Mulling spices cake

A festive cake from Rachel Allen that has all the spicy, fruity, boozy flavours of Christmas, but is much lighter than a traditional rich fruit cake
By Rachel Allen
Mulling spices cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 125 g mixture of dried fruit, such as raisins, sultanas, currants, chopped dates and chopped dried apricots
  • 75 ml Cointreau, brandy or whisky
  • 1-2 tsp mulling spices
  • 200 g butter, room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Tips and Suggestions

A pack of mulling spice can be brought from most good supermarkets. In general, the mix includes allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and star anise.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line the base of a 20cm round, deepish cake tin with greaseproof paper and rub the sides with a butter wrapper to grease it.

2. Place the dried fruit, alcohol and mulling spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Let the mixture simmer for a few seconds, then pour it into a bowl and allow to cool.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, tip in the sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add the oil followed by the eggs one by one, beating all the time (I usually do this in a food mixer, but an electric hand mixer is just as good). Next, gently stir in the sifted flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and the cooled fruit and liqueur mixture.

4. Transfer the cake batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool slightly before removing the cake from the tin then finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust generously with icing sugar when cold.

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