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Our Secret Christmas Cake Recipe

Christmas cake should be rich and spicy; bursting with boozy fruit but never heavy. After all, you need to leave room for a mince pie afterwards!

Tip: Make this cake as early as possible so that you can feed it with 1-2 tablespoons of alcohol every fortnight in the run-up to Christmas.



  • 4tbsp brandy
  • 2tbsp Cointreau
  • 8oz/225g currants
  • 8oz/225g sultanas
  • 8oz/225 raisins (stoned)
  • 4oz/110g cherries (halved)
  • 4oz/110g mixed peel (chopped)
  • 12oz/340g plain flour
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 4oz/110g ground almonds
  • 8oz/225g butter
  • 8oz/225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp gravy browning (optional)



Step 1

The night before you start, soak the fruit in the brandy and Cointreau. Give these a good mix the next day when you’re ready to begin.

Step 2

Using a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, spice and ground almonds. In another smaller bowl or jug, beat the milk and eggs together.

Step 3

In a larger, warmed bowl, beat the butter and sugar until they’re light and creamy.

Step 4

Now it’s time to bring them together; alternate stirring in a little of the flour mixture and then the eggs and milk into the creamed butter and sugar until combined and smooth. Finally add the soaked fruit and mix thoroughly.

Step 5

If a darker cake is desired add a teaspoon of gravy browning.

Step 6

Use a large round cake tin (8-inch diameter) lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for about 4 hours in a preheated oven at 120C/100C fan/gas mark ½, then leave to cool.

Step 7

Don’t forget to feed it with more Christmassy alcohol every fortnight.

Step 8

Enjoy on Christmas day after a hearty lunch.

If you try this recipe, why not share it with a friend, and don’t forget to send us a photo over on our Facebook page, or email us at

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