Grandma’s Christmas Cake, Part 1 – The Fruit

Now is, believe it or not, the perfect time to start making your Christmas cake. In fact, you’re already late! In an ideal, very organised world, my mum likes to have her Christmas cake baked by April/May so that she can feed it for a good few months, before icing it. First (before baking), the fruit needs to be soaked in brandy for a week or so. Throughout the next few months I am going to do step by step posts on making a Christmas cake, as I make mine. This recipe is my grandma’s recipe and whilst I never  got the chance to try hers (not in memory anyway), mum has made it every year and she is famous for it; I had friends at university begging me to bring some back with me after the Christmas holidays. It is boozy, decadent and every year my mum makes two, because the first one never makes it to Christmas day. This year I am making my own, as it is my first Christmas not living at home. I’m still going round on Christmas day, of course, but I’m excited to create my own Christmas too this year. Also, I’ve found the most amazing festive bundt tin and I will be making an almond bundt cake this year, for those crazies who don’t like Christmas cake (or greedies who want more than one cake – me!).

Christmas Cake Fruit

I’m going to attempt to make my Christmas cake with gluten free flour. I find gluten free cakes can be quite dry but given the amount of liquid (brandy) in this cake, I don’t see that happening. Fingers crossed it’ll work out. Eek!


  • 12 oz of currants
  • 10 oz of sultanas
  • 4 oz of seedless raisins
  • 2 oz of chopped glacé cherries
  • 2 oz of mixed peel
  • A bottle of brandy (not all to be used here, you’ll need some to feed the cake later too)


  1. Place all the fruit in a bowl and add a quarter of the bottle of brandy.
  2. Cover the bowl or place the fruit in an airtight container.
  3. Stir every day, adding a good splash of brandy each time until the fruit won’t absorb any more, about a week.
  4. Once that week is over it is time to make the cake and then spend many months feeding it (if necessary, this depends on how much brandy is in your fruit). Mum’s Christmas cake doesn’t usually need feeding much because there is most of a bottle of brandy in the fruit already.
  5. Stay tuned for the next step!

3 thoughts on “Grandma’s Christmas Cake, Part 1 – The Fruit

  1. Pingback: Grandma’s Christmas Cake, Part 2 – The Cake | Noisette

  2. Pingback: Grandma’s Christmas Cake Part 3- Icing the Cake. | Noisette

  3. Pingback: Christmas Cake – The Whole Story | Noisette

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