Homefood and drink

Classic Christmas cake food

Classic Christmas cake food
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Serves: 14
Time to make: 3 hrs, including cooling and icing

canola oil spray, for greasing
175g reduced-fat spread
175g soft brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 lemon, rind
1 orange, rind
2 tablespoons ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruits such as currants, cranberries
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3 tablespoons treacle
25g blanched almonds (optional)
3 tablespoons brandy (optional)
3 tablespoons reduced-sugar jam
1 1/2 cups sugared fresh fruits (see instructions)

Step 1 Lightly grease and line base of a 24cm-round or square cake tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 160°C. Cream spread and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Step 2 Fold in flour, lemon and orange rind, almonds and mixed spice. Carefully fold in dried fruits and chocolate chips.

Step 3 Stir treacle through. Spoon into prepared tin and level surface. Add almonds (if using), arranging them on cake surface. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and firm to touch.

Step 4 Allow cake to cool before removing from tin. Make small holes over surface of cake with a skewer, then drizzle brandy over (if using). Leave to cool. Serve as is, or cover with warmed jam, then ready-rolled icing. Top with sugared fresh fruits.

HFG tip

See our cake-baking tips, for perfect cakes every time.

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