Christmas cake

Lisa Harriss spiced Christmas cake comes studded with whole star anise and is choc-a-bloc with festive dried fruits
By Lisa Harris
Christmas cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 16
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 450 g soft margarine
  • 450 g soft brown sugar
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 110 g ground almonds
  • 1 lemon, rind and juice only
  • 1 orange, rind and juice only
  • 110 g glacĂ© cherries
  • 700 g mix of raisins, sultanas and currants
  • 110 g mixed candied peel

Tips and Suggestions

Add a glug of rum or whiskey to the dried fruit for a more festive feel. You can measure the dried fruit out into a bowl and add 50ml liqueur at the first step. It should have been absorbed by the time you come to add the fruit at the end.


1. Grease and line a 9" springform tin. Preheat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 4.

2. Beat the margarine until soft using an electric mixer. Add the sugar and cream the two together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs bit by bit, whisking and adding a little flour as you go to hold the mixture together. Do not overbeat whilst adding the eggs you just want to combine the ingredients.

4. Once all the egg has been added, add the rest of the flour and give the batter a good beating in your mixer.

5. Sprinkle the spices, ground almonds, lemon juice, and lemon and orange rind on top of the mixture and fold in until evenly distributed. Add a pinch of salt for luck.

6. You can toss all the dried fruit in a handful of flour before adding it to the mixture, as that helps prevent the fruit sinking. Fold the dried fruit into the mixture and then pour the mix into the lined tin.

7. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 2 hours. Depending on your oven, the fruit cake may take a little more or less time. Test the cake after 1.5 hours by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the centre of the cake - if it comes out clean, it's ready. Leave to cool in the tin.

8. See our easy decorating guides below for inspiration on how to marzipan or ice your cake for Christmas.

How to make a modern Christmas cake
How to make an easy, fruity Christmas cake
How to make a classic family Christmas cake

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