Why not try this National Bakery School recipe for Christmas Cake?


  • for the cake:
  • 225 g dark brown sugar
  • 4 egg
  • 2.5 ml vanilla essence
  • 1.25 ml almond essence
  • 225 g butter
  • 285 g cream flour
  • 35 g ground almonds
  • 35 g glycerine
  • a half teaspoon mixed spice
  • a quarter teaspoon nutmeg
  • 300 g sultanas
  • 300 g raisins
  • 150 g currants
  • 150 g glacé cherries
  • 130 g mixed peel
  • 75 g dates
  • 75 g dried apricots
  • 50 g almonds nib
  • zest of one orange
  • zest of one lemon
  • 50 ml orange juice
  • 30 ml rum
  • 50 g grated apple
  • for the almond paste:
  • 450 g ground almonds
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 275 g icing sugar
  • 2 egg
  • a few drops of almond essence
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml brandy
  • for the royal icing:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 480 g icing sugar


  • Whisk brown sugar, egg, vanilla essence and almond essence to semi sponge – 3rd speed for 3 minutes.
  • Take 225g of the flour, all of the butter, the ground almonds and the glycerine and cream light – top speed. Scrape down. Add sponge in 5-6 additions. Clear between addition. Scrape down bowl.
  • Take the remaining flour, the mixed spice and the nutmeg and sieve. Add to the above mixture on 1st speed. Clear mixture.
  • Mix citrus zest, juice and rum through the fruits. Note: allow to mature for 2 days prior to use. Disperse the grated apple through the prepared fruit . Mix fruit into batter gently and thoroughly.
  • Prepare 9” round cake hoop/tin. Scale batter into prepared shape. Using back of hand flatten and smooth level.
  • Bake for 2.5-3hrs at 160° (bakery) or 125-140° (home).
  • To make almond paste:
  • Half the weight of cake = amount of almond paste required.
  • Mix dry ingredients with beater on 1st speed. Mix liquids together. Add to dry ingredients and mix on 1st speed until paste is formed.
  • Roll out two-thirds of the paste to cover the top of the cake. Pin out using a mixture of icing and caster sugar. Brush the top of the cake with boiling sieved apricot jam. Invert cake onto pinned out paste and push in to meet the sides. Roll out the remaining almond paste into a long strip approximately the height of the cake. Brush the sides with jam. Place paste around cake sealing joins with scraper or palette knife. Place on cake board and leave to dry overnight before icing.
  • To make the royal icing:
  • Beat the egg white and 320g of the icing sugar together until white and thick on 1st speed for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining sugar and beat until stiff. Keep covered to prevent skinning


Christmas recipes from the National Bakery School, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8.

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