World's best Christmas cake

About this recipe: With its two key ingredients - rum and butter - this Christmas cake recipe is a hit. It is less dense than your standard Christmas cake recipe - and a little more rum-soaked! If you can let the cake sit for the full 10 weeks - it is really worth it. It is delicious by itself, or covered with a layer of marzipan and icing. Prep time includes overnight fruit soaking.

Karen Uffelman

Ingredients

Serves: 10 

  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried mango
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed peel
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum
  • 125g butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup (60g) plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum, divided

Directions

Prep:1day  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1day45min 

  1. Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants and citron in 4 tablespoons rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Butter a 20cm round tin, and line with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with treacle and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared tin.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
  5. Cut out one piece of baking paper and one piece muslin or cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten muslin with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange muslin on top of paper, and turn the cake out onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the muslin closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.

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