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Last Minute Christmas Cake


  • 1 lb mixed dried fruit including peel
  • 4 oz sultanas
  • 4 oz currants
  • 4 oz raisins
  • 4 oz glace cherries
  • 1/2 pint medium sherry
  • 6 oz unsalted butter
  • 6 oz soft brown sugar
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 2 oz chopped almonds
  • 4 oz plain flour
  • 2 oz self raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


  1. put the fruit and cherries into a bowl and pour in the sherry. Cover the bowl and leave for at least 12 hours but 3 or 4 days is better.

To make the cake

  1. preheat the oven to 150c/130c fan oven. Grease and line an 8 inch cake pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together, and then stir in the orange and lemon zest, eggs, treacle and almonds.
  3. Sieve in the flours and spices and mix everything together until blended. Finally stir in the soaked fruit and sherry.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the cake pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for two hours and then reduce the heat to 140c/120c fan oven for a further one and a quarter hours, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. If at any point the cake seems to be getting too brown on top, cover the pan loosely with foil.
  7. When the cake is cold, wrap it well in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container or tin.