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    Christmas Cake with Drambuie-Soaked Fruits

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      Christmas Cake with Drambuie-Soaked Fruits

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    Christmas Cake with Drambuie-Soaked Fruits

    This fruity cake benefits from being made 2-3 months before you want to eat it, so that you can 'feed' it with Drambuie to keep it moist and tasty. When ready to decorate, why not try using our 'singing robin' stencil, or shaped cutters, such as snowflakes or baubles.

    • Preparation time: 1 hour, plus overnight soaking
    • Cooking time: 3 hours to 4 hours
    • Total time: 4 to 5 hours, plus overnight soaking

    Makes: 25-30 slices

    Ingredients

    • 750g Waitrose Wholesome Vine Fruit Mix
    • 250g soft apricots, quartered
    • 200g tub Waitrose Italian Cut Mixed Peel
    • 200g tub Provençal Glacé Cherries, halved
    • 100g pitted soft prunes, quartered
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • 100ml Drambuie, plus extra to 'feed' the cake
    • 250g unsalted butter, softened
    • 200g dark muscovado sugar
    • 5 medium eggs, beaten
    • 300g plain flour, sifted
    • 200g walnut pieces
    • To ice the cake
    • 1kg Dr. Oetker Ready to Roll Regalice Icing
    • 500g pack Dr. Oetker Ready to Roll Coloured Icing
    • Icing sugar, for dusting
    • To marzipan the cake
    • 4 tbsp apricot jam
    • 500g pack Waitrose White Marzipan
    • Icing sugar, for dusting

    Method

    1. Place all the dried fruit in a large bowl then stir in the grated orange zest and juice, and the Drambuie. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
    2. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square (or 23cm diameter round) cake tin with baking parchment so it stands 5cm above the top. Use string to tie a double thickness of baking parchment around the outside of the tin. This will help prevent the cake from drying out during cooking.
    3. In a large bowl, use a hand-held electric whisk to beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the beaten egg, a little at a time. If the mixture begins to curdle, add a spoonful of flour with the last few additions of egg.
    4. Add the soaked fruit and walnuts, with any remaining liquid, then mix well. Fold in the rest of the flour. Spoon into the cake tin, then use a round-bladed knife to level the top of the mixture. Stand the tin on a tray and bake for 3-4 hours until cooked through, covering the top of the cake with foil if it starts to over-brown. To check that the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into its centre: if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
    5. Remove the cake from the tin and store in its lining paper, wrapped tightly in foil. Keep in a cool place. Feed the cake every few weeks by unwrapping it, making small holes in its top, then drizzling with a couple of tablespoons of Drambuie. This will help to keep the cake moist and add extra flavour. If the cake has domed in the centre during baking, neatly slice off the top before covering with marzipan. To ensure a completely flat surface for decorating, turn the cake upside down before covering with marzipan and icing.
    6. To marzipan the cake: in a small saucepan, warm the jam with 1 tablespoon of cold water then sieve to get rid of any lumps. Place the cake on a board and brush with the warm jam. On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to a 35cm square. Lift the marzipan over the cake and ease to fit smoothly around the sides. Trim off any excess. (If you don’t want to ice the cake straight away, cover with clingfilm to prevent the marzipan from drying out and store in a cool place for up to a week.)
    7. To ice the cake: first, lightly brush the marzipan with water. On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the Regalice icing to a 35cm square. Lift the icing over the cake and ease to fit smoothly around the sides. Trim off any excess. Dust your palms with icing sugar and gently 'polish' the surface of the icing with the heel of your hand to smooth out any creases. Wrap any leftover icing in clingfilm to decorate the top of the cake.
    8. Making the decorations: if you are decorating with the 'singing robin', download the stencil from waitrose.com/singingrobin and follow the instructions. If using your own shapes or patterns, remember to brush the pieces of icing with cooled boiled water before placing them on the cake.
    9. Finishing touches: place a metre of ribbon (silver or red) around the cake and fix with a little of the reserved icing on the ends. Once decorated, cover the cake loosely with clingfilm and store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks before Christmas.

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