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Traditional Christmas Cake

Traditional Christmas Cake

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A time-tested traditional Christmas cake recipe which is filled with homemade fruit preserve, as well as nuts, raisins brandy and treacle.

This traditional Christmas cake is not much different from the one I have been making for many years, which a Cypriot friend of mine sent me this recipe.

On her turn she got this traditional recipe from a Scottish friend of hers.

Some cakes which are not part of our culinary habits have been adapted by us and added to our cuisine. Among these cakes is the Christmas cake, which must have been introduced to us when Cyprus was a British Colony.

I can remember it from my childhood and I have been doing this recipe ever since I was in high school.

Christmas Cake with chocolate ornaments photo

You may prepare the Christmas cake as early as you like, even a month before Christmas.

Don’t worry that it will decay because in a few days we will add the frostings which will keep the cake airtight and can last for a long time before cutting it.

Preparing this Traditional Christmas Cake

Stage one – Prepare the fruit preserves

As I make my own Glyka tou Koutaliou, called spoon sweets (fruit preserves), I prefer using them instead of store bought candied fruit.

A few days before making the cake, put the spoon sweets in a colander to drain, after washing out the syrup.

In Greece and Cyprus we preserve fruit in heavy syrup and we do this with a variety of fruit so we use 3- 4 different kinds.

I usually add citrus preserves but depending on what I have at the time, I may also add some preserved cherries, green walnuts, quince, etc. 

Preparing fruit preserves image

Stage two – Prepare the cake

You will find the recipe at the end.

For a few days until the first icing is placed, I wet the surface of the cake every day, with a couple of tablespoons of brandy.

Wetting the cake with brandy image

Stage three – Add the Almond Frosting

In a few days spread some  jam on top of the cake and prepare the first Almond frosting, which spread over the jam.

Adding almond paste image

Stage four – Add the Royal Frosting

Two or three days later, when the almond paste has dried, add the Royal frosting.

We use this frosting not only because it gives a nice snowy look to the cake but it also keeps it, so this icing preserves the cake for a very long time.

After the cake is cut, it is good for another week.

Adding Royal frosting image

Stage five – Decorate

Decorate your cake with Christmas ornaments.

This year, I decorated the cake with edible Christmas ornaments made of chocolate.

Christmas cake cut image

Here is the Christmas cake I made in 2021. It is decorated with M & M Peanut chocolate candies and edible candied stars.

Christmas Cake 2021 with M and Ms chocolate peanut candies image
Christmas Cake with chocolate ornaments photo

Traditional Christmas Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A traditional Christmas cake recipe which is filled with homemade fruit preserve, as well as nuts, raisins brandy and treacle.


The cake:

  • 250 grams butter
  • 250 grams (1 cup) demerara sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup of brandy (plus extra for feeding the cake)
  • 3 teaspoons treacle or carob syrup
  • 226 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 150 grams (1 cup) raisins, black currant (any combination, I use only sultanas)
  • 160 grams (1 cup) blanched almonds, finely chopped
  • 340 grams (2 cups) of dried spoon sweets (preferably citrus flavoured)
  • 100 grams (1 cup) walnuts, crumbled
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp mixed spices
  • 1/s tsp salt
  • Apricot or other jam

Almond paste:

  • 200 grams almonds, blanched
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites whipped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon citrus blossom water

Royal Icing:

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp blossom water, or more if needed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 vanillins

Additional ingredients:

  • Metaxa brandy to feed it.


  1. Whisk the butter and sugar together until it's light, pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Then add the brandy and treacle (or carob syrup or grape molasses)
  3. Sift the flour and add all the other dry ingredients to flour and mix well 
  4. Add it gradually to the butter.
  5. Line the base of a buttered cake tin with parchment paper and using a large spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared 28 cm. diameter tin.
  6. Spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180o C and bake the cake for about 1 hour or until after inserting a knife in the centre, it comes out dry and clean.
  8. Remove it to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the baking tin.
  9. Put it back in the baking tin and for a few days wet it with brandy. Keep it covered with cling film.
  10. When ready to frost the cake remove it to a platter and add the jam.
  11. Prepare and add the almond paste. Let it dry for a couple of days.
  12. Finally add the Royal Frosting and decorate.
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 499Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 107mgSodium 519mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 4gSugar 27gProtein 9g

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Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

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Collage Christmas cake image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Tuesday 10th of November 2015

Thank you for sharing this wonderful Christmas Cake.

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