Christmas cake easy moist fruit cake

Ingredients :

FAST SOAKED FRUIT (NOTE 1):

  • 300g / 10 oz raisins
  • 150g / 5 oz diced dried apricots , chopped 8 mm / 1/3″
  • 75g / 2.5 oz mixed peel , diced 5mm / 1/5
  • 150g / 5 oz glace cherries , chopped 8 mm / 1/3″
  • 180g / 6 oz dates , diced 5mm / 1/5″
  • 280 ml apple juice, OR 1/3 brandy + 2/3 juice (Note 2)

CAKE:

  • 115g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , softened (1 US stick)
  • 330 g dark brown sugar , packed (Note 3)
  • 125 ml vegetable oil (or canola, peanut, grapeseed)
  • 3 tbsp molasses or golden syrup (Note 4)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 250 g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts , chopped (optional)

FOR SERVING (OPTIONAL)

  • 500ml / 1 pint pouring custard , homemade or store bought (Note 5)

WHITE CHRISTMAS CAKE DECORATION, AS PICTURED (OPTIONAL)

  • 250g / 8 oz “ready to roll” marzipan
  • 250g / 8 oz “ready to roll” white fondant
  • Cherries dusted with icing sugar

OTHER DECORATING OPTIONS (OPTIONAL)

  • Cherries or other fruit dusted with icing sugar (on plain cake, looks very pretty!)
  • Drippy white glaze (directions below)

Instructions :

FAST SOAKED FRUIT:

  • Place dried fruit and juice/brandy in a large microwavable container. Microwave 1 1/2 minutes on high or until hot.
  • Stir to coat all fruit in liquid. Cover then set aside for 1 hour (to plump up/soak and cool).

CAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F (140°C fan). Grease and line a 21 – 22 cm / 8 – 9″ round cake pan with baking paper (parchment paper) (7 cm / 2.75″ tall).
  • Using an electric beater, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute on speed 5).
  • Add oil and molasses, beat until combined.
  • Add salt, spices and baking powder – beat until incorporated.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated
  • Stir in the flour.
  • When mostly incorporated, stir in the fruit mix (including all the extra liquid in bowl) and walnuts (if using).
  • Pour into cake pan, cover with foil and bake for 3 hours 15 minutes, removing foil the last 45 minutes. Skewer inserted into middle should come out clean with no batter on it.
  • Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cool completely before serving.
  • Cake is moist and so full flavoured, it can be eaten plain. But see below for decorating and serving ideas (traditionally served with pouring custard).
  • Cutting: Either cut into thin wedges, or cut cake into thin strips (2cm / 0.75″ or so), then cut those strips into serving size pieces.

CHRISTMAS CAKE DECORATING OPTIONS:

  • Traditional White Christmas Cake (pictured in post) – Marzipan and fondant, see Decorating Note.
  • Simple – pile top with fresh cherries or other fruit, dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar). Wrap a ribbon around the cake for extra touch!
  • Drippy white glaze – use the glaze in this Lemon Cake recipe, but leave out the lemon juice (ie make a plain sweet white glaze). Flip cake upside down for flat surface then glaze per that recipe.
  • Serving – serve with custard for a traditional experience! Either homemade custard or store bought pouring custard (jazz it up by mixing in vanilla seed paste!).

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