top of page
  • Writer's pictureJill Stewart

JILL BAKES | Jill’s Christmas Cake

My first festive recipe this year and it’s a classic Christmas cake - make the cake soon to give it time to mature and then decorate it closer to the big day... just add about a tablespoonful 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, and use royal icing if you don’t fancy fondant!

Jill Stewart (@jillbakes_)

County Antrim Foodie and Instagrammer


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


• 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.

• 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.


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 almost 48,000 followers, a lot of people are enjoying Jill’s food journey.

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!


bottom of page