Grandma's Christmas cake

Puddings and cakes

  • Serves: 8
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 4 hours
A Christmas pudding, one of the traditional dishes © William Shaw

A Christmas pudding, one of the traditional dishes


  • 1kg mixed dried fruit (soaked overnight in 100ml brandy or sherry)
  • 200g glace cherried, rinsed, dried and halved
  • 1 orange - juice and zest
  • 1 lemon - juice and zest
  • 200g margerine, softened
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 100g chopped nuts
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice


Thoroughly grease and double line a 9" (23cm) cake tin.

Cream butter or margarine with sugar until light and fluffy, stir in treacle.

Sift flour with mixed spice and beat eggs.

Add alternate spoonfuls of egg and flour to mixture until a creamy consistency is reached.

Add juice and zest of lemon and orange and stir in nuts. Drain mixed fruit and add to cake mix along with cherries.

If mixture is too stiff, the drained brandy can be added.

Spoon into tin and level out, make a slight depression in centre to ensure cake does not rise to a peak.

Place in centre of oven (140c, gas 2) and cook for 4 hours, or until a skewer inserted in cake comes out clean. If cake browns too quickly lay a sheet of foil over the top.

Leave to cool in the tin and wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper and then foil and store in a cool place.

If liked, the cake can be sprinkles with sherry or brandy for one week before serving or icing.