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  • Jolly

Irish Christmas Cake

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

This recipe was given to me by an old Irish lady back in 1995! It makes a big, delicious Christmas cake that will last well until April! Yes, it’s full of booze and sealed with frosting, l kid you not, it lasts forever!

The measurements were given to me in ounces and pounds, so l converted them into the metrics system to be able to work them out.


340gr margarine

340gr soft brown sugar like demerara

453gr plain flour

2 level tsp mixed spices

1 pinch of salt

6 Tbsp black treacle

6 eggs

453gr currants

170gr mixed peel

75gr chopped almonds

453gr sultanas

170gr raisins

114gr glace’ cherries cut into quarters

Rind of 1 organic lemon (well washed)

1 cup of a mixture of guinness stout, whiskey and brandy - you may be needing more than 1 cup, as you need to cover all the fruit and almonds with that

1/2 a glass of whiskey to feed the cake once it’s done

1/2 a glass of brandy to feed the cake once it’s done

750gr of almond paste

750gr of roll on icing (sugar fondant)

1/2 a glass of vodka

3 Tbsp of orange marmelade, no peel

4 Tbsp of icing sugar

You will need:

A very big bowl - really big

A big bowl - glass or ceramic

A bowl where to sieve the flour in

A sieve

A long wooden spoon

A very tall cake tin with a diameter of 25cm (the kind with a detachable bottom)

A lot of baking paper

A lot of tin foil

A brand new big and clean plastic bag

A pastry brush

A rolling pin

Method - the day before:

In your big glass bowl, mix all fruit, the lemon rind and almonds with enough of the alcohol mixture so that it covers it completely, stir it well and cover. Let it rest overnight. Method - on the day:

Drain well the fruit mixture and set aside.

Take yor very big bowl and using your wooden spoon, beat well the margarine with the sugar until very soft, creamy and fluffy. It will change colour and will have increased in volume.

Add the treackle 3 Tbsp at a time. Sieve the flour and mix it with the salt and the mixed spices.

Add 1 egg and mix it very well, then add 1 Tbsp of flour, then another egg and 1 Tbsp of flour: continue adding eggs and flour in this way, and at the end add the remainder of the flour still one Tbsp at a time.

Add the fruit to the cake mixture one spoonful at the time mixing carefully each time.

Line the tin with your greasepfroof paper and brush it with some margarine. Turn the oven on at 200degrees C. Once the oven reaches temperature put the cake in the center and reduce the temperature to 170degrees. After half an hour reduce the temperature to 140degrees and bake for 4 and a half hours.

At this point try the cake with a long cocktail stick, it needs to remain clean after having it inserted into the center of the cake. If not, leave it to bake for another half hour and try again.

Take the cake out of the oven and leave it in the tin until it reaches room temperature, then push it up and out, turn it upside down and carefully lift off the greaseproof paper. Brush the bottom of the cake with whiskey, wait half an hour then wrap it tightly with plenty of greaseproof paper forming a tight parcel. Wrap it again in tinfoil a couple of times, then put it into a plastic bag and store it into a cool place. Feeding the cake:

After 1 week, unwrap the cake, side up make lots of deep holes with a long skeewer and then carefully wet it well with half a glass of whiskey, wait ten minutes and then wrap it well again as before.

After another week feed the cake again from the top with half a glass of brandy. Wait another week without doing anything to it if you have the time.

One week before Christmas:

Unwrap the cake, put it bottom up on a cake board and place it on top of a ramekin or something else that lifts the cake off the table and allows you to work well down through the bottom of the edges. Heat a little your marmelade and brush it over and all around, including the edges.

Take bits of the marzipan and cover any holes with it, including the bottom edges so that there is no air between the bottom of the cake and the cakeboard.

Knead well your marzipan, using icing sugar on the table to prevent it from sticking, roll it to 4mm thick to a size big enough to cover the cake including the edges then wrap it around your rolling pin and unroll it over the cake.

Starting from the top, smooth the surface with yor hands ensuring no air is trapped, then work the border and the edges in the same way, forming a tight parcel. Trim away any excess and ensure the cake is wrapped tight at the bottom.

Knead well your sugar fondant (again, use icing sugar on the table to prevent it from sticking) and roll it again to 4mm thick and to the same size as before. Brush quickly the cake covered with marzipan with vodka, including the edges, then using your rolling pin again cover your cake with it. Smooth it with your hands making sure no air bubbles get trapped, trim the excess and work well the bottom edges.

Your cake is now ready and you can start decorating it. Merry Christmas!

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