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Catholic Recipe: Christmas Cake


  • 4 cups mixed dried fruit
  • 3/4 cup glace (maraschino) cherries, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 1/2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp black treacle (dark molasses)
  • 5 eggs


Yield: 1 cake

Prep Time: 4-5 hours

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+

Origin: England


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Make this delicious, aromatic Christmas cake from England. This cake has two traditional icing choices: try both!


1. Prepare a tin (9 in. round or 8 in. square) by lining it with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

2. Cream butter and sugar together.

3. Add eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour until all have been added. Beat in the treacle or molasses.

4. Fold in the remaining flour with the spices and ground nuts.

5. Fold in fruit, nuts, cherries and stir in the brandy if being used.

6. Put the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface of the mixture.

7. Protect the sides of the cake from burning with a double layer of brown paper tied round with a string.

8. Bake at 275 degrees for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or until a fork pushed to the bottom comes out clean.

9. Allow to cool and store in an airtight tin until required. About ten days before Christmas cover the top and sides of the cake with almond paste. Leave in a cool dry place. When the almond paste is dry, ice with royal or fondant icing.

Recipe Source: Feasting for Festivals by Jan Wilson, Lion Publishing Corporation, Batavia, Illinois, 1990