Quick Cherry & Almond Christmas Cake Recipe

Christmas Cake

Allow the rich flavours to mature in time for your family Christmas celebrations with this quick and decadent recipe.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 135 minutes

Servings: 12 people

Preparation

  1. In a large pan, combine the butter, sugar, treacle, fruit, zests, juice and liqueur. Bring to the boil, stirring until the butter melts. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to gas 2, 150°C, fan 130°C. Line a 20cm deep, loose-bottomed cake tin.
  3. Stir the nuts, eggs and ground almonds into the fruit mixture.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spices. Gently stir until well mixed.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C and cook for a further 1-1 1/4 hours, until the cake is deep golden and firm to the touch.
  7. If the cake darkens too fast, cover with foil. To test if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Make small holes in the cake with a skewer. Spoon over the extra liqueur and leave to soak and cool in the tin. When cool, wrap tightly in baking paper and foil and leave to mature in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
  9. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, chopped
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 1 x 150g pack dried fruit mix
  • 175g soft dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 175g soft dried prunes, roughly chopped
  • 200g sultanas and raisins
  • 100g dried cherries
  • 2 clementines, finely zested and juiced
  • 1 pink grapefruit, finely zested
  • 125ml cherry brandy or amaretto plus 4 tbsp extra to fill the cake
  • 50g toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 50g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • icing sugar, to dust

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