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English Traditional Christmas cake

This is the traditional English Christmas cake recipe.  I have never made this recipe but it was given to me by a friend of mine, who makes it every year.

English Traditional Christmas cake

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 4 hours


  • 9 oz plain flour
  • ½ level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 14 oz raisins
  • 14 oz sultanas
  • 2 oz mixed candied peel, finely chopped
  • 3 oz glacé cherries, quartered
  • 2 oz almonds, blanched and chopped
  • 8 oz butter
  • 8 oz soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ level tablespoon black treacle
  • 2 tablespoons brandy.

(Note: 1 oz = 28,35)  (See converter on side bar)


Line base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper, then tie a double band of brown paper, 1-inch wider than the depth of the tin, round the outside. Sieve flour, salt and spice into a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in a little egg at a time.

Stir in treacle, then flour, dried fruit, peel, cherries and almonds. Turn mixture into prepared tin and bake in a cool oven 300o F for 3 hours, then reduce oven to very cool 275o F and bake for 1-1 ½ hours, or until skewer inserted in centre come out clean.

Leave cake to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on a wire tray; remove paper. When almost cold turn it upside down, pierce with a skewer and spoon bandy over. When completely cold wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, or store in an airtight tin.

Christmas cake icing

Almond paste

12 oz. ground blanched almonds

6 oz. castor sugar

6 oz. icing sugar, sieved

3 egg whites

Few drops of almond essence

3 tablespoons apricot jam

Mix almonds and sugar in a bowl, then blend in egg whites and almond essence to make a soft paste. Knead until it is smooth, divide in three equal portions. Roll one piece on sugared board to an 8-inch circle. Roll remaining two-third to a strip the same depth as case, and long enough to go all the way round edge.

Spread jam on cake surface and on sides.

Place circle of paste on top of cake. Place stripe and brush sides and press firmly to join. Allow to dry for at least 3 days before icing.

For the royal icing

4 egg whites

2 lb., icing sugar, sieved

4 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoon glycerine

Whisk egg whites for royal icing until they become frothy. Add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat well after each addition. Finally beat in lemon juice and glycerine. To prevent the icing hardening, cover bowl with a damp cloth.

Spread icing thickly over top and round sides of cake and draw it up in peaks with the handle of a teaspoon. Leave for a day to set then place decoration on top.

Other Releant recipes:

Christmas Cake (as we make it in Cyprus)

White Christmas Fruit Cake

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