Chelsea

celebrating 130 years 1884-2014

Chelsea’s Favourite Christmas Cake

By Chelsea Sugar
Chelsea’s Favourite Christmas Cake
24 servings
  • 86 reviews

  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Prep time 15 mins
  • Cooking time 4 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves
    24
Ingredients

    250g Tararua Butter
    2 cups Chelsea White Sugar
    2kg mixed dried fruit
    1 cup sherry
    2 tsp mixed spice
    2 tsp Edmonds Baking Soda
    4 Tbsp Chelsea Golden Syrup or Chelsea Treacle
    4 eggs
    450g Edmonds Standard Grade Flour
    1 tsp Edmonds Baking Powder
    2 Tbsp orange zest

Method

    Heat Tararua Butter, Chelsea White Sugar, fruit, sherry, spice, Edmonds Baking Soda and Chelsea Golden Syrup in a large saucepan. Heat over a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Allow to cool fully (at least 1 hour).

    Heat oven to 125°C conventional bake. Grease 2 x deep 20cm round tins (or 2 x regular 30cm tins) and triple line with baking paper, ensuring the paper extends up the sides beyond the tin.

    Beat eggs and stir through cooled fruit mixture. Sift dry ingredients and fold into fruit mixture with orange zest.

    Spoon into tins, bake for approximately 3 -3 ½ hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Decorate once cool.

    Tip: Place a double layer of baking paper across top of tin to prevent cake browning too quickly (avoiding contact with cake mixture).

    Note: We have updated this recipe to make it easier to bake by spreading it across two cake tins. You can still make it as one cake, just use a larger tin and allow for a longer cooking time (approximately 4 hrs) and check it regularly.

    Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.  Wrap in tin foil, and then cheesecloth.  Will keep for at least a year and stays deliciously moist.

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Reviews

Average Rating
586
(86 reviews)


Excellent recipe thank you, used square tin as easier to cut and didn’t ice. Doubled the spice and booze :)

Wonderful and easy to make. Would it work with a gluten free flour?
Chelsea Sugar:
Yes, you can substitute the plain flour for gluten free flour.

I made this for Christmas but half the recipe in one tin. I gave it a couple of feeds with brandy and let it improve over a few weeks. It was the best tasting cake we've had at Christmas. I used different dried fruits. Cherries, apricots, candied peel, dates and craisins. I will be doing it again for sure.

Made it as one big cake in a 27cm cake tin. Cooked for 4.5 hours. It makes a very big cake. Delicious. So easy.

I made this easy and tasty Christmas cake recipe ( 2 cakes last week) and it was so well received by my family ( some of them never usually like Christmas cake) that I've just baked another 2 cakes!

This recipe was so straightforward and the result is amazing! Thank u so much.

If I just want to make one cake and halve the ingredients, can you give me the cake tin size and how long to cook it for please.
Chelsea Sugar:
The full recipe makes two cakes in 2 deep 20cm round tins. To make one cake, halve the recipe and use only 1 deep 20cm round tin. Bake for 3 -3 ½ hours at 125°C.

Does it really matter if packet mix of dried fruit has expired ? This recipe by far seems to be the easiest one.
Chelsea Sugar:
For best results it is best to use products that have not passed their expiry dates.

Hiya, looks delish, but can anything else replace the sherry in this recipe?
Chelsea Sugar:
You can use a fruit juice or another type of alcohol instead of sherry.

A super easy recipe which produced 2 moist , flavorsome and delicious cakes. Will definitely be making this recipe again in the future.

Hi what can I use as a substitute for alcohol in the cake please.
Chelsea Sugar:
Fruit juice is an easy and tasty alternative to alcohol. Orange juice is commonly used as a substitute.

I made this cake and used 2 tins. ( next time will make it in 1 tin ) We have tried the cake as I was concerned that it was very sticky on the outside. It tastes great, and seems to be cooked right through. I am an experienced baker, and would love to know why the cake has turned out so sticky. I must admit to soaking the fruit with a cup of sherry for a couple of days, then added another 3/4 cup sherry when I started cooking it. Maybe this is why. I would love Chelsea to advise. Thank you.
Chelsea Sugar:
It is possible the either difficult the cake is under baked or has not absorbed all the alcohol added. You could leave the cake for a few days in a cool place covered in a clean tea towel so that the excess alcohol can evaporate.

Question: The instructions say "Grease 2 x deep 20cm round tins (or 2 x regular 30cm tins)".

Am I right in thinking this should be 1 x 30cm square tin rather than '2x regular 30cm tins'?
It's not the end of the world, there are phone apps that make the conversions easy, but it may pay to clarify.

