christmas cake

  • 3 cups (450g) raisins
  • 1½ cups (240g) sultanas
  • 1 cup (160g) dried currants
  • 8 soft fresh dates (160g), pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup (140g) slivered almonds
  • ¾ cup (180ml) brandy+
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups (220g) light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2¼ cups (335g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2–3 tablespoons brandy+, extra
  1. Place the raisins, sultanas, currants, dates and almonds in a large bowl. Add the brandy, mix to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to soak in a cool dark place overnight, mixing occasionally. 
  2. Preheat oven to 140°C (275°F). Line a 20cm square cake tin with 2 layers of non-stick baking paper. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside. 
  3. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and allspice to the soaked fruit and mix well, ensuring the fruit is evenly coated with flour. Add the butter mixture and stir until well combined. Spoon into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 2 hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer. 
  4. Spoon over the extra brandy while the cake is still warm. Allow to cool completely in the tin, before turning out onto a cake stand or plate to serve. Serves 16–24

+ While brandy is the traditional partner for fruit cake, you could also try using a dessert sherry such as Pedro Ximénez. It’s an intensely sweet, dark sherry made from the Spanish grape variety of the same name. Perfect in festive cakes, puddings and custards, you can find it in liquor stores.

Tip: Keep this cake in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Reader ratings (0)
Leisa Ferguson

This has been our Christmas cake for the last 13 years (?). We all stir the mix & cook it in my Aunty’s old Christmas cake tin. Sometimes we change nuts or dried fruit depending on what we have in the cupboard but it is always lovely. We love it. Just getting it ready for this Christmas. Thanks for a great family recipe.

donna hay team

Hi Heather, this cake is best kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months. Happy baking!

Heather Abdallah

Hi! What would be the best way to store this cake and for how long?

Philippa Godinho

I have been making this cake for three years now and have also passed the recipe on to my sister. I make 1.5 times the quantity so that I have a cake to give to my daughter as well. We all absolutely agree that this is the best Christmas Cake we’ve ever had! I’m going to prepare my fruits this weekend and soak in the PX sherry for a couple of weeks! Yum!!!





join the club

Become a member of and receive VIP offers, behind-the-scenes previews and exclusive content direct to your inbox