Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

This Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake is a rich fruit cake recipe filled with fruit, almonds, and brandy. It’s the perfect traditional cake for your festive feast.

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Total: 4 hours 30 mins      Serves: 30


300 g glace cherries, quartered, rinsed, and drained
425 g currants
250 g raisins
75 g mixed candied peels, chopped
1 lemon grated zest
1 orange grated zest
150 g instant-dried apricots, cut into pieces
60g unbleached whole almonds, chopped
300 g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
4 tablespoons brandy, plus extra for feeding
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
300 g unsalted butter, softened
300 g black saffron sugar
5 eggs
1 tablespoon dark syrup


  1. Pull all the dried fruit and candied peel into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of brandy and mix well. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Preheat the Ventray Oven to 285°F. Put the rest of the ingredients except the almonds in a bowl and beat well with Ventray Stand Mixer. Stir in the soaked fruit and the nuts.
  3. Grease a deep tin with butter, line with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Level the top.
  4. Bake for 4 to 4.5 hours or until the cake is firm to the touch and is rich golden brown. Let the cake cool in the tin.
  5. Pierce the top with a skewer in multiple places, and pour over a little brandy.
  6. Take the cake out of the tin without removing the baking paper. Wrap with baking paper, and foil.
  7. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months to mature, occasionally opening the package and spooning in 1-2 tablespoons of brandy.
  8. Decorate the cake with frosted fruit, marzipan, or ready-made frosting.