Classic Christmas cake

Orange liqueur adds a delicious citrus flavour and tipsy richness to classic fruit cake in Eric Lanlard's gloriously indulgent recipe More Christmas cake recipes
By Eric Lanlard
Classic Christmas cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes two 22cm tins
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 24 hrs soaking
  • Effort: easy



  • 375 g golden raisins
  • 100 ml orange liqueur, plus extra for soaking
  • 4 eggs
  • 300 g plain flour, sifted
  • 375 g unsalted butter
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 375 g dried apricots, chopped
  • 375 g seedless sultanas
  • 200 g mixed peel, chopped
  • 100 g glacé cherries
  • 150 g walnut halves
  • 150 g whole toasted hazelnuts, roasted

Tips and Suggestions

Decorate the cake with Eric Lanlard's Christmas cake icing recipe


1. Place the raisins in a bowl. Add in enough Grand Marnier to cover the raisins, cover the bowl and set aside for 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.

3. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar.

4. Add the eggs one at the time. If the mixture looks like splitting, add in a bit of the flour.

5. Add in the sifted flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and Grand Mariner, mixing together.

6. Gently fold in the soaked raisins, dried apricots, sultanas, peel, cherries, walnuts and hazelnuts.

7. Spoon the cake mix into two greased and lined 22cm spring-form cake tins.

8. Bake the cakes for 2½ hours to 3 hours. To test whether the cake is cooked through or not, pierce the centre with a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked through.

9. Remove the baked cakes and cool on a wire rack. Once cool, spray with more alcohol and wrap in cling film. Keep the cakes in a cool dry place until decorating or icing them.

Rate This Recipe