Christmas Cake with smooth marmalade glaze


I have made this same Christmas cake for  over thirty-five years!! I was given the recipe by a dear friend, Fiona James (Fi) and I usually make 4 and give the other three as gifts to close family or friends for Christmas. Everyone raves about this cake as it is moist and tangy and delicious. 


  • 1500 g packet of mixed fruit 
  • 120 g chopped dates
  • 250 g chopped cherries
  • 120 g glace fruit
  • 250 g brown sugar 
  • 500 ml water
  • 350 g butter
  • 30 ml orange juice
  • 10 ml orange rind 
  • 10 ml bicarb
  • 5 ml instant (Nescafe) coffee
  • 500 g cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 ml baking powder
  • 150 ml brandy (* or substitute with 120 ml extra orange juice if you prefer.)
  • Spices: 2ml ginger; 2 ml nutmeg; 5 ml cinnamon; 1 ml ground cloves; 5 ml mixed spice.


 1. Prepare the 20 cm cake tins by covering the base and sides with three separate layers of baking paper.

2. Place the mixed fruit, butter and water in a large saucepan and boil for 20 mins.

3. Remove from the stove and add the cherries, dates, glace fruit and peel. lastly add the baicarb and stir until the mixture foams up.

4.  Add lightly beaten eggs, brown sugar, dry ingredients, spices, coffee, orange juice and rind.

5. Lastly add 100 ml brandy reserving some to pour on after baking.

6. Pour into the prepared tins and bake @ 150 C for 2 and 1/4 hours

7. Cool covered with a cloth on a wire rack and then pour over the rest of brandy. 

8. Cover in foil and keep stored for 3 – 4 weeks, adding 2 tsp brandy weekly.


I usually decorate my cake a few days before Christmas. I rub smooth marmalade (or apricot jam) over the cake and then add red and green glacé cherries and pecan nuts.

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