Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. There’s something special about this time of year but it’s hard to exactly explain it. There’s just magic in the air.
For a number of years I have been baking and decorating a Christmas cake every year for my family. While the decoarting may have gotten a little bit neater and stylish over the years, the recipe has largely stayed the same.
I tend to bake my cake in October or November and “feed” it every two or three weeks with a dash of brandy. I aim to decorate the week before Christmas, but I have been known to apply the icing on Christmas Eve…
– 200g margarine
– 200g caster sugar
– Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
– 4 eggs
– 260g plain flour
– 1 tsp. mixed spice
– 200g raisins
– 150g glace cherries, halved
– 355g sultanas
– Brandy (optional)
– Marmalade, marzipan, icing and extras to decorate (optional)
1. Prepare an 8inch/20cm round cake tin by lining the base and the sides with greaseproof paper. Tie a double band of brown paper or newspaper around the outside of the tin. Preheat the oven to 160C.
2. Cream the margarine, sugar and zest until light and fluffy. One-by-one, beat in the eggs and 4 tbsp. brandy, if using. Gradually sieve and fold in the flour, mixed spice and fruit.
3. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately two hours until the cake is firm to touch, or, when pierced with a skewer, it comes out clean.
4. Remove the cake from the oven and pierce all over the top with a skewer. Drizzle over 2 tbsp brandy. Allow to cool completely in the tin before wrapping in a greaseproof paper, followed by tin foil. Every 2-3 weeks, drizzle with another 1-2 tbsp brandy up until two weeks prior to decorating.
5. If decorating, brush the cake with a layer of “no-bits” marmalade. Lay on the marzipan. Brush the marzipan with a layer of water. ay on the the icing. Decorate as you wish.
Amy is a marketer, nutritionist, blogger, baker, cook and an ambassador for Health Bloggers Community in Ireland. Amy qualified from University College Dublin in 2016 with a BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition before following her creative passion and moving into the marketing team of Danone. This busy lady can most often be found drinking coffee, stalking dogs or photographing food for her blog. Amy is an avid believer of maintaining work-life balance and likes to wind down by attending yoga classes or going for long walks. Visit her blog here.