Allyson Gofton - Bake the Christmas Cake now!

Publish Date
Friday, 18 November 2016, 2:06PM

Hi it’s Allyson Gofton here, Christmas they say comes but once a year, and for fruit cake lovers Christmas is not that far away; time to get the fruit marinated and cakes baked. This year I have two fruit cakes for you, Tui Flower’s classic cake and my gluten free fruit –laden cake. Both are great. 

Tui Flower's Christmas Cake


  • 3 cups currants
  • 3½ cups raisins
  • 1¼ cups sultanas
  • ½ cup dates, stoned and chopped
  • ½ cup each crystallised ginger, and crystallised cherries chopped
  • ½ cup crystallised peel
  • ¾ cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • ½ cup dark coloured seedless jam
  • ½ cup crushed pineapples including the juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ¼ teaspoon each almond essence and lemon essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
  • 250 grams butter, softened
  • 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature and 3-4 tablespoons brandy


  1. Line the base and sides of a 22cm round or square cake tin with 2 layers of brown paper and one layer of baking paper on the inside. Preheat the oven to 120-130°C. Set the oven rack just below centre in the oven.
  2. Toss the currants, raisins, sultanas, dates, ginger, cherries, mixed peel and almonds with the orange juice, jam, pineapple, vanilla, almond and lemon essences. If wished cover and stand overnight.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together twice to ensure the spices are well mixed into the flour. Mix 1 cup of the flour into fruit.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until light in colour and very fluffy and creamy in texture. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gently mix the fruit and flour into the creamed mixture. Press firmly into the prepared tin, making sure you have the mixture well pushed into the corners so that the cooked cake has a good shape.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 hours or until cooked. Leave the cake to cool in the tin before removing. Brush the brandy over the cake and wrap the cake- and baking papers - in foil and store in an airtight container. Preferably store for 4-6 weeks before cutting to allow the flavours to mature and the cake to ‘set’ so that it cuts well and does not crumble.


Gluten Free Christmas Cake


  • 250 grams butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup brandy or sherry
  • grated rind and juice 1 orange
  • grated rind and juice 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 600 grams ground almonds
  • 500 grams raisins
  • 250 grams currants
  • 250 grams sultanas
  • 125 grams mixed peel
  • 125 grams glace cherries, chopped


  • nuts and glace fruits, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Set the oven rack just below the centre. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin well. Line the base and sides with two layers of brown or baking paper. Wrap the outside of the cake tin in several layers of newspaper.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and honey together until the mixture is very light and creamy. Beat in the egg a little at a time; do not rush or the mixture will split. Stir together the brandy or sherry, essences, baking soda and orange and lemon rind and juices.
  3. Into the creamed mixture stir in the ground almonds and dried and glace fruits with the brandy or sherry mix. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin. Decorate the top with nuts and or glace fruit if wished.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 3½ - 4 hours, or until a cake skewer inserted comes out clean. If the almonds begin to brown too much, cover with a piece of baking paper. Remove from the oven, cover with a light, clean tea-towel and set aside until completely cold before lifting the cake out of the cake tin so as not to disturb the almonds on top from the cake.

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