Easy Christmas cake recipes (that are better than your mum’s!)
Whatever you love about Christmas - spending time with family, gift giving (and getting!), movie marathons - there’s something we all look forward to the most… the food. And when it comes to Christmas dinner, we can all agree that nothing beats homemade!
So this year, why not try making your own Christmas cake for dessert?
Indulgent, boozy and super easy to pull off, these recipes are SO good, you won't want to share them!
The quick and easy classic
Of course, we had to start the list off with a classic! Timelessly tasty, this easy Christmas cake recipe is packed with all the festive flavours we know and love, and it takes less than 2 hours to make! Even better, it doesn’t need to be fed, so you can make it right at the last minute and it’ll still taste great!
- 600g mixed dried fruits
- 150ml whisky
- 150g stem ginger
- 8 tbsp ginger syrup
- 200g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 200g soft light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 small oranges, zested
- 2 lemons, zested
- 50g ground almonds
- 150g whole glacé cherries
- Soak the dried fruit in whisky for 30 minutes. While soaking, preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan, gas mark 3), grease a cake tin (8" wide, 9" deep) and line with baking parchment.
- Drain and finely chop the ginger (keep 8 tbsps of syrup from the jar) before sifting the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a mixing bowl. Whisk together with the sugar, butter, eggs, milk and fruit zest until the mix is pale and fluffy.
- Fold in the almonds, soaked fruit, chopped ginger, syrup and cherries, before spooning into the cake tin (make sure you level the mix in the tin) and bake for 90-105 mins. It will be firm when baked (TIP: poke a skewer in and it should come out clean. If you don't have a skewer, use a thin knife).
- Leave to cool, then store in cling film and an airtight container until the big day.
The chocolate lover’s dream
Love chocolate? You'll love this cake even more! This rich and moreish Christmas cake recipe is packed with yummy chocolate, fruit and spices - there's even a bottle of stout in it for that boozy finish! Plus, you can leave it to mature without feeding it. Perfect!
- 500ml dark stout
- 300g sultanas
- 300g raisins
- 150g dried apricots, finely chopped
- 75g chopped mixed peel
- 175g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 200g light muscovado sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 125g ground almonds
- 50g cornflour, sifted
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oranges, zested
- 90g 70% dark chocolate, finely grated
- Heat the stout in a saucepan until boiling, then lower to a simmer and reduce by a little over half (200ml). Leave it to cool in a mixing bowl, then stir in the dried fruit and mixed peel. Cover and leave overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan, gas mark 2). Grease a 20.5cm tin and line with parchment paper. Wrap a double layer around the outside of the tin and secure it with string to prevent the sides of the cake from overcooking.
- Beat the butter and sugar together with a stand mixer or electric whisk until light and fluffy (about 5 mins). Whisk the eggs, then add to the butter mixture a little at a time, along with small amounts of almonds. Once all the egg is beaten in, add the rest of the almonds, plus the cornflower and spices, and whisk to combine.
- Mix in the orange zest, chocolate, soaked fruit and any stout left in the bowl, then scrape into the cake tin and level. Bake for 3.5 - 4 hours until it passes the skewer test.
- Leave the cake in its tin for 10 minutes, then (keeping it wrapped in parchment) transfer to a wire rack to cool. It can be stored in the same way as our basic Christmas cake.
The tropical twist
Wouldn't it be great to celebrate Christmas on a sunny beach? While we can’t pull off a Christmas miracle with the weather, we can bring the beach to your table with this delicious, tropical fruit-filled cake! Okay, so it’s not the most traditional of Christmas cake ideas, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back - it’s a certified family recipe in the making!
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
- 250g golden sultanas or raisins
- 125g dried apricots, chopped
- 125g dried pineapple, chopped
- 125g dried mango, chopped
- 50g stem ginger, chopped
- 50g glacé cherries, halved
- 50g mixed peel, chopped
- 50g Brazil nuts
- 150ml dark rum
- 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 250g light brown soft sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 200g plain flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 lemon, zested
- Add the dried fruit, mixed peel, ginger, cherries, vanilla and 100ml of rum into a large bowl, then cover and leave to soak for at least 2 hours. After soaking, take a small knife and scrape the vanilla seeds into the mixture before throwing away the pod.
- Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan, gas mark 2), grease a 23cm tin and line with parchment paper. Wrap two extra layers around the outside and secure with string, like with our chocolate recipe.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and citrus zest, then fold in the soaked fruit mixture along with the Brazil nuts. Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and level.
- Bake for 3 hours, 15 minutes until it passes the skewer test. Once baked, leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then poke a few holes in the top with a skewer and drizzle the remaining rum over the top. Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container for up to a month.
This cake tastes so good, you won’t know it’s vegan! A great all-rounder if you’re catering for lots of different diets, this super moist fruit cake recipe is just like the real deal - sure to be a hit with the whole family. You only need to feed it once a fortnight too!
- 650g mixed dried fruit
- 100ml sherry (vegan)
- 1 large lemon
- 1 large orange
- 100ml unsweetened soy milk (or other dairy-free alternative)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 200g light brown caster sugar
- 3 tbsp black treacle
- 175g dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
- 350g plain flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Mix the dried fruit in bowl with the zest and juice from the orange and lemon. Pour the sherry over the top, then cover and leave to soak overnight.
- Line a 20cm baking tin with a dollop of margarine, then line and wrap it with baking parchment, securing the outside with string. Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan, gas mark 2).
- Mix the milk and chia seeds in a small bowl or measuring jug, then set aside until the mixture becomes sticky. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, treacle and margarine until pale and fluffy. In another bowl, sift the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda, then add the almonds.
- Once the chia seed and milk mix is ready, add it to the creamed sugar and margarine, along with the flour mix and vinegar. Mix with a spoon to make a smooth, stiff batter, then stir in the soaked fruit and sherry.
- Spread into the tin and level. Bake for 2 hours until it passes the skewer test. Once baked, leave it to cool completely in the tin.
- To feed, poke a few holes in the top of the cake with a skewer and add 1-2 tbsps of sherry. Pop the cake in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with baking paper and store in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight. Feed it every fortnight up until the big day!
Love your leftovers this Christmas!
Did you know it's estimated around £444 million is wasted on Christmas food in the UK alone? To make your Christmas dinner (and money!) stretch that bit further, check out our blog all about storing and saving your festive favourites.