Frugal Christmas cakes

In the shops and online at approx £20!!!! See here for one I found and mine has a much higher proportion of fruit, butter, brandy that the one they have produced and I made mine for £4.07each and by the time I have marzipaned, iced and decorated, and placed in a box, it will still be under £5 each. I have family members wating for their’s every year and by the time they get it, it will be oozing with French Brandy and nothing like the dry affair you can buy in shops or online. Here the ingedients (all Tesco prices)

600g of naturally coloured glaces cherries -£3.00
500g of salted butter – £1.96
5 packs of Value mixed dried fruit – 5 X 65p – £3.20
500g of soft dark sugar – 99p
12 Value free range eggs (all small when I opened them so I used them all) £1.50
4 Value lemons, zested and the juice 89p
3 Value oranges – zested and the fruit – 49p
250 ml (third of bottle) of cheapest brandy £3.72
100g of mixed spice – 55p
Total – £14.80 and I made 4 cakes for £4.07each.

(I make the Royal icing and buy the marzipan later)

 Here’s what the ingredients look like. Some recipes will ask for raisins, sultanas, mixed peel and I just use the value packs of mixed fruit and I use a lot more than most recipes would put in.

 I also use a lot more glace cherries. I want my cake to be unctuous, buttery, and flavour filled.

 Notice how the cherries are really dark and have no colouring. I prefer my food that way.

You add the mixed fruit, the pack of sliced almonds and the zest of the citrus fruit to a bowl, add the fruit juice from the squeezed fruit.

 You then leave the whole thing overnight to absorb the fruit juice and brandy

 You will need to line the cake tins. I place the circular tins in the middle, cut the surrounding paper into a rough circle and them slice around it so it will fit into the cake tin.

 I then take all the other ingredients and mix them together in a big clean bowl or bucket if you don’t have a bowl.

 It is laden with fruit and nuts, brandy and butter and dark sugar. No expense spared as these are for gifts.

 Here is what they all looked like once the ingredients were poured into the lined tins. The little one will be cut into three cubes and decorated as three mini Christmas cakes for the little hampers that I make.

They all go into a warm oven, 150 degrees if you have a fan oven like I do. They take about four to five hours to cook, but I cook by eye and touch, when they are done – take them out.


6 thoughts on “Frugal Christmas cakes

  1. No stress here John, I barely go near a shop and just tinker around for a week in half term, It's cake day today, puddings tomorrow, make the hampers on monday and by Tuesday I'll be almost done. buy a bit and wrap a bit and I'm prepped in about 15 hours if I add them together


  2. Just to say that cming from a teetotal family, I have always replaced the brandy in the recipe with cold tea. Sounds weird – but it tastes just as good! [and costs next to nothing because there is always some lurking in a teapot anyway]
    blessings x


  3. I've been looking at christmas cake recipes but they (delia) ask for some many different and expensive ingredients that I've been put off so thank you for your simpler one and the break down of stages


  4. i adapted one from a few years back in a Tesco mag, as i dont like zest, itis scrummy, everyone loves it, my recipes is similar to yours will post later this week. I have to make a few more , i never thought of making it in a loaf tin, thanks for thwe idea, as i can do 2 that way and cut them in half to make 4 smaller cakes 🙂


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