In Sponsored on Tuesday 6th Nov, 2018

Make-ahead Christmas cake

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This delicious cake will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Anyone who grew up in the 1960s is likely to have fond memories of tucking into a slice of Christmas cake drenched in custard on Christmas day. The classic dessert is steeped in tradition with recipes often handed down from generation to generation in families around the world. This particular version is perfect for anyone who wants to get a head start on their Christmas cooking as it can be made up to two months in advance, meaning you’ll have one less thing to worry about in those busy few weeks leading up to the big day. This recipe makes enough for two cakes so you’ll have one to enjoy to yourself and another to gift to someone special. Once baked, store the cakes in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place in the kitchen. 


  • 400g butter, chopped
  • 2 x 375g packets dried mixed fruit
  • 2 cups dried pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup glace cherries, halved
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup orange and mandarin marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon mixed spice


  1. Add butter, dried mixed fruit, dates, prunes, cherries, cranberries, brandy, marmalade, golden syrup and sugar to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir for 10 minutes or until butter has completely melted and sugar has dissolved. Leave to simmer while stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add bicarbonate of soda and stir well. Leave to cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 150C. Grease two 7cm-deep, 22cm round (base) cake pans. Line bases and sides with 3 layers of baking paper. Add egg to fruit mixture and stir to combine. Sift over flours and mixed spice. Stir. Divide mixture evenly into prepared pans. Level over tops.
  3. Bake for 2 hours 30 minutes on the same shelf or until a skewer inserted in centre of each cake comes out clean. Wrap pans in foil. Turn onto a board to flatten tops. Cool completely. Remove cakes from pans. Slice and serve.