Stir up Sunday success!

So as I mentioned in my last post I spent some of Sunday making a Christmas cake.

Sainsbury’s sent me the ingredients and the recipe (which is also here if you want to have a go)- soaking the fruits overnight is optional but I prefer that as they plump up so well. I used cherries in place of the dried cranberries, as I prefer that, but you could use any dried fruit you like.

Looks like a lot of butter but it made two good sized cakes

The first step was to melt the butter and sugar together with orange juice and zest, brandy and dried fruits. I always use this technique when making brownies- I much prefer it to creaming butter, so for me this wins hands down and I think I will use it with other fruit cake recipes from now on. Plus you just have one pan to wash up after.

Then you let it simmer for ten minutes- the raisins swelled up so much and the smell was just wonderful.

Then you add in the flour, ground almonds, nuts, spices and eggs. I was worried it would not all fit in my pan but luckily it did.

Instead of making one large cake I have made two smaller ones- I baked them for about 1 hour 40 (the recipe suggests 2 hours for one large cake)- until the skewer comes out clean.

The tops of the cakes are so shiny and they look lovely and rich.

This evening I covered them both in marzipan, and will add some icing decoration later in the week once the marzipan has dried.

I must say this is the easiest fruit cake recipe- melting it all in the pan was just so simple- it does the hard work for you- plus it filled the house with the smell of Christmas. ย Using a pack of mixed dried fruits adds to the ease- I had to chop up the figs but if you wanted to use just small fruits then it would work just as well. As you all know I love making things anyway, so would always choose this over a shop bought one, but I think that if you were making a hamper for someone you could make smaller ones of these (just reduce the time slightly- The Pink Whisk blog has some great tips for cooking times for different tins) and I promise that the recipe is suitable for the beginner baker.

Have I tempted you to make one yet?

*Sainsbury’s provided me with the ingredients to make the cake, but all opinions are my own.

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14 thoughts on “Stir up Sunday success!”

  1. That does sound so easy! I love the sound of it. I adore fruit cake, especially with marzipan and icing. I like that you got two cakes out of it as well. Ideal gifts for people! Or just to eat yourself hehe.

  2. I always bake one with my Mum at half term but we don’t cover it until Christmas week. It’s a really good idea to make smaller ones to put into hampers for people though. I do like making Christmas gifts myself and putting together baskets of things for people.

  3. I wish I was way more organised when it comes to Christmas. I never do things in plenty of time, from cakes down to cards. Stupid thing is, I love the smell of a cake baking……. but then I love to eat it too :p

    1. I think it is not too time consuming- especially as the melting does the hard work for you. 10 mins for weigh out everything, 10 mins to heat, leave it to cool (while you get on with something else), 5 mins to mix and put in the pans, and then a couple of hours while they cook and again you can do something else. So actual prep time is maybe half an hour.

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