The Easiest Christmas Cake Recipe in the World: I know, I know, it’s early! But you can never be too organised. I always start my Christmas prep around now, it just feels right. Summer vacations are over, children are almost back at school and the Autumn term is about to begin. I’ve always been the sort of person that would rather do a little bit of Christmas prep a week rather than race around with the crowds in December. Plus, I save a fortune. So, this is the week to start thinking about your Christmas cake, if you’re making one. If nobody in your household likes Christmas cake (and it’s quite an acquired taste) just don’t bother. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than making something months in advance and them not even enjoying it! Just make a Christmas chocolate cake or something.
This is my favourite Christmas cake recipe, because it is also, guaranteed, hands down, the easiest. You don’t need a food processor, Kitchen Aid or pressure cooker. Just an 8 inch round cake tin and a large sauce pan! However, this year I’m trying something different. The lovely people at Salter have sent over their super high tech innovative recipe scale, also known as the Salter Cook 10kg Pro Bluetooth Kitchen Scale. This thing is just incredible. It’s a must-have for any avid baker. Teamed with the Salter Cook app, you can connect the two via Bluetooth and seamlessly weigh ingredients with your smartphone or tablet.
Revolutionise your cooking
This scale uses Bluetooth to connect to the Salter Cook app, where you can convert and collect your favourite recipes online and store them within the app – your personal cookbook! Syncing the scale to the app makes following your recipes much more interactive. Instead of using this kitchen scale in the traditional sense, the scale is displayed through the app on your smartphone or tablet. The interactive display shows you when you have reached your target and easily lets you change units or adjust the weight. Press and hold on a weight within the app and the scale will automatically set it as your target! Whilst this scale impresses most when used to weigh and adjust ingredients through the app, you can also use it as a standalone scale with the LCD display.
Save on the washing up with the add & weigh feature
Equipped with their ‘add & weigh’ feature, you can measure multiple ingredients in the same bowl. Zero the scale through the app or simply select the next ingredient you wish to weigh and the scale will automatically zero.
Aquatronic feature to help you measure liquids
This makes creating your own “Smoothies” category on Salter Cook much easier. Beautifully designed and exceptionally practical, the Salter Cook range brings new technology into the kitchen to make your cooking process much more interactive. The freedom to collect and create the recipes you want helps you make your own personal cookbook that you can easily access wherever you are.
The Salter Cook 10kg Pro Bluetooth Kitchen Scale is currently £79.99. Worth every penny, if you’re looking for your own personal interactive cookbook!
The Easiest Christmas Cake Recipe in the World
• 175g salted butter, chopped
• 200g dark muscovado sugar
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp ground mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground allspice
• 500g mixed dried fruit
• 1 tbsp honey
• 50g mixed peel
• 200g chopped glacé cherries
• zest and juice of 1 orange
• zest of 1 lemon
• 100ml brandy plus enough for a splash more every 2 weeks until the big day!
• 85g macadamia nut
• 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
• 85g ground almond
• 200g plain flour
1. Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and 100ml brandy in a large pan.
2. Bring to the boil, stirring until all of the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line a 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper.
4. Toast the macadamia nuts in a dry frying pan, keep a close eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly.
5. Stir the eggs, honey, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stirring them in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.
6. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan 120C and cook for another hour until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, then it’s done!
8. Make holes all over the warm cake with a skewer and spoon an extra 4tbsp of brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it’s cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking paper and then in foil.
9. This cake will keep in a cool cupboard for well over three months or you can freeze it for six months.
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I prefer my Christmas cake to not be iced, so I leave it plain and ready to serve with Brandy & vanilla butter.
However, if you don’t, you can also decorate way in advance, this cake will keep for months and months once decorated if you do the following:
Leave the cake to cool in its tin for as long as possible, to compress and level.
Don’t cut bits off (it breaks the seal). Instead, use small bits of marzipan to even out the cake where necessary.
Crumb coat with jam (not ganache or buttercream, which will go off quickly).
Coat with marzipan and leave to dry out thoroughly (at least 7 hours).
Brush with vodka or alcohol with a similar high alcohol content to adhere icing, rather than water which may introduce bacteria.
Let fondant dry thoroughly (several days).
Keep in a cool dry place (not the fridge, as fondant will sweat).
Now the cake is effectively sealed airtight in the marzipan and fondant. It’s perfectly fine to do all the don’ts if you’re going to eat it within a week or so, of course, just not if you need it to last for months.