excess. Make sure the whole cake is covered.
  • Make up the royal icing according to the packet instructions then spread over the cake in an even layer.
  • Decorate however you like.

One Response to “Mature Christmas Cake”

  1. Ali December 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Well I’ve been lucky enough to try one of your mature Christmas ‘mini’ cakes and can safely say I’ll be back for more! Wonderful! Keep em comin!

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