Irish Christmas Cake

Irish Christmas cake is shared and adored in every Irish household over the holiday season! The cake can be made up to 3 months in advance and is left to mature and develop flavour. This year I made my Christmas cake at the start of November and whilst I have not tasted it yet, it looks pretty good so I’m sharing the recipe. Measurements of fruit and alcohol are estimated because I kind of eyeballed it!

Ingredients:

450g Plain flour
2 teaspoons Mixed Spice (or as much as you can handle!)
225g Brown Sugar
225g Butter/Margarine
About 600g of dried fruit. I use 2 bags of mixed fruit (sultanas/raisins/mixed peel an 2 tubs of cherries.
2 eggs
About 300ml of Guinness
2 teaspoons Vanilla essence
1 orange

Put fruit (excluding cherries) in a bowl and pour orange juice over it. Leave to soak.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Whisk eggs and stout together.

Sieve in some flour to the mixture and add some of the egg and stout. Mix.

Repeat until you have used all of the flour, egg and stout.

Add in fruit, vanilla essence and mixed spice.

Add the juice of half an orange and the zest of one orange.

Put in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins and then reduce to 160 degrees for 90 more minutes.

Once out of the oven immediately pour some brandy over the top and cover to keep moist. Leave to cool.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and tinfoil and put in a cake tin. Check once a week.