Last-minute quick-mix Christmas cake

A last-minute Christmas saviour, our moist fruited cake has all the flavour, but doesn't take the traditional time, so if you're running late with your preparations, then you can whizz this up in no time.

Cakes and bakes
Christmas cake decorating
A decorated Christmas cake National Trust Images / Stuart Cox
  • Preparation time 30 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 2 hours 20 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 8


  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 140g soft dark sugar
  • 140g unsalted butter – softened
  • 175g mixed dried fruit
  • 450g good quality mincemeat
  • 55g walnuts – chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp mixed spice
  • Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth and even.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface.
  5. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper and lay over the cake. Make a small hole in the centre of the paper to allow the steam to escape.
  6. Bake for 90-120 minutes, until the cake is firm and springy to the touch.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

If required, marzipan and ice the following day.