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    Delia's classic christmas cake recipe

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    Delia's classic christmas cake recipe

    ''This is my original Classic Christmas Cake that has been made by thousands of people over the last 40 years and it really has been an absolute winner with everyone. We have simplified it by making it all-in-one, so all you need to remember is to remove the butter from the fridge the night before, it really does need to be very, very soft.'' Delia

    Makes: approximately 24 slices


    • Before you begin:
    • You will need a 20 cm round cake tin, greased and lined with a double thickness of baking parchment, or Bake-O-Glide (trademark), and a spot of oil. To see how to line a cake tin with baking parchment please go to waitrose.com/How to videos. Tie a band of brown paper (or a double thickness of newspaper will do) round the outside of the tin with string for extra protection.
    • Prepared ingredients pack includes:
    • 450g currants
    • 175g sultanas
    • 175g raisins
    • 50g chopped glacé cherries
    • 50g mixed chopped candied peel
    • 100ml brandy (all above pre-mixed and pre-soaked in the pack)
    • 225g plain flour
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
    • ½ teaspoon ground mixed spice (the two spices are pre-mixed in the pack)
    • 225g soft dark brown sugar
    • 50g chopped almonds
    • 1 dessertspoon black treacle (The treacle will be easier to squeeze out of the prepared packet if you pop it in a cup of warm water for a few minutes)
    • You will also need:
    • 225g very soft butter
    • 5 medium eggs
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon
    • Grated zest of 1 orange
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • Armagnac or brandy, to feed the cake

      100g whole blanched almonds (only if you don’t intend to ice the cake)


    1. Preheat the oven to 140C, gas mark 1.
    2. Now all you do is sift the flour, salt and spices into a very large roomy mixing bowl then add the sugar, eggs and the soft butter and either whisk or beat with a wooden spoon until everything is light, pale and fluffy. Now gradually fold in the pre-soaked fruit mixture, chopped nuts and treacle and finallythe grated lemon and orange zests.
    3. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon and, if you don’t intend to decorate the cake with marzipan and icing, lightly drop the blanched almonds in circles over the surface.
    4. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double layer of baking parchment with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking). Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4 hours until it feels springyin the centre when lightly touched. Sometimes it can take 30–45 minutes longer than this, but in any case don’t look for 4 hours.
    5. To see how to line a cake tin with baking parchment visit Delia Online (this link opens in a new window).

    6. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it’s cold, feed it by making small holes in the top and bottom with a cocktail stick and spooning in a couple of tablespoons of Armagnac or brandy,then wrap it in double baking parchment secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight tin. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.
    7. Note for baking

      If you are using a fan oven, it’s useful to secure the baking parchment cover with a few paperclips. Please refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the cooking time and oven temperature.

      Click here for how to decorate Delia's Classic Christmas Cake.

      Recipe adapted from Delia’s Happy Christmas published by Ebury Press 2009 Copyright © Delia Smith 2010

    8. Lastly, click here to download the decoration template.

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    Additional information

    Iced cake nutrition listed above. For Almond-topped cake nutrition 307kcal/12.8g fat/5.6g saturated fat/0.4g salt per slice


    Average user rating

    4 stars