Traditional British Christmas cakes are fruit cakes that are covered in an almond layer and finished with icing. This recipe is an adaptation of a fruit cake recipe. Although this cake will take days to finish it is well worth the effort. You can decide between Royal Icing and Fondant Icing for your preferred finish.
- Vegan Margarine - 10 ozs (1 ½ Cups)
- Caster Sugar - 3 ozs (½ Cup)
- Soft Light Brown Sugar - 3 ozs (½ Cup)
- Self Raising Flour - 12 ozs (2 ½ Cups)
- Mixed Dried Fruit - 11 ozs (2 Cups)
- Egg Replacement - 2
- Ground Nuts - 3 ozs (½ Cup)
- Lemon Juice - 1 Tsp
- Glacé Cherries - 3 ozs (¼ Cup), Finely Chopped
- Mixed Spice - 1 Tsp
- Ground Nutmeg - 1 Tsp
- Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp
- Baking Powder - 2 Tsp
- Vanilla Essence - 2 Tsp
- Mixed Peel - 1 oz (30g)
- Sherry - 2 Tbsp
- Brandy - 2 Tbsp
- Apricot Jam - 3 Tbsp, For Covering
- Water - 3 Tbsp, For Covering
- Icing Sugar - Sifted, For Rolling Covering Out On
- Ground Almonds - 6 ozs (1 ½ Cups), For Almond Layer
- Icing Sugar - 6 ozs (¾ Cup), Sifted, For Almond Layer
- Caster Sugar - 6 ozs (¾ Cup), For Almond Layer
- Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp, For Almond Layer
- Vanilla Essence - 1 Tsp, For Almond Layer
- Icing Sugar - 24 ozs (6 Cups), For Royal Icing
- Egg Replacement - 2, For Royal Icing
- Water - 2 Tbsp, For Royal Icing
- Icing Sugar - 16 ozs (4 Cups), For Fondant Icing
- Egg Replacement - 1, For Fondant Icing
- Olive Oil - 1 Tsp, For Fondant Icing
- Into a bowl put the mixed dried fruit, mixed peel and cherries, add the sherry and leave to soak for at least three hours.
- Preheat oven to 140c, grease an 8 inch cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
- Sift flour and mix ground nutmeg, mixed spice and baking powder into a bowl.
- Into another bowl, cream the margarine and sugars together, add egg replacer, lemon juice and olive oil then whisk well together.
- Gradually fold in flour mixture.
- Stir in the ground nuts and add the bowl of mixed fruit, mix well together.
- Pour into the lined cake tin and flatten the top.
- Cook for two hours at 140c, then turn up to 160c for a further 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and then remove from tin.
- Prick the cake all over with a skewer and pour the brandy over it.
- When you are ready to cover the cake, make the almond layer by placing almonds, caster sugar and icing sugar into a bowl, and add lemon juice and vanilla essence.
- Gradually mix in the egg replacer to form a sift looking dough, knead gently.
- Into a saucepan place sieved apricot jam and water, heat gently until melted.
- Turn the cake upside down (as the bottom is flatter) and cover all over with the jam mixture.
- On a sifted icing sugar surface roll out almond dough and cut into a circle larger than the top of the cake, brush the jam mixture on top of the circle and place on cake.
- Cut out a strip the size of the cake’s edge and brush with the jam mixture and wrap around the cake.
- Press the edges of the strip and the circle together to form a neat joining. Leave in fridge overnight.
- If you are making your own Fondant Icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add enough egg replacer and olive oil to form a dough. Place onto a sifted icing sugar surface and roll out to a size large enough to cover the cake top and sides. Pick up and place over the cake letting the edges fall down the sides, gently press down.
- Cut away any extra icing and leave the cake in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
- For Royal Icing, place the sifted icing sugar into a bowl and mix in egg replacer, gradually add water to form a thick mixture.
- Decorate the cake with the icing sugar and leave in the fridge to set overnight.
TIP: A cake tin with a detachable bottom is best.
TIP: This cake can be made 4 – 12 weeks before it is needed and kept in an airtight container. If you do this, sprinkle a little brandy over the top now and again.
TIP: Covering the cake with the jam mixture is best done using a pastry brush.
TIP: Depending on what type of finished look you are after, either use fondant icing for a smooth effect or royal icing for a more modern creative look, which ever one you decide on finish the cake off with some festive decorations.
TIP: Any extra icing can be cut out to make decorations for the top of the cake.