Christmas Cake

The only Christmas cake recipes you’ll ever need (and never want to share!)

Published: 22/10/2021
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Everyone wants to impress at Christmas, whether it's with that special gift that shows you truly know someone, inviting everyone round to celebrate the big day, or serving up a knockout festive feast. We're no different at OnBuy, which is why we borrowed Santa's elves to put together a special present for you: a luxury Christmas cake that's easy to bake and adds something special to your festive dessert.

As well as teaching you how to make our tried and tested Christmas cake, we’ll give you some top tips from the team to keep your cake moist, firm and fresh until the 25th. Our mouths are watering already!

Ready, steady... bake!

Kids in santa hats baking for christmas

While this cake matches the tasty bakes produced on The Great British Bake Off, we’ve saved you the tension and drama that usually goes with it! It’s a simple recipe that even beginners can master and will take some of the stress out of preparing for Christmas. So without further ado, let’s get baking - after all, you need to leave several weeks to feed the cake before the big day so there’s no time to waste!

  • 200ml black tea
  • 3 tbsp alcoholic spirit (rum, brandy or whisky work best) or 3 tbsp of orange juice
  • 3 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 700g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g candied orange
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 225g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground spice mix
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of one lemon

First things first, we need to give the fruit a long soak overnight, but rather than just drowning it in alcohol we’re adding marmalade and strong black tea to give it more depth. To make things easier, you can use ordinary tea bags, but for a stronger, richer flavour go for some fancy loose tea leaves brewed in a teapot.

Mix the freshly brewed tea, marmalade and alcohol in a large lidded saucepan until the marmalade is melted. Then add in your dried fruit, glacé cherries and candied orange and give it a couple of big stirs so that all the fruit bits are well coated in liquid.Stick the lid on and leave the fruit overnight.

The next day, preheat your oven to 160°C (140°C fan/ gas mark 3). Grease a 20cm cake tin and double layer it with non-stick baking paper, then set it aside for later. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl until the mixture looks fluffy, then whisk the eggs together in a measuring jug and slowly add them to the mixing bowl, beating the mixture every time you add more egg. 

Then you’ll want to fold in the flour, mixed spices and cinnamon - make sure you fold rather than stir like in the video below, otherwise you’ll knock out all the air. Once the flour’s fully incorporated, add the lemon zest and the soaked fruit. The fruit should have absorbed almost all of your tea/ marmalade/ alcohol cocktail, but if there’s any liquid left pour it into the batter along with the fruit.

Now it’s ready for the oven! Spoon your cake mix into the tin, level it off with a spatula, pop it in the oven and bake it for 90 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 140°C (120°C/gas mark 1) and let it bake for another 90 minutes, or until a BBQ skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once it’s fully cooked, leave it to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

What about vegan and gluten-free alternatives?

sliced up Christmas cake

We promised a few reliable baking hacks to make sure your cake comes out perfect, and OnBuy always delivers. For a vegan Christmas cake, replace the butter with vegan butter or 250g of coconut oil, then switch the eggs for four tablespoons of chia seeds (you’ll need to leave the seeds to stand in 150ml of water until the water has a gel like consistency). 

If you use vegan butter you can follow the same steps, but if you use coconut oil the instructions are slightly different. Mix the dried fruit, sugar and coconut oil together in a large pan and slowly bring it to the boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about five minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. You then need to leave it to stand for 30 minutes before mixing in the rest of the ingredients as normal.

You’ll also probably need to cook it for a little longer to make sure it sets - that’s where the BBQ skewer trick comes in handy! But what about a gluten-free Christmas cake? Well, all you need to do is just replace the flour with the same amount of gluten-free flour and it’ll work a treat.

Time for the finishing touches

Dusting a Christmas cake with icing powder

There are two main questions when it comes to the finishing touches: how to store a Christmas cake and how to feed a Christmas cake. To help keep your cake in perfect condition for the big day, you’ll want to wrap it first in a double layer of greaseproof paper and then double wrap it in aluminium foil. Secure the layers with string, place the whole package in an airtight food storage container and keep it in a cool, dry place until you need to feed it.

Speaking of feeding, if you want a moist Christmas cake that’s packed with rich, moreish flavour, this technique is a must. Ideally you should feed your cake once every week for around two/ three months, and although it sounds like a complicated, technical procedure, it’s actually fairly simple.

Using your trusty BBQ skewer, poke holes in the cake then grab your alcohol of choice and a set of measuring spoons. Slowly drizzle one or two tablespoons of liquor over the cake’s surface, giving it time to soak down into the cake’s centre. (Hint: If you want maximum precision, you can use a cake syringe.)

The usual feeding spirits include whisky, rum and brandy, but you can also use sweeter liquors like amaretto or fortified wines like madeira or sherry. It’s a great way to make your mark on the cake rather than copying everyone else!

Santa, eat your heart out!

family sat round the dinner table at Christmas

Follow our top tips and you’ll have a scrumptious, decadent and utterly irresistible cake for Christmas dessert - that just leaves the other courses! You’ll need a well-stocked kitchen to make a full Christmas dinner, but don’t fret too much; between our kitchen appliances, food and drink and cooking and dining categories, you’ll have everything you need to serve up turkey with all the trimmings. Want some advice on how to serve it up? Take a moment to read our blog on how to set a table for Christmas.

OnBuy is also the perfect place to order presents! We’ll act as your personal Santa Claus, gifting you with great deals on the latest video game consoles and tech treats for teens, toys for the little ones (and the young at heart) as well as a new signature scent for that special someone. Why not beat the rush and check out OnBuy’s Christmas collection today!

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