Tangleby Christmas cake




Prep Time


Cook Time

This cake is incredibly easy to make. Make sure you feed it cherry brandy for at least 4–6 weeks to enhance the flavour and keep it moist.



For the Tangleby Christmas cake

  • 175g butter — diced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 400g mixed dried fruit
  • 150g glace cherries — roughly chopped
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup cherry brandy, plus extra to feed the cake each week
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs — beaten
  • 200g flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice


For the Tangleby Christmas cake

  • Combine the butter, sugar, dried fruit, cherries, cranberries, cherry brandy, lemon and orange zest and orange juice in a large saucepan.
  • Cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (140°C fan bake). Line a 21cm-diameter round cake tin with baking paper.
  • Add the ground almonds to the cake mixture then stir in the eggs.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and spices in a separate bowl. Fold into the cake mixture.
  • Transfer to the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C (130°C fan bake). Bake for a further 1–1½ hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • While the cake is still hot, use a skewer to make 12 holes all over the top. Drizzle with ¼ cup extra cherry brandy.
  • Allow to cool, then remove from the tin and wrap in baking paper then foil. Store in an airtight container.
  • Every week, feed the cake with 1–2 tablespoons of cherry brandy until you are ready to either eat or marzipan and ice the cake.