Giving it 5 stars on the strength of the fact that NZ'ers, a hard bunch to please, have given it such fantastic reviews. I will be making one this week.

Cheers

Chelsea Sugar:
For best results, please use 2 x deep 20cm round tins.

I've just made up the wet mixture for this cake, and added the juice and zest of a lemon and orange, will add more zest of both before baking. I also added a grated apple (thanks for the tip further down) and a cinnamon stick along with the mixed spice. My kitchen smells like heaven and I burnt my tongue trying to taste it too soon - bad Deb.
Super easy cake, I can tell it's going to be moist, thanks Chelsea.

Best Christmas cake recipe ,so easy to make and tastes beautiful !!

I have yet to try this version of Christmas cake but I mainly am replying to the person who asked about making the same mixture in a cup cake form. You can purchase smaller tins that have a loose bottom and click on the side from Farmers. I myself have 6 small tins that I give to friends just to show that I care at Christmas time. Maybe others may like to do.

Can I bake this cake in a fan oven please
Chelsea Sugar:
It is best to use conventional oven settings when baking recipes that are long and slow.

Nice, easy suits my style

Really easy to make. Soaked fruit in 1 cup of rum overnight prior to adding to recipe. Then added another 3/4 when heating in the pot. Cakes turned out beautiful and moist. Only took 3 1/4 hours to cook. Will definitely make this again next year. Won’t need to ice it either as perfect on its own. Made it in two tins and gave one away.

Hi can I make this in fan oven,my oven is fan only would love to try this recipe
Chelsea Sugar:
It is best to use conventional settings where possible for best results but this shouldn't stop you from trying the recipe.

I made this cake last year and got a lot of great comments. Just wondering if you could swap the sherry for rum?
Chelsea Sugar:
Yes, you can substitute the sherry for rum.

This is The best Christmas cake recipe! Makes 2 large cakes or 1 Large cake and 4 small ones or 3 6in cakes which I just made last night. So flavoursome and all wrapped up in cellophane they make amazing gifts. Make sure you prep your tins well and have the baking paper above the edge of the tin as the instructions say.

my 1st attempt at baking a xmas cake (im 72 ) lol found it real good question do you melt the butter 1st
Chelsea Sugar:
The butter will melt during the first step when added to the saucepan with the sugar, fruit, sherry, spice, baking soda and syrup.

This is by far the best Christmas cake I've ever made. I first started making Christmas cakes 6 years ago using this recipe and everyone was amazed at how good it was - even my family and friends that don't like Christmas cake like this one!

The best Xmas cake i have ever made and have cooked it for years just the one cake, so easy
Highly recommend i bake in Oct eat in Dec keeps moist, keep wrapped in grease proof and newspaper, husband cannot wait to start eating, plenty of compliments to.

Hi going to make this cake for Christmas just could you give me the amount of sugar by weight I find cups confusing for what size of cup for instance ? Many thanks

this is the easiest cake to bake and i thing the most delicious to eat, if you can't get this right then don't go near the kitchen. I cooked mine in one large square tin in a Breville digital bench oven at the recommended temperature, It did not take the four hours to bake but there was no darkening of the sides or bottom of the cake and the top did not crack or rise in the middle. As is stated keeps very well and stays nice and moist.

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Best Christmas cake I've ever made. Quick simple and very moist.

Wow, what an amazing cake. Turned out beautiful and very simple to make. I used only 1kg of mixed dried fruit and it was still spectacular, plenty of fruit with every bite. Very moist and delicious. No need for icing.

This is my Xmas cake recipe from now on moist delicious and very easy to make my husband absolutely loves it.!!!!

Just wondering how this recipe would go in cupcake tins how long would they need to cook. Would make amazing Christmas presents for colleague's and friends.

This is my go to recipe now. Beats all others hands down

If i was to half this recipe , can i halve the ingredients? Also in terms of cooking time , how long will it take?
Chelsea Sugar:
Yes, you can halve the recipe and the bake time is 4 hrs 30 mins.

Can I use molasses in place of treacle please?

CHELSEA SUGAR:
Yes Pauline! Happy Baking!

Good recipe. Really different from the way I have made Christmas cakes before but so easy and quick. I did add a heaped tsp of ginger and cinnamon as well cos I love those flavours in my cakes.

I have made this recipe for four Christmases now. It is easy, consistently successful and earns a lot of compliments.

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I make at least 6 of these cakes every year for family and friends and they all love it, even 2 people who dont like fruit cake actually like this one! So easy to make and would keep for a long time if it got the chance! Rich, dark and moist - what more could one ask for in a fruit cake?

