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Rich Christmas Cake

Joya Roy | December 11, 2020
Rich Christmas Cake

Rich fruit cakes were originally eaten at parties on the 12th night after Christmas and were therefore called twelfth cakes. During the Industrial Revolution, the 12 days of Christmas became less important and people had to start working immediately after Christmas. With celebrations ending on 25th December itself, these cakes were then called Christmas cakes.

Baking a rich Christmas cake starts with the fruit soaking ceremony, a tradition that is followed world wide. It is a fun way to usher in the spirit of the festive season.


Raisins – 350 gms; chopped

Cherries – 50 gms; chopped

Currants – 150 gms; chopped

Walnuts – 75 gms; chopped

Rum or brandy – 200 ml

Butter – 150 gms

Brown sugar – 90 gms

Lemon zest – 1 tsp

Eggs – 2 (large)

Black treacle – 2 tbsp

Almond essence – ½ tsp

Flour – 150 gms

Almonds – 75 gms; ground

Cloves – ¼ tsp; ground

Cinnamon – 1 inch; ground

Ginger – 1 inch; ground


  1. Soak all dry fruits except for the walnuts in rum or brandy for three days before making the cake.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together and add the lemon zest.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
  4. Add black treacle and almond essence. Mix well.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together.
  6. Mix into the cake batter alternating with the soaked fruits. Combine well.
  7. Place the cake mix into a baking tin which has been doubly lined with butter paper.
  8. Bake at 160 degrees till a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Brush with some rum or brandy when the cake is still warm.
  10. Let cool. Wrap in foil and keep in an airtight container.

Bake this cake well in advance and feed it rum or brandy once a week. It will help build in the flavours and keep the cake moist. The cake can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of months.

A fruit cake drenched in rum or brandy is just what you need to make your Christmas special! Do share your experience of making this Christmas cake. Merry Christmas!


Joya Roy

Joya is a tea lady having spent more than 25 years of her life in the green vistas of the tea estates in North Bengal and Assam. During her novice days in the kitchen, cooking was more of trial and error born out of a desperate need to put something presentable on the table. Soon she learnt that cooking was as much an art, as a science.


Joya is extremely fond of baking and considers it a therapy. Baking brings immense pleasure, particularly when she shares her cakes, flans, biscuits and desserts with family and friends. The smile on their faces is both calming and rewarding. Joya says that it’s like creating magic in your kitchen – you start with some basic ingredients like flour, butter, sugar and eggs which transform into so many different delightfully sinful dishes. Baking is her go to and the secret ingredient is always love!

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