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Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake Recipe

By on November 17, 2016
Mary Berry's Christmas cake

Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

Mary Berry's Christmas cake


  1. Raisins – 175 g (6 oz)
  2. Glace cherries, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered – 350 g (12 oz)
  3. Currants – 500 g (1 lb 2 oz)
  4. Sultanas – 350 g (12 oz)
  5. Sherry- 150 ml (¼ pint- plus extra for feeding
  6. Finely grated zest of – 2 oranges
  7. Butter- 250 g (9 oz) softened
  8. Light muscovado sugar – 250 g (9 oz)
  9. Eggs – 4
  10. Black treacle – 1 tbsp
  11. Almonds chopped – 75 g (3 oz) blanched
  12. Raising flour – 75 g (3 oz) self
  13. Plain flour – 175 g (6 oz)
  14. Mixed spice – 1½ tsp
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To finish and decorate Mary Berry’s Christmas cake:
About 3 tbsp apricot jam, sieved and warmed
Icing sugar
Almond paste – 675 g shop-bought
Packet royal icing mix to cover 23 cm/9 in cake


  • Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry and stir in the orange zest.
  • Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily.
  • Grease and line a 23 cm (9 in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 140 C, 120 C fan, gas 1.
  • Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well.
  • Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended.
  • Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
  • Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown.
  • Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil.
  • A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
  • When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry.
  • Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of grease proof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don’t remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)
    Decorate with almond paste and royal icing.
  • To prepare the Christmas cake ahead: Prepare the fruit and soak in sherry 3 days ahead – this is essential to plump up and flavour the fruit.
  • Make the cake and wrap as in stage 4. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, following stage 4.
  • You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature. Recipe taken from Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, available from Amazon,

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