Best cake ever! Just popped this years one in the oven 3rd year making it family loves it isn’t too rich nice and moist, I double the spice and 1 1/2c sherry, do the first step with the fruit, butter syrup sherry etc then leave mixture till next day then bake with eggs flour etc, I’ve only ever made it 6-8 weeks before Xmas feed the cake a little every week or so honestly it’s amazing, my grandma always made a Xmas cake 40 years later and I’ve decided to carry on the tradition with this cake, I make the full mixture and use one large square cake tin approx 4hrs cooking

The Best xmas cake I have ever made, Dark and moist. I used Brandy and 1 1/2 cups dark cane sugar. I added Hazelnuts, sliced almonds and Glace cherries. I baked in a very large tin for 4 hours @ 125 celsius. I used classic bake no fan bake. Just perfect!

Hi - I made this cake for the 1st time last year and it was delicious!! I want to make it again this year, however I thought the recipe also had instructions on how to wrap the cake in plastic and tin foil for at least 6 weeks prior or similar? Thanks!
CHELSEA: best to wrap in tin foil and then cheesecloth.

I have 8 x 10cm cakes to do this Christmas. Would 2 of these be good and would you divide into 8 small tins or 2 big tins and then cut into 4. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but looks good and reviews are great
CHELSEA: either would work. Just reduce the cook time to allow for the reduced volume.

Great recipe. Made my first fruit cake at Xmas time and it was beautiful. Thanks for the great easy recipe! I have the Mammoth task of making a big fruit cake for a 75th jubilee. I’m thinking of making this recipe twice and baking in a roasting dish (one dish for each batch) then stacking them to make one big cake. Do you think this recipe would be big enough to use in a 29 x 45 roasting tray?
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes this recipe makes 2 deep 20cm cakes or 2 regular 30cm cakes, so a roasting dish of that size per batch should work nicely. Good luck!

Outstanding recipe. My family will eat as many as I make. Makes a lovely large cake and we never ice it, it's tasty as it is.

Everyone loved this cake, it was so moist and delicious and so easy to make. I made it as 1 large cake 23 x 23 cm it took 4 hours to cook.

Easy breezy first Xmas cake for me and it was so easy, thank you

I see that the recipe say's 2 x 20 cm cake tins, once the cake is cool do you stack on top of the other, or leave as single cakes?
If I wished to make the Christmas Cake in one tin, what size Cake Tin should I use> and is 4 hours the length of cooking time.
As I wish to have one Cake.
5 Stars, it looks an easy recipe to make.
CHELSEA: Hi there, you leave these as single cakes. We would recommend a 25-30cm cake tin if baking in one tin. Try 4 hours but keep an eye on it as all ovens are different. Good luck :-)

I've never really been a fruitcake fan, but this recipe popped up and I decided it was a good time to try and make it. I am now a total convert- this cake is amazing!
As I'm pregnant, I soaked the fruit in apple juice beforehand, and cooked down brandy before adding it. The first cake was demolished in no time- I'm so glad I made two!

Everyone loved this cake. It was moist and delicious.

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If I was to soak the fruit, do I soak it in sherry then drain it off before following the recipe?
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes if you want to soak the fruit we recommend soaking it in sherry and then draining it off. You can use this leftover sherry either in step one of the recipe or to feed the cake after baking.

Great recipe, very easy and tastes yummy. I let the fruit sit overnight and cooked the following day.

An amazingly moist tasty cake. You have the balance exactly right - addictive!
Lovely with a brandy icing

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Please can you help??
I want to bake this in 2 x 19cm square tins.
Will this work and how long will I cook them for?
Thank you.
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes this will be fine. Your cooking time is likely to be closer to 3 hours rather than 3 1/2. Enjoy!

Lovely moist easy to make Christmas Cake.

First time making Christmas cake. Turned out perfectly. I soaked the fruit in sherry for a few days prior as suggested in the comments which worked well. Very moist and easy to make.

Is it possible to swap the alcohol for black tea
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes you can replace the alcohol with black tea, fruit juice or water!

The best Christmas cake I have ever made. Can you suggest a Gluten Free option as I have just found out I have celiacs.
CHELSEA: Hi there, really sorry but we don't yet have a gluten free Christmas cake recipe. We'll have to sort that out!

One of the most moist christmas cakes I have ever had. Definitely worth making two!

Amazing and easy cake. I soaked the fruit for a week prior and added some Brazil nuts. Was a very moist and tasty cake! Relatively cheap for ingredients too, compared to some Xmas cakes!

