Christmas Cake


250g/9oz gluten free/wheat free plain flour
1tsp gluten free/wheat free baking powder
1½tsp mixed spice
½tsp ground cinnamon
¼tsp ground cloves
50g/1¾oz ground almonds
350g/12oz each raisins, currants and sultanas
50g/1¾oz mixed peel
50g/1¾oz dried apricots, chopped
50g/1¾oz walnuts, roughly chopped
50g/1¾oz almonds, roughly chopped
250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
200g/7oz dark muscovado sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
5 large free-range eggs
100ml/3½fl oz brandy (plus extra for 'feeding')


Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

Grease and line the base and sides of a suitable cake tin.

Sift the gluten free/wheat free flour and baking powder, spices and ground almonds into a bowl, then add the raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, dried apricots, nuts and a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy and then beat in the eggs, one by one, adding a teaspoon of the flour mixture with each egg. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with the lemon juice and brandy.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top and bake for 2 hours. Then very loosely cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper and continue to bake for a further 45 minutes and test for readiness. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the sides have begun to shrink from the edges of the tin.

Remove to a wire rack. Once completely cold, wrap in foil and store in an airtight container until Christmas, removing every 2 weeks to 'feed'. Do this by unwrapping the cake, pricking the top with a long skewer and spoon over 1-2 tablespoons of brandy. Reseal as before.