Christmas Cake with a Twist

Our traditional Christmas cake is moist, rich, and has a touch of indulgence with the addition of dark chocolate. Split the batter into 3 or 4 smaller tins and you’ve got a gorgeous cake for gifting. Wrap in simple fabric and adorn with a few flowers for the perfect sustainable gift this Christmas.


  • 260 min
  • Makes 23cm Cake
  • Easy


1.5kg Cake Mix:

250g Select Dates, chopped

100g  Sultanas

250g Raisins

300g Figs, chopped

200g Currants

200g dark chocolate drops

100g Crystallized Ginger, diced

1/2 cup sherry

1 lemon, finely grated zest

1 orange, finely grated zest

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

250g butter, softened

1 Tbsp treacle

5 eggs

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp of ground allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, and nutmeg



One to two days before the cake is to be made, put all the dried fruit (except the ginger) and the chocolate into a bowl and add the sherry. Cover with a plate. Stir the fruit a couple of times a day and leave the bag in a warm place until the sherry has been absorbed by the fruit. Add the ginger and mix well.


Preheat oven to 150°C and double line a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Place the lemon and orange zest, the sugar, and the butter into a food processor. Process until light and creamy.


Add treacle and mix again. Add the eggs, one at a time, with a tablespoon of the measured flour between each egg.

Mix the rest of the flour with the spices and fruit in a large bowl.


Tip the creamed mixture into the floured fruit and mix until the mixture is soft enough to drop from the spoon. If the mix is too dry, add up to 1/4 cup of sherry or another spirit.


Put the mixture into the prepared tin and bake at 150°C for one hour, then at 140°C for approximately three hours, until a skewer in the center of the cake comes out clean.


Optional: Dribble 1/4 cup of alcohol (whiskey, rum or brandy) over the top of the cake whilst the cake is hot.

Leave in the tin for an hour before turning it out.


Storing and maturing

It’s ideal to make your Xmas cake two to three months before you’ll serve it. You can “feed’ your cake every fortnight by drizzling over 1-2Tbsp of rum, brandy or whiskey. This helps to develop a deep, rich flavour and keep it moist.

Ensure your cake is tightly wrapped in baking paper and then foil.

The cake will also freeze well for up to 6 months.


Note: Time does not include the preparation of the fruits & sherry which should be done 1-2 days before baking.


Kelly Gibney’s version inspired by Julie LeClerc’s recipe