- 3 large eggs
- 300g plain flour
- 250g butter, softened
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 410g jar of mincemeat
- 3- 4 tbsp brandy (Can be substituted with orange, grape or apple juice)
- 500g dried mixed fruit, soaked overnight with a tbsp of brandy
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 20cm round or 18cm square cake tin, lined with baking parchment
- To ensure the cake is positioned centrally in the oven, put one of the shelves just below the centre of it. Set the oven to 140°C/280°F/Gas Mark 1.
- Lightly grease the base and sides of your chosen tin and line with baking parchment. To prevent the outside edges of the cake drying out, tie a double band of brown paper, 3cm deeper than the depth of the tin, around the outside of the tin.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the remaining brandy. Beat the mixture until smooth, then spoon it into the lined cake tin. With a wet spoon, press the mixture into the tin and smooth on top, so that it’s level then in the centre make a slight hollow as this will help the cake to have a level top when cooked .
- Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 3 – 3.5 hours, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake. If the top is getting too brown, cover with foil or greaseproof paper.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack. Leave the cake to cool for about 15 minutes, then spoon over the brandy. Leave it to cool completely in the tin.
- Remove the cake from the tin and wrap it in more baking parchment and then foil, and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, until ready to cover with icing and decorate. If desired once a week ‘feed’ the cake with a drizzle of brandy.
Soak your dried fruit overnight in a glass bowl if you’re choosing to make a non-alcoholic Christmas cake to avoid the cake being too dry. Keep the cake in an airtight tin and don’t feed the cake with brandy.