Unlike me - who has a massive sweet tooth - my husband is not really a great lover of puddings and cakes, but there are two things he does enjoy immensely. They are trifle and fruit cake.
Of course, he is pretty happy whenever I get some baking done - and always loves a bit of homemade sweet stuff - especially if it means he gets some in his lunch box for work! As neither of us are particularly keen on Christmas pudding, I like to make alternatives - and for John, he's partial to a bit of homemade fruit cake.
Read on to see how I make my fruit cake - somewhat of a mix of different recipes alongside trial and error to get the best cake at the end!
Grease proof paper or baking parchment
225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
350g mixed dried fruit
100g glace cherries
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pre-made ready to roll icing
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/gas mark 3/320ºF.
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well in between each. If the mixture looks like it is beginning to curdle, simple add a tablespoon or two of the flour.
Fold in the flour and vanilla extract, and then beat until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Gently fold in the fruit and cherries with a wooden spoon until completely combined.
Line the cake tin with baking parchment, and spoon in the mixture, leveling off the top.
Bake the cake for 1 ½ - 2 hours until the skewer comes out clean when stabbed into your cake.
Once the cake is completely cool, spread marmalade all over the cake and roll out the icing to cover the cake.
It is your choice whether to decorate using edible or plastic decorations, but make sure it is as Christmas-y as possible... After all, it is a Christmas cake!
It's so simple to make - and you can add or remove certain fruits if you desire to fit your personal preference; just as I put in cherries for my hubby, and use marmalade instead of marzipan to seal the icing to the cake. Whether you choose to ice your cake, or simply eat it as it is, this is a great recipe to try at home.
For more posts about Christmas, visit the Christmas category page. If you have any questions about this recipe, which I have not covered in this post, feel free to ask in the comments section below.