Traditional Christmas Cake

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Butter makes rich cakes keep moist much longer. Use it to make your Christmas cakes, and any other cakes that are intended to be kept for some time to mature.


  • 275 g/10 oz plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 225 g/8 oz butter
  • 225 g/8 oz soft brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 225 g/8 oz currants
  • 225 g/8 oz sultanas
  • 225 g/8 oz seedless raisins
  • 100 g/4 oz chopped candied peel
  • 100 g/4 oz glacé cherries, washed and quartered
  • 50 g/2 oz blanched almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or milk to mix


    Sieve together the flour, spice and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until very soft and light. Lightly mix the eggs, treacle and vanilla essence together, then gradually beat into the creamed mixture a little at a time. Add some of the flour along with the last few additions of egg. Add 1–2 tablespoons of the sieved flour to the prepared fruit and mix well. Using a metal spoon, fold in first the remaining sieved flour, then the fruit mixture and the brandy or milk.

    Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 20-cm (8-in) round deep cake tin and hollow out the centre slightly. Place on the shelf below the centre of a pre-heated slow oven (150°C., 300°F., Gas Mark 2) and bake for 1½ hours. Then lower the heat to very slow (140°C., 275°F., Gas Mark 1) and bake for a further 2½ hours. Allow the baked cake to cool in the tin before turning out, wrapping and storing.