Tag Archives: christmas cake

Christmas Cake – Part 4- the icing

fanny and brenda icing the christmas cake recipe

So we come to the ultimate episode in the making of our Christmas Cake which started back in October.

Take the cake out of its storage. The marzipan layer should be quite dry, and if you want why not brush it with a little brandy like we did!


3 egg whites
500g icing sugar
1 tspn of glycerine


We did the icing in two parts.

Mix the egg whites with the icing sugar. The sugar is added a little at a time and keep adding until it’s all mixed in. Then whisk it up until it has stiff peaks. Stir in the glycerine.

Now put half of the mixture in a mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm. Put it in the fridge.

Now put the remaining half on the cake and work it round the top and sides with a spatula.

Try and make a neater job of it than Fanny.

Day 2: Repeat the process and leave to dry for 24 hours. Then decorate according to taste!

Please see our video because if Fanny can ice a cake you can!!

Christmas Cake -Part 3 – The marzipan layer

fanny and brendas christmas cake marzipan layer

So you’ve got your cake, and for several weeks you have been injecting it with plenty of alcohol I hope. There’s no point in a dry fruit cake. Of course the alcohol, be it a brandy or a rum or indeed both, acts as a preservative as well as influencing the end flavour and moisture of the fruit inside.


225g icing sugar
225g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 eggs (whole)
Juice of a lemon
Splosh of brandy
Splosh of almond extract
500g of ground almonds


Sieve the sugars into a mixing bowl and add the ehss

Beat them together

Place over a low heat and whisk until fluffy

Cool in a bowl of ice cold water for a minute

Add the brandy, lemon and almond extract

Stir in the ground almonds till stiff

At this point I would leave it for an hour or so. In the filming we continued but giving the almond paste an hour or two in the fridge helps to firm it up.

Roll out like pastry

Brush some egg white to the top of the cake

Place the marzipan over the cake and pat down. Add to sides and fill in where necessary.

Leave for a while and then you are ready for the icing.

Christmas Cake – Part 2 -The Bake

Okay so you have macerated your dried fruit and left it for a few days to soften in the licquor. You will find that all the licquor will have been absorbed by the fruit and it will be glowing and shiny. Instead of stuffing it down your mouth (Fanny often gives in to temptation at this point unless I am there glaring at her!) we think that you would be better advised putting it straight into the cake mixture. So why not watch our demonstration on the video to get a good idea of what is needed next.


300g plain flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
300g butter
300g soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
50g chopped almonds
1 dessertspoon black treacle
grated rind of 1 lemon
grated rind of 1 orange

christmas cake by fanny and brenda

Baking Day

Preheat the oven to a 130°C. We cook at a lower temperature for a more even cook. The cake should not be dry.

Place the treacle somewhere warm to increase its runniness as it’s easier to manage that way.

Grease a large cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl you want to sieve the flour and mix in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixd spice together.

In another bowl cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Make sure it is light and fluffy – this is the cake mix and you don’t want a heavy lumpen cake!

Beat the eggs and add gradually while beating to the cake mix.

Once the egg has been added, add the spices and flour by folding it in carefully.

The add your fruit, nuts, treacle and peel and stir in.
christmas cake by fanny and brenda

Spoon the mixture evenly around the cake tin and then place in the preheated oven for 2 hours.

Do not check on the cake until late into the bake.

Take out of the oven and wrap well in the greaseproof paper .

Once cooled place it in an airtight container.

Some people inject it with more alcohol over its maturing period.

We will come to the subject of icing nearer Christmas.

Christmas Cake -Part 1- Preparing the fruit

Now that autumn (fall) is well underway it’s time to think about the Christmas cake as it is best made a few weeks before the big event to allow the fruit within to mature, allowing that wonderful fruity plum flavour to develop.

xmas cake cooked properly with fanny and brenda

Christmas cake is easily ruined and there are plenty of examples of awful make do commercial ones out there. Equally, there are some good ones so why bother? Well Brenda and I like to create something big to share and we like it with a substantial brandy input. We present a four part video, two of which will come out over the next few days and then we concentrate on the marzipan and icing at maturation, about a week or two before Christmas. It’s actually reasonably quick to make once you have portioned out all the ingredients. For this part of the recipe here they are:

Ingredients for the fruit mix in Fanny and Brenda’s Joyous Christmas cake

450g currants
175g sultanas
175g raisins
50g glacé morello cherries
100g mixed peel
25g cranberries
1 tbspn glacé ginger
40g dried apricots
50g chopped dates
2 chopped figs
50g chopped prunes
50cl 40% brandy


Portion out all your fruit as above
Place in bowl and stir into each other
Add the brandy
Cover with some cling film and leave to macerate for a couple of days.