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  • Writer's pictureJill Stewart

JILL BAKES | Classic Christmas Cake

Slice of Classic Christmas Cake covered in fondant icing

Resharing my classic Christmas cake recipe for you today - make the cake soon to give it time to mature and then decorate it closer to the big day, just add about a tbsp of brandy once a week!

Making your own is definitely worth it - so much nicer than shop bought.

You can decorate it however you like - you can use royal icing if you don’t fancy fondant.

Jill Stewart (@jillbakes_)

County Antrim Foodie


Makes one 8 inch cake

250g raisins

250g sultanas

15 glace cherries, halved

100ml brandy or cold tea

Zest and juice of 1 orange Zest and juice of 1 lemon 175g butter

1 tbsp black treacle

175g light brown sugar.

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

175g self raising flour

60g ground almonds

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp apricot jam

454g pack ready-to-roll marzipan

Icing sugar, for rolling

1 roll ready rolled fondant icing

Christmas cake covered in fondant icing and decorated with holly and a red ribbon


Bake the cake!

(Up to two months in advance)

Zest and juice the orange and lemon. Put in a large bowl with the sultanas, raisins and glace cherries.

Pour over the brandy, cover with clingfilm and soak for at least an hour or overnight if you can.

Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees fan.

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and black treacle in a stand mixer (or with an electric mixer) until pale and fluffy - about 5-7 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating in before adding the next one.

In another bowl, sieve in the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon and mixed spice. Mix thoroughly. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed butter gently until combined.

Pour in the soaked fruit and all the juices. Fold gently.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the surface with a knife.

Bake for around 2 hrs or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

If the cake is browning too much during cooking, cover with tin foil.

When the cake is cooked, cool for an hour in the tin and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Pierce the cake with a skewer and add another tbsp brandy to soak in.

Wrap in foil or clingfilm and keep until ready to decorate.

Decorate the cake!

(Up to one week in advance)

Heat the apricot jam for 45 seconds in the microwave and brush over the whole cake.

Dust a board with a little icing sugar, and roll out half the marzipan.

Cut out a circle using the cake tin as a guide. Roll out the other half of the marzipan into a long thin strip the depth of the cake.

Place the circle on the top, and stick the thin strip around the sides, pressing into place with your hands.

Let it dry overnight if you can.

Lay out the fondant icing circle. Set on top of the cake. Use your hands or a fondant smoother to smooth the tips and sides.

Tie a ribbon around the bottom and decorate however you like. I used these wee fondant holly leaves and berries.

A slice of moist fruit-filled Christmas cake served in a saucer with a spoon


Jill Stewart, from Portglenone, is a true Foodie who brings her passions together to create a unique balance of both healthy dishes and sweet treats on her Instagram social media blog, Jill Bakes.

Jill is passionate about creating and sharing recipes on her Instagram platform (@jillbakes_) which are easy to follow, quick to make and not using hundreds of ingredients! And with over 52,000 followers, a lot of people are enjoying Jill’s food journey.

Jill Stewart - a young woman with blonde hair and smiling, standing in the kitchen holding a whisk and bowl

The County Antrim lady has been a keen baker from a very young age, learning many skills from her late Grandma who was a fantastic baker.

Jill is a regular recipe contributor for Ireland’s Homes Interiors and Living magazine.

CLICK HERE to head over to INSTAGRAM to discover JILL BAKES - it is a fantastic blog where you'll discover enough inspiration to keep you baking and cooking for months!

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