Did you forget to make your Christmas cake? Don’t panic…I have an amazing, tasty, quick and easy recipe that you could leave until Christmas Eve, although if you want to decorate it I’d recommend making it the day before or you may find you’ve taken on a bit too much.
My inspiration for the recipe comes from this one, which I have played around and changed many times to suit my needs.
This is a very easily adaptable recipe to suit different tastes, I’ve added all my favourite fruits and nuts and omitted the ones my children don’t like (annoyingly sultanas, raisins and currants!) Basically you want a mix of about 400-450g of fruit and nuts. I’ve used lovely lovely cherry brandy in my recipe but again use your favourite tipple, or if you prefer a non alcoholic cake, use orange juice instead.
To me Christmas has to have Christmas cake, I love it and this version is just ever so slightly lighter than a traditional version but still as satisfying…
Quick and Easy Last Minute Christmas Cake recipe…
- 400-450g dried fruit and nuts- I used a combination of 200g glace cherries, 60g dried dates chopped, 50g dried cranberries, and then brazils, almonds and walnuts
- 150ml cherry brandy (or other tipple, or freshly squeezed orange juice)
- 2 dessert apples
- 200g soft butter
- 200g muscovado sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½tsp mixed spice (optional as I think some children aren't keen on this)
- 200g self raising flour
- For decorating you will need apricot jam and approx 700g marzipan and 700g ready to use icing
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ gas 4
- Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper
- Put all the dried fruit into a bowl with the cherry brandy, mix well
- Core and chop up the apples with their skin on and add to the bowl of dried fruit and stir- if you can afford to leave this for a couple of hours then great but if not don't worry, go straight on to the next stage
- Put the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle, spices and flour in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk if you have one, until pale and smooth
- Stir in the fruit and the nuts, making sure it is well mixed
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 mins- 1 hour 30 mins or until the cake is completely cooked through. I test using a skewer which I insert into the middle of the cake, when it comes out clean the cake is cooked.
- Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack
- I have added a great video to the post on how to decorate a cake with marzipan and the same principle applies for icing it too. You can't go wrong if you follow the tips.
Plus a few other last minute Christmas cake alternatives…
- Not everyone likes a traditional fruit cake at Christmas so how about English Mum’s Jaffa Cake Christmas Trees?
- We always have to make a chocolate yule log and like the ‘Good Food, Great Fun and Gluten Free’ kitchen we have to make it gluten free too.
- There are lots of lovely nuts and dried fruit in My Little Italian Kitchen’s Italian Christmas Cake. Mmmm.
- Food To Glow’s chocolate, chestnut, truffle cake will satisfy the chocolate lovers, plus it is gluten and dairy free!
- Finally if you haven’t made your Christmas puddings either, or your family aren’t that keen, try this Christmas sticky toffee pudding instead. It really is totally yummy, and sticky!