Coco & Wolf's Favourite Christmas Cake Recipe
It’s perhaps the most divisive cake in the world, with two very firm camps of lovers and haters, but to us, the traditional Christmas cake is magic. There is a brilliant alchemy of an abundance of dried fruit and some basic store cupboard provisions to create a rich and luxurious festive treat. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re too late to make your cake for this year, our favourite Christmas cake recipe lends itself just as well to making it now, with just a few weeks to go, as 3 months before the big day for those more organised among us. We’ve even whipped one up with just a few days to spare and whilst the end results wasn’t perhaps as decadent as it wasn't matured, it was still absolutely delicious and heartily devoured during Twixmas.
If you're making your Christmas cake ahead of time then you will want to feed the cake as detailed in the method below. Even if you're not a brandy fan it really does create that nostalgic, rich taste which is so evocative at this time of year so don't skip it!
The most fun part of the entire festive bake is, of course, the decorating. A thin layer of marzipan and royal icing is both traditional and, in our opinion, unbeatable. It also goes a long way in keeping your cake fresh for at least 3 weeks. You'll find us icing our Christmas cake on Christmas Eve morning before the rest of the house wakes up, with double Grammy-winning US jazz singer Samara Joy's new Christmas EP played softly in the background.
Coco & Wolf's Favourite Christmas Cake
Put the currants, sultanas, raisins, cherries, apricots and chopped mixed peel in a large bowl. Stir in the brandy, cover the bowl and leave in a cool place overnight.
Lightly grease a 23cm/9 in deep round cake tin and line the tin, with a double layer on the bottom. Preheat the oven to 140c, fan setting.
Add the flour, spices, butter, sugar, eggs, almonds, treacle and orange zest into a large bowl and beat well to mix thoroughly. You can also use a stand mixer like us!
Fold through the fruit which has soaked overnight.
Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin and spread evenly. Cover the top of the cake loosely with a double layer of greaseproof paper. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 4 1/2 hours, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
Once cool, pierce the top of cake all over with a fine skewer and feed with a splash of brandy. Once the cake is completely cold, remove from the tin, leaving the lining paper on the cake. Wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil.
Store in a cool, dry place for up to three months, feeding at intervals with more brandy.
175g glacé cherries, halved
175g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped into pieces
75g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
4 tbsp brandy, plus extra brandy for 'feeding' the cake
275g plain flour
½ tsp grated nutmeg
¾ tsp ground mixed spice
400g salted butter, softened
400g dark muscovado sugar
5 free-range eggs
65g whole almonds
1 tbsp black treacle
2 oranges, grated zest only