Time to Start Your Christmas Cake

Oh yes, really it is!

Now’s the time to prep your dried fruit and set it soaking.  In six weeks time it will be perfect to bake your cake with.

Of course if you’ve baked your Christmas cake with me before there’s the trusty original ‘Boozy Fruit’ soak.  This year I’ve come up with another two more versions for you to choose from, one uses different fruits for a different slightly tangier taste the ‘Jewelled Boozy Fruit’ version

and ‘More Fruit Boozy Fruit’ which is exactly the same taste as the original version but packed with 1/3rd more fruit.

Each set of Boozy Fruit will make 1 x 8″ round cake or 1 x 7″ square.  I’ll also be doing timings for dividing the cake mixture into smaller cakes too!

Original Boozy Fruit

200g raisins

200g sultanas

175g dried figs, chopped

100g dates, chopped

55g mixed peel

Jewelled Boozy Fruit

270g dried cranberries

300g sultanas

130g glace cherries, halved

100g apricots

100g dried cherries

30g mixed peel

More Fruit Boozy Fruit

300g raisins

290g sultanas

100g dried figs

100g dates

100g currants

60g mixed peel


1 cinnamon stick

Zest and juice from 1 orange

55g caster sugar

170ml brandy


Whichever you go for the method is exactly the same, here’s how:

Place the fruit into a large bowl, chop any figs/dates/apricots into smaller pieces before adding them to the bowl.

Add the grated zest of your orange plus a cinnamon stick.

Measure the orange juice – we need 55ml.  If you have more drain it off to the correct amount,  if it’s short then top it up with water.

Place the juice and the caster sugar into a small pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves – don’t let it boil.

Once the sugar has dissolved take it off the heat.

Measure the brandy into a jug and pour in the juice/sugar mixture.

Stir to combine and then pour the whole lot over the fruit.

Give it a good mix up and then transfer the boozy fruit to an airtight container (a 1.5litre one is just right)

For a week you will need to stir it every day, then for a further five weeks give it a mix up just once a week.  Believe me it’s worth it just for the smell of Christmas you get every time you open the lid!

Six weeks soaking and you will have the most fab fruit to make your Christmas cake with

Boozy Fruit Tips:

  • Store ideally in a kitchen cupboard or on the worktop as long as it’s not in direct sunlight.  It doesn’t need to be in the fridge, just somewhere at room temperature.
  • If you’re not keen on Brandy try it with your preferred alternative e.g rum
  • If you’re running late – a weeks fruit soaking is better than none and you will still come out with a lovely cake, the longer the soak the better the flavour.
  • If you prefer to make a cake that’s alcohol free make a syrup by heating 200g caster sugar with 200ml water, once dissolved pour over the fruit and then soak and stir as above.

and I’ll be posting the cake recipe up soon – now get mixing!

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire






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