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Is it really worth me making my own Christmas cake?

(31 Posts)
Thankyouandgoodnight Tue 28-Oct-08 09:48:38

Is it very time consuming and costly to make? I love the idea of it BUT....

My oven can overdo things sometimes
I have 2 under 2 grin
I will be the only one eating it unless friends pop round...

PenelopePitstops Tue 28-Oct-08 09:49:14

make mit make it make it

they last for aaages any way, and they are scrummmmy

BBBeeast Tue 28-Oct-08 09:50:29

yes yes yes

the only real hassle is the shopping. Low oven is a low oven.

please please do - it really is wonderful - I kind of healthy too - all that dried fruit.

go on go on go on!

BBBeeast Tue 28-Oct-08 09:51:19

plus having two under two you need all that cakey goodness and there is something so warm and glowy about the ritual of feeding it every week.


mrsgboring Tue 28-Oct-08 09:54:37

Oh yes, home made is much nicer IME.

If you're worried about your oven scorching it you can either:

1) (proper good little housewife method) wrap it in layers of greaseproof and tie brown paper round the outside of the tin, to protect it.


2) (lazy slattern method) make a square cake a bit bigger than you really want. Cut the burnt bits off the outside then ice.

Flum Tue 28-Oct-08 09:56:09


shhhh Wed 29-Oct-08 15:34:15

anyone have a recepie..? Ideally one that I can make and leave and keep adding booze grin between now and christmas day grin..?!!

ComeOVeneer Wed 29-Oct-08 15:36:14

I agree it is a lot of work, but really is worth it. My grandad makes mine more me, I received it yesterday so I just do the booze thing and then decorate it which is the bit I like.

clumsymum Wed 29-Oct-08 15:41:53

What a strange question....

If you enjoy the business of baking, and enjoy eating a cake you have made yourself, and saying to friends "would you like a piece of MY christmas cake?" then of course make one.

But if baking isn't your thing, or you think shop cake is just as nice as homemade, or you don't even eat cake, then don't.

We make 3 Christmas puddings each year. 1 for us, one to give to my sister for her family to have on Christmas day, and one to keep for that dank depressing weekend in february when you need a treat to get you thru the winter. We enjoy the whole process of making them, even the faff of steaming for 8 hours, water running down the kitchen walls & window.
But if we didn't enjoy that, and the pride in shaing the pud, then we would just buy one.

shhhh Wed 29-Oct-08 15:42:39

Cov, Can you beg a recepie off your grandad..? blush. For me...grin.

ComeOVeneer Wed 29-Oct-08 15:43:56

He uses delia's one

shhhh Wed 29-Oct-08 15:50:42

mmmwwahhh grin.
Thankyou grin. I know what I will be making this weekend...grin.

Thanks again, so when made you then add little holes and add booze..? What booze and how often..? Hic..Hic...wink.

Katisha Wed 29-Oct-08 15:57:06

This one is foolproof and as long as you keep the weights the same you can muck about with the dried fruit content eg miss out mixed peel if you don't like it and stick more sultanas in or whatever. I have just made it for the 5th year running. You need about 4 sep bowls - one for flour, one for eggs/treacle, one for fruit and one for beating the butter. That's the only faff. I also find with my oven it needs about half an hour less time so start sticking the skewer in a bit early.

10oz/275g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
8oz/225g butter
8oz/225g soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
8oz/225g sultanas
8oz/225g currants
8oz/225g seedless raisins
4oz/100g candied peel, finely chopped
4oz/100g glace cherries, halved
2oz/50g ground almonds
4fl oz/125ml brandy

8"/20cm cake tin, 3"/7.5cm deep - well greased and lined
Oven temp: Cool 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2, then 140C/275F/Gas Mark 1

Sift together the flour, salt and mixed spice, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. In another bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, treacle and lemon rind. Gradually beat the egg mixture into the butter and sugar, adding a little flour with the last few additions of egg to prevent the mixture separating.
Sift a few tablespoons of flour over the fruit, candied peel and almonds, and toss all together.
Fold the remaining sifted flour into the creamed mixture, then the fruit and nuts, and lastly the brandy. Mix all these very thoroughly together.
Turn the mixture into the prepared tin. Make a shallow depression in the centre of the cake so it will be level when cooked.
Bake in a preheated cool oven for 1hr 30, then lower the heat and continue baking for another 2 hrs 30. Test with a skewer - when it comes out clean the cake is done.
Cool the cake in the tin for 24 hours before taking off the paper. You can 'feed' the cake with more brandy at this stage before storing it in an airtight tin. If baked well ahead of Christmas it can be 'fed' again and returned to the tin until needed for decorating.

littlestrawberry Wed 29-Oct-08 16:15:19

I made mine for the first time last year, used Nigellas recipe and didn't find it hard work TBH. A bit of soaking the fruit, a bit of very relaxing stiring and hey presto you house will smell like christmas for hours while it cooksgrin

browntrout Wed 29-Oct-08 16:56:56

ive made 2 so far this week and doing another one next week! they do take up the oven for a long time but much better than bought ones as you can tailor it to your own tastes (more/less booze, nuts, to ice or not etc etc). they last ages and i make so many as i make a whole one for my DP (who works away during the week) who loves it and some for my mum and so on. it is very popular!

twoluvlykids Wed 29-Oct-08 17:01:39

make your own, definitely. I leave out nuts, as dd allergic - but she doesn't eat it anyway, and I never marzipan or ice it but it's always delicious with a lump of cheese.

I've been told that's a Yorkshire tradition, & I don't know anyone else except me who eats it that way. I'm not from Yorkshire - just fancied it one year.

shhhh Wed 29-Oct-08 17:25:08

cake and cheese....hmm. My BIL is exactly like you tlk grin.

He's not an "afters" fan and when he does has cake and cheese hmm. Dh & I take the p155 sometimes grin.

BTW, he's yorkshire born and bread...

ComeOVeneer Wed 29-Oct-08 17:27:16

The decorating is the reason I have a christmas cake. I peel the marzipan off though as I don't like it.

Katisha Wed 29-Oct-08 17:55:52

CoV not for you the rough iced snow scene with stick-in reindeer I suspect!

ComeOVeneer Wed 29-Oct-08 18:19:44

LOL, nope certainly not. Have already picked out the design I'm doing, have put it on my profile!

Thankyouandgoodnight Wed 29-Oct-08 21:02:44

I adore marzipan - that's my whole reason for Christmas cake in the first place!

MrsTweedy Wed 29-Oct-08 21:17:31

I can't eat Christmas Cake without cheese, it doesn't seem right. I'm from Yorkshire, it's lovely with a crumbly Wensledale.

Definitely make your own, it keeps for months.

Katisha Wed 29-Oct-08 21:43:36

It's a great design CoV but somehow to me the silver ckae looks out of place on top of the other one - it's like two completely different styles. Maybe it's because of the silver colour?

ComeOVeneer Wed 29-Oct-08 21:45:27

Yes I am just doing the bottom layer as I thought that too (plus I only have one cake).

I am tempted to try it with cheese this year (I assume you don't eat iced cake with cheese just plain?)

Katisha Wed 29-Oct-08 21:50:12

The bottom cake is great! I love fruit cake with cheese - especially Wensleydale.I think you would want to eat the icing on a separate occasion though. (Or maybe guzzle it first...)

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