On the first day of Christmas, I made a Chocolate Christmas Cake

Hello Dear Reader, 

I usually make very traditional Christmas cakes, properly iced and decorated, every year. I make one big one, then cut it up into four and ice and decorate individual ones. I keep one and give the rest away to family.

However, I find it a lot of hard work, especially in our crazy heat, at this time of year, so this year, I decided to take the easy road and make this Chocolate Christmas Cake. It is one of Nigella's beautiful cake recipes and it is a real winner. I made it last year for our work "Christmas Bake Off" and everyone loved it. It's everything you want a Christmas cake to be, rich and dark, moist and fruity with a hint of booze. And did I mention, easy, yes easy peasy. Its just a matter of mixing, melting, cooling, stirring and then baking. See, Easy!

Ingredients for Chocolate Christmas Cake, clockwise from top right 
150g plain flour, 75g ground almonds, ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 350g prunes, scissored or chopped, 250 grams raisins, 175 grams currants, 175 grams soft butter, 225 grams honey, 175 grams brown sugar, , 125 mls coffee liqueur, juice and finely grated zest of 2 oranges, 1 teaspoon mixed spice, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder/Cacao and 3 large eggs, beaten 

Preheat oven to 150 C. Grease and line a 23 cm springform tin with baking paper. Make the bottom layer a double one. This is a very dense, dark cake and it can catch, so having a double layer will lessen the chance of it scorching 

Put the fruits, butter, sugar, honey, coffee liqueur, orange juice and zest, mixed spice and cocoa powder/Cacao, into a large, heavy based saucepan 

Gently bring to the boil, stirring as the butter melts. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to cool for 30 to 60 minutes 

Meanwhile, beat eggs in one bowl and measure out dry ingredients in another bowl. Use a whisk to mix the dry in ingredients 

Once fruit mixture has cooled, add beaten eggs 

And give it a good stir 

Now add the mixed dry ingredients 

And again, give it a good mix 

Pour and scrape into prepared baking tin 

Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on how hot your oven is, every oven is different so start testing for "doneness" at 1 1/2 hours) 

As I mentioned this is a dense moist cake but you will know when it is cooked through. Take out of the oven and leave it in its tin to cool completely. Once cooled, remove from tin and wrap in a double layer of foil and store in an airtight container until needed. I don't decorate it, preferring it plain, just spruced up with a cute Christmas decoration placed in the middle of the cake 

So, tell me, do you make a traditional Christmas cake or something a bit different?


  1. Traditionally in Madeira, we do a Bole de Mel (Honey Cake). However the temperature in Australia makes it quite difficult to do this in summer time, it should really be done in winter. The cake lasts for over 12mths. I haven't made this cake for quite a number of years, as my family don't like fruit cake (Mum and I are the only ones who eat it), but I'm hoping to make some next winter, to give as gifts at Xmas time. Thanks for this recipe. Guida

  2. "Because it delights me...." Nigella (my favourite Nigella saying)


Back to Top