Christmas Cake Spices

Christmas cake has its roots in the Middle Ages, from two very different dishes eaten around Christmas time: plum porridge and the Twelfth Night cake (eaten on the 5th of January). It was in the 16th century that the oats in plum porridge were replaced by butter, flour and eggs and that richer families began to bake rather than cook or steam the mixture. It evolved further when dried fruit and spices (symbolic of the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men) were added and, with the decline in popularity of celebrations of the Twelfth Night, eventually people started eating Christmas cake on Christmas Eve.

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Christmas cake has its roots in the Middle Ages, from two very different dishes eaten around Christmas time: plum porridge and the Twelfth Night cake (eaten on the 5th of January). It was in the 16th century that the oats in plum porridge were replaced by butter, flour and eggs and that richer families began to bake rather than cook or steam the mixture. It evolved further when dried fruit and spices (symbolic of the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men) were added and, with the decline in popularity of celebrations of the Twelfth Night, eventually people started eating Christmas cake on Christmas Eve.

CHRISTMAS CAKE SPICES (1 portion = 2 tbsp): Coriander, cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, green cardamon, bitter orange

Allergens are listed in CAPITALS. May contain traces of celery, sesame and mustard

Christmas Cake Recipe:

PREP: 5 mins plus overnight soaking
COOK: 3 hrs 30 mins
HEAT 1
MAKES: 1 large Christmas cake

You need:

225g butter plus extra for greasing - softened
4 large eggs
900g mix of sultanas, raisins and currants
100g glacé cherries
100g mixed peel
200ml brandy, sherry or marsala plus extra for 'feeding' the cake
200g soft dark brown sugar
300g plain flour
80g whole blanched almonds
1 portion of CHRISTMAS CAKE SPICES (1 portion = 2 tbsp)
Marzipan and fondant icing to cover the cake

Method:

Soak the dried fruit, glace cherries and mixed peel in 50ml brandy overnight
The next day preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
Grease and line a large cake tin with baking parchment
Beat the butter with the sugar until paler in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined
Fold in the flour, almonds, a pinch of salt and CHRISTMAS CAKE SPICES very gently to keep it light and airy
Stir in the soaked fruit until evenly distributed
Scoop the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Turn the heat down to 150°C/gas mark 2 and bake for a further 1 1⁄2 hours or until the top is firm and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean
Leave to cool then remove from the tin and spoon over 75ml brandy
Once absorbed turn upside down and spoon over the remaining 75ml brandy
‘Feed’ the cake by spooning over a couple of tbsps of alcohol once a week right up until Christmas (keep it covered with baking parchment and tinfoil so it doesn’t dry out)
Allow the cake a few days without any additional brandy before turning right side up and decorating with marzipan and icing

Packaging format: 

All our spicestore ingredients are now sold as refills and come in compostable bags (made from wood pulp), so just decant the contents into your existing spice jars or Spicery stackable tins and dispose of the bag in your compost and food waste bin!

You can find our stackable tins here

You can read all about our efforts to reduce plastic waste in our packaging blog here

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