Traditional Christmas Cake recipe

Many people have their traditions at Christmas. Some people give presents on Christmas eve and some people eat Christmas pudding. For us its Christmas cake.  

Each year my nan would make a traditional Christmas cake. A Fruit sponge soaked into alcohol and left to sit for months.  

My first Christmas memory was watching my mum bake this cake. The smell of cinnamon filling the house. 

2016 was my first Christmas in my own home and my first Christmas as a mother. With this in mind my mum handed the recipe down to me. Seen as I don’t have a daughter to pass the recipe, I wanted to share it with you guys! 

So here it is, my traditional Christmas cake recipe! 

Fruit Sponge


  • 225g/ 8oz Plain flour 
  • 1tsp mixed spice 
  • 1/2tsp Cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp Cocoa powder 
  • 175g/ 6oz Butter 
  • 175g / 6oz Brown sugar 
  • 1tsp Black treacle 
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange and lemon zest 
  • 550g mixed fruit 
  • 100g /4oz Mixed peel 
  • 50g / 2oz Glace cherries 
  • 1 tbsp Milk 
  • 35cl Rum, Brandy or Whiskey 
  • 4 eggs 


  • 50g/ 2oz Chopped dates 
  • 50g/ 2oz Almond and walnut halves 


  1. Combine mixed fruit, cherries, mixed peel, dates into a large mixing bowl. Pour 17cl of chosen spirit into the bowl ( I used brandy) and cover. Toss well and leave for at least 24hr, tossing regularly.  

I make these a few months in advance and let the fruit soak for a month. Tossing it every few days.  

  1. Drain additional spirit away (or keep in a bowl for later). 
  2. Line an 8″ round cake tin and pre-heat oven at 150C/ Gas mark 2. 
  3. Sift flour, cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg and mixed spice into a bowl. 
  4. In a separate bowl cream sugar, butter, treacle, lemon and orange juice together. 
  5. Beat the eggs into the wet mixture adding a tbsp of dry mixture. Continue adding the leftover dry mixture. 
  6. Stir in the mixed fruit adding the Milk as you go. 
  7. Place the mixture into the prepared tin and level with a knife. 
  8. Bake in the oven for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, making sure a knife comes out clean. 

Optional: You can leave the cake to rest for a few days. Once a day poke holes into the sponge and pour on a small amount of alcohol (this may be where the alcohol you saved before can come in handy.). 

Traditional Christmas cake recipe



  • 500g Marzipan 
  • Jam 


  1. Apply a generous layer of jam to the cake, making sure to cover the sides well. 
  2. Setting the cake to one side, sprinkle some icing sugar down on the side and roll out the marzipan to about 1-2cm thick. 
  3. Cover the cake in the sheet of marzipan making sure to smooth out the top and sides well, before trimming off any extras. 
Traditional Christmas Cake recipe

Royal Icing 

Whether you choose to use rolled icing or royal icing is up to you. We normally use royal icing. 


  • 2 Egg whites 
  • 450g Royal icing powder 
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice 


  1. Separate egg whites into a bowl. Using a hand whisk or a standing electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and the lemon juice on a medium setting for a minute. 
  2. Slowly add in the sugar powder until the mixture is firm and forms peaks. You may need to add some more sugar powder to get the right consistency. 
  3. Apply all of the icing mixture to the cake making sure to cover all the sides well. Spread any leftover mixture to the top of the cake. 
  4. Leave for a couple of hours to set before wrapping. 

Rolled icing 


500g rolled icing



  1. Using some icing sugar make sure your surface is well covered and roll out your icing to about 1-2cm thick. 
  2. Spread a generous amount of jam over the marzipan layer of the cake. Make sure to cover all areas
  3. Lay the icing over the top of the cake and rub all over making sure all sides are covered.
  4. Using a knife slice off any extras and put them to one side. 
Traditional Christmas cake recipe

Make sure you wrap the cake well and that you, don’t place anything on top of the cake after each stage! 

Voila! Here is my traditional Christmas cake recipe! I really hope you enjoy it! 

Please if you do make this cake please tag me in your photos on Instagram!

If you like this post then why don’t you check out a few of my other post!

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