Christmas Fruit Cake

No Christmas is complete without a Christmas cake!

And definitely not complete without MY Christmas cake. It is perfect for those non alcoholics, it doesn’t take hours of preparation and cooking time like any other Christmas specialty so it is perfect for last minute Christmas get togethers and you want to whip up something real fast. This was my first time baking this little beauty and will definitely not be the last after the reviews I had received from a house full of hungry eaters!

You can either make 12-14 cupcakes or a rectangular cake tin with the batter. I chose to bake a cake, but you can bake either. If you get really excited then buying edible glitter, sprinkles or silver balls to decorate the cupcake is a really good idea. Or if you have a real passion for baking, you can use royal icing to make your own icing and using Christmas themed cutters cut your shapes and colour them using food colouring.

Ingredients:

200g brown sugar

160g plain flour

260g mixed dried fruit

200g unsalted butter

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/2tsp ground nutmeg

70g ground almonds

100mls of apple juice (use rum if preferred)

1/4tsp of salt

4 eggs

Icing

450g of icing sugar

155g unsalted butter

50mls of whole milk

2 drops of vanilla/almond essence

Edible Christmas decorations

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1. Soak dried fruit for 30 minutes in apple juice/rum. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius or Gas mark 5.

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2. Add sugar to the chopped up butter. Beat together using an electric whisk the sugar, butter until creamy.

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3. Break open your eggs one by one and add to mixture, mixing in between.

4. Sift the flour (to make cake fluffy), baking powder and ground nutmeg and hand mix the ingredients or mix using low-speed. Finally add the soaked mixed dried fruit and ground almonds mixing the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.

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5. Listen up here..this is the trick to make sure cake mixture doesn’t stick to tin after taking it out of the oven. Grease the tin using margarine and then dust the tin with flour and empty out of tin. Voila you have a non stick cake tin! Works like magic.

6. Fill the cake tin to about two-thirds full and bake for about 20 minutes. Take out of the oven when golden brown and the sponge has risen and springy when touched. Transfer to a cooling rack and then get cracking with the icing

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7.Now for the icing. Beat together the icing sugar and butter on low-speed. I find breaking the butter using your fingers and working it into the sugar for a couple of minutes pre using the electric whisk helps prevent icing sugar flying about the place. You don’t want a ”white christmas” looking kitchen.

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8. Add the milk and vanilla/almond essence to the mixture and mix until mixture is thick. You want the mixture to look like this. Do not over mix, a watery icing will only cause a lot of mess.

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9. Spread over the cake and voila there you have it. Add edible Christmas decorations for a festive touch.

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See wasn’t that hard at all! Now sit back and enjoy a slice with a cup of tea and put your feet up.

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