Dark and rich. First ever attempt at xmas cake and was excellent. Used port instead of sherry. Made in a wooden box for even cooking
Will do again next year if I can wait that long!!

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An excellent cake with lovely texture and taste! Worth baking 2, ice with marzipan and the royal icing to create a truly delectable Christmas Cake!

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Best and easiest Christmas Cake I have ever had. So many compliments too. Yummy!

Hi can you tell me if I am able to use GI cane or brown sugar instead of white sugar ??
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes we think brown sugar would work well. We haven't tried using the low GI sugar in this recipe before but this should also work ok.

A beautiful, moist dark cake. The recipe was easy to follow and 3 and 1/2 hours seemed about the right length of cooking time. The lower cooking temperature is the key to this recipe, which I am sure I'll use again and again. I used my large preserving pan for mixing the ingredients which worked well. I also used a 23 cm round tin to cook the cake in (I halved the recipe, so one cake only). The round tin was perfect! Thanks Chelsea, this is a great recipe.

This cake looks great BUT you haven't said whether the cake tin, suggested in the recipe, is round or square, so I haven't yet made the cake, as at 20cm there is quite a substantial difference in volume between a 20cm square tin and a 20cm round tin. I have emailed your email address asking for an answer to this query but as yet have had no reply?! Please could you add this fact to the recipe. Thank you. I look forward to making the cake once I know the exact tin size.
CHELSEA: Hi there, thank you for your feedback and sorry that you haven't had a reply to your email yet - we will have a look into this. We would recommend using round tins; however, the recipe is large enough that if it is made in a square tin it should still work out well. We have updated the recipe to reflect this. Enjoy!

Great cake keeps well using recipe again

Such an easy recipe and it is beautiful. Do you have a recipe for the icing?
CHELSEA: Hi there, good to hear you are enjoying this recipe! You could try our fondant icing recipe: http://www.chelsea.co.nz/browse-recipes/fondant-icing-recipe/

I have just put the cakes in the oven. My only comment so far is that you need a very large saucepan. I used a preserving pan and the cake went together very well.

Would love to try this recipe Can I replace the sherry with juice rather than use alcohol?
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes you can use juice instead of alcohol. The cake might not keep for quite as long though.

The best and easiest cake ever. Have been making this cake now for a few years, the recipe makes 3 cakes the size you would buy in the shops and I make 9 every year for family and friends. Everybody loves it and I get requests each year from friends to make sure I don't forget them. Am just about to make first batch for 2016 tonight.

just what I was lookin for this year

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Did anyone decorate it, and if so how?? Thanks for any advice.
CHELSEA: Hi there, there are lots of options for decorating! You could go all out and cover the cake with marzipan and fondant icing - if you do a google search you will find lots of tips and tutorials on how to do this, as well as some inspiration for the 'finishing touches'. For a simpler alternative, try rolling out some fondant and cutting into Christmas shapes, then sticking onto the top of the cake with a little warmed apricot jam. The cake also tastes great without any icing - just dust with icing sugar and secure a bright ribbon around the edge of the cake to brighten it up!

Love the sound of this but can the sherry be replaced with something else??
CHELSEA: Hi there, yes you could try brandy, rum or whiskey as alternatives to the sherry.

the only Christmas cake I make now after trying others this one is the best and super easy

This is the best Christmas cake ever. I have used the recipe to make small Christmas cakes for gifts. This is my third year of making this cake. Such an easy recipe. I used whiskey instead of sherry.

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Can't wait to try to make this!!

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This has been my most successful Christmas cake yet - I have now made it two years running, and everyone loves it.

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I made this cake last year and it turned out the best one I had ever made, so I have done it again this year, just waiting impatiently until Christmas to try it. It makes a lovely large tasty moist cake.

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Both my daughter and I made this cake which is great. Her's was better than mine as I baked with fan bake on and she used top and bottom elements - better all round.

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very easy to bake and tastes great! have made one for the freezer to.

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one of the simplest Christmas cakes I have ever baked. Tastes as good as it looks! Will definitely use this recipe again.

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I have just cut into the cake and must say it is the best xmas cake I have ever made,will never make any other now. Thank you Chelsea

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Very easy to make. It is moist. Tastes great

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Add a grated whole apple skin also and you will have the best fruit cake. I make this recipe a lot but have 1 C plain Flour and 1 C Self Raising flour. Happy baking Val

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Just made this Christmas cake. It is better than any brought one. I made 2 out of the recipe so I will cut the ingredients in 1/2 next time. This is the only cake I will be baking in the future. A1

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Very tasty cake. Had lots of compliments and it freezes well too.

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Awesome recipe.... Stays moist for ages.... Great flavour.... :)

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