Christmas cake recipe: follow this easy step-by-step for a festive showstopper

If you're yet to start baking the most festive cake of the year, follow this Christmas cake recipe. It's super easy, and it's one of our favourites yet – just make sure you have plenty of time to feed it

Christmas cake
(Image credit: Miele)

This Christmas cake recipe could come in mega handy right now if you have yet to make the festive bake. Time is running a little fine but don't worry, there's still a few weeks until the main event – the cake may not be as 'well fed' (boozy) as you may like, that's all.

The recipe we have here is from Miele(thanks, guys!). It combines festive spices and zesty fruits which can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to three months before serving. Who knew?! You'll need to occasionally brush the cake over the next few weeks to get as much boozy goodness in there as possible with  brandy or sherry, which will help to prevent it from drying out as well as preserving the bake. 

It's a brave step, yep, but if you're up for the challenge you won't be disappointed if you follow this recipe. After all, homemade is always best, and who can actually resist a helping of a perfectly iced Christmas cake? Especially when there's a glass of brandy to go with it...

Keep scrolling for our step-by-step recipe which is best made right away without any further delay so you can start dousing it in your fave, Christmas liquor. 

For more Christmas-related reads and recipes, don't miss our dedicated page and be sure to visit our food hub for more delightful recipes when you have the chance.

Christmas cake recipe

Christmas cake recipe

(Image credit: Getty Images)


  • 230g sultanas
  • 230g raisins
  • 170g currants
  • 100g glace cherries, rinsed and quartered
  • 100g dried apricots, quartered
  • 50g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp brandy
  • 250g plain flour
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50g flaked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • A deep 20cm round or 18cm square cake tin


1. Preheat the oven or warming drawer to 60°C. Grease and double line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. 

2. Place all the fruit in an oven-proof bowl and pour the brandy over it. Stir well and place in the oven for two hours. Remove and set aside.

3. Now preheat the oven to 140ºC. 

4. Sieve the flour and spices into a large bowl and stir in the almonds, orange and lemon rind. 

5. Cream the softened butter and dark brown sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the treacle.

6. Gradually fold in the flour, spices, almonds, rinds and the soaked fruit. Mix well and then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth off the surface with a palette knife. Loosely cover the top of the cake with a double circle of greaseproof paper.

7. Place the cake in the oven on a wire rack on the middle shelf. Bake the cake for one hour (at 140°C) then reduce the oven temperature to 120ºC and bake for a further three hours at this temperature, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

8. Take the cake out of the oven, poke a few holes in it and pour over just 2bsp of your tipple of choice. 

9. Allow the cake to cool in the tin then remove when it’s cold.

10. Remove the greaseproof paper then wrap it in cling film and store it in a cool, dark cupboard to start the maturing process.

11. Feed it with just 1-2 tbsp of brandy, sherry, rum or even whisky every fortnight to stop it from drying out. 

Top tip! Don't feed it on the last week so that a bit of a crust forms on the top, this will make it easier to ice your creation, for the grand reveal.

And hey presto, a Christmas cake is in the making!

How to decorate a Christmas cake

The traditional look is a couple of sprigs of holly, and maybe a cranberry or two. As holly is toxic and not something you want anyone munching on by mistake after a brandy too many, choose artificial decor instead or if you're feeling very fancy, you could make green and red icing to form your very own leaves and berries.

For a more modern look, you cook buy edible bakers glitter in silver or gold!

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