apricot and brandy christmas cake


Tweaked a little from the original Mary Berry recipe.  All I've really done is put more brandy in (and on) it and left it to mature.  Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe.  I was sure I'd posted this here before but couldn't find it when I searched.

   300g/9oz dried apricots, chopped
225g/8oz currants
225g/8oz sultanas
225g/8oz raisins
90ml/3½fl oz brandy (or lots, lots more! I use enough to cover the fruit, about 300ml)
225g/8oz butter, at room temperature
225g/8oz light muscovado sugar
225g/8oz plain flour
4 large eggs
350g/12oz glace cherries, halved, rinsed and dried
2 oranges, grated zest only


  1. Soak the chopped apricots and all the dried fruit (but not the cherries) in the brandy overnight or, if following my instructions and using lots, lots more leave for several days or a week or so (keep the bowl covered with cling film). 
  2. When it's been soaking long enough and you are ready to make and bake the cake, Grease and line a 20cm/8in-deep round cake tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper or parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a very large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, including the dried fruit mixture, and continue to mix until well blended. 
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon. Cover the top of the cake loosely with a double layer of greaseproof paper. 
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 3½ hours or until the cake is a pale golden colour, feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake and if it is getting too brown, cover it loosely with foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out.

Optional: put it on a double layer of foil with enough over to wrap around it. Pour even more brandy over it and wrap the foil over it to seal.  Put in an airtight container and leave to mature.

This will keep for ages - a year or more - if you occasionally poke holes in it with a skewer and pour more brandy over it.

4 comments to this

ramtops said on 06 Nov 2006 at 07:37:03:

that looks good - I might make that this year!

jacqi said on 02 Sep 2007 at 14:50:45:

I've just started two of these for this year. I'm making two because people always ask for some. There will be a slight difference between the two and I'm curious to see if one is nicer than the other. I had two different packs of dried apricots. One pack were 'soft apricots' and were whole (I chopped them up) while the other were 'dried chopped apricots' and looked very different - much drier and darker. I was going to mix them but decided to make one cake with soft and one with the other. I've used about two thirds of a bottle of brandy for the two mixtures and will leave it to soak for most of this week.

cranmere said on 08 Dec 2012 at 12:20:31:

I've put dried apricots into my fruit cakes for a long time, if I'm soaking the fruit I use the traditional dried ones, not the soft ready-to-eat type. This recipe looks delicious, off to give it a try.

cranmere said on 17 Dec 2012 at 14:52:06:

An excellent, moist cake with just a touch of sharpness from the apricots.

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posted by jacqi on 05 Nov 06 - 13745 views


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