Christmas is well and truly here and only four sleeps left till Santa comes!
Christmas cakes are a traditional treat at this time and these christmas gift cakes make great presents.
I have read many Christmas cake recipes over the years and have put together this one which you will find is very moist. Don’t be put off by the extensive list of ingredients – with a little bit of preparation this is still an easy cake to make and the beneficiaries will enjoy their gift!
30 minPrep Time
30 minTotal Time
100g Glace` Cherries, chopped
1 cup Marsala (or Port)
Extra softened butter for greasing
250g Butter, unsalted, chopped, at room temp
1 cup or 200g Dark Brown Sugar
1 each Orange zest, finely grated
1 each Orange Juice, freshly squeezed & strained
4 each Eggs, whole, room temperature
½ cup Treacle
250g Plain flour, sifted
80g Self-Raising flour, sifted
3 tsp Cinnamon, ground
2 tsp Mixed Spice
2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
180g Dark Chocolate, Couverture, roughly chopped
150g Walnuts, lightly roasted, roughly chopped
½ cup Port (to use at end when cakes are out of oven and still warm)
200g Ready-rolled White Icing, packed
200g Ready-rolled Red Icing, packed
15g Pure Icing Sugar
80g Apricot Jam, warmed
Ready-to-Use Decorating Icing (white)
Silver Sugar Pearl balls, decorating
- Day before baking cakes, combine currants, sultanas, rasisins, glace` cherries and marsala in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and stand overnight at room temperature.
- ~!Day 2
- Grease 14 round tins (or cylinders) size 7 x6cm deep with softened butter and line with baking paper. Place between two baking trays. NOTE: You can also use six 10 x 6cm deep square tins with this recipe or a couple of round 18cm cake tins. If using bigger size baking tins – double line your tins with baking paper and you would need to increase your baking time.
- Preheat oven to 160oC. Prepare all your ingredients, making sure to start with chopping your butter – it will soften to required room temperature while you gather all other ingredients.
- Add freshly squeezed OJ (make sure to zest orange first as you’ll need the zest in recipe), walnuts and dark chocolate to bowl of macerated currants, sultanas, raisins, etc - recover and set aside.
- In an electric mixing bowl, add butter, dark brown sugar and beat (using paddle attachment) on speed 6 (Kitchen Aid) for about 2 mins.
- Then add the orange zest to the bowl. Mix for a further 2 to 3 mins until light in colour and fluffy.
- Gradually pour the eggs, little bit at a time. Pour in 5 to 6 stages (you only need to mix until egg combined – don’t over mix). Ensure to scrape sides of bowl after each addition of egg. (The batter may separate a little as we are adding a lot of egg, but don’t worry if this happens! Adding the flours and spice will help it and it won’t affect texture of cake).
- Add in flours, spices and treacle, stir in gently on low speed.
- Add bowl of macerated ingredients and stir to combine.
- Divide mixture between prepared tins – fill 2/3 of tin. Smooth surface using the back of a wet metal spoon.
- Bake in oven between 45 – 55 mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer (if cooked, skewer will be clean).
- Remove from oven and allow sitting in tin for 10 mins. Drizzle over each cake with port while still warm.
- Turn cakes out of tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, roll out icing to 3 mm thick (use pure icing sugar to stop ready-rolled icing sticking). Cut out 13 – 6x7cm fluted rounds (use half white and red icing). Sit on a prepared tray of baking paper with a sprinkle of pure icing sugar.
- Melt apricot jam in small pot over low heat. Brush cakes with the warm jam and place ready-rolled icing rounds on to cakes.
- Pipe small dots of Ready-to-Use Decorating icing on top and sit silver sugar pearls in Christmas patterns/shapes. Allow to dry.
- Wrap in cellophane and tie with a festive ribbon.