Grandma's Best Christmas Cake

READY IN: 3hrs 45mins
Recipe by JoyfulCook

This delightful Christmas cake is traditionally rich, moist and full of flavour, it's probably as old as the hills! It came from my mother's old hand written recipe book written well before the last World War. Mum told me that she got it from her mother and even then it was called mums best Christmas cake - so we wonder just how many generations this goes back. If only recipes could talk what tales they could tell. The only alteration I have made to this cake is to cut the eggs down from 6 to 5 as eggs these days are so big compared to years ago. The ingredients were carefully saved over a few months as rationing was on for many years and this cake always took pride of place for afternoon tea on Christmas day. This cake is so well worth taking the time to make it, I have cut down the amount of eggs to 5 as eggs these days are so much larger than they used to be.

Top Review by Dee514

11-14-2013: I made Joy's recipe today, exactly as written. It came together easily, and smells heavenly. I baked it in my 8 x 3-inch springform pan at 302 F. I made a 2 inch collar for the pan by tying a doubled piece of baking parchment to the outside of the pan. The cake did rise above the pan, but stayed about an inch below the top edge of the collar. I baked it for 3 hrs and 20 min. I checked the cake at 2 1/2 and 3 hours. Both times there was still wet batter on the stick, 20 min later, the stick came out perfectly dry. I will update my review after I taste the cake on Christmas day. :)<br/>12-21-2013 Pricked cake top with a metal skewer, and brushed the top with a 1/3 cup 'good brandy'. :)<br/>12-5-2013 - I turned the cake over to let the brandy soak back to the other side. :)<br/>12-18-2013 I have covered the cake with marzipan and the traditional red ribbon and bow. I will cut a sprig of holly from my daughter's garden (my holly is currently buried under snow) to place in the center of the cake before serving for dessert on Christmas day. :) Will report back after Christmas to let you know how it tasted! :)<br/>12-27-2013 OMG! This Christmas cake is moist, and delicious! I totally agree Joy, it is the best. The flavor is wonderfully balanced and mellow, it is not too sweet nor too spicy (ie too much cinnamon or cloves) and the texture is perfect too. Although it is a very rich cake, it is not exceptionally dense as many Christmas cakes and/or fruit cakes can be. It is much lighter in texture than most. I think we have started a new Christmas family tradition :) <br/>BTW my (British) son-in-law said it was the best Christmas cake he ever had, and rated it 10|+ stars! :)<br/>Thank you, Joy for sharing your grandmother's wonderful recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Warm margarine to room temperature Cream the sugars and margarine until smooth and creamy. Add one egg at a time mixing one tablespoon of the flour between each egg (this prevents curdling).
  2. Blanche Almonds if necessary then add ALL the ingredients EXCEPT the remaining flour stirring well then add the remaining flour folding in well.
  3. Line an 8-9 inch metal cake tin with greaseproof paper place the mixture in making a bit of a dip in the middle, by doing this the cake will come out more even.
  4. Cook in a slow oven 150c for approx 3 hours check with a satay stick through the centre to see if its cooked then tip out onto a cake rack to cool.
  5. I usually cook this in the early afternoon and leave overnight to cool completely, just to make sure that there is no heat in the centre as once you wrap it up if there is, it will sweat and can make the cake go mouldy.
  6. Wrap in two layers of Foil and keep in a cupboard. at the start of December prick the top of the cake lightly and dribble over a tot of Brandy, reseal and turn over two weeks later.
  7. Mums idea:.
  8. Line the tin as usual but also wrap brown paper around the outside tying it tightly with some string leaving the level of the paper higher than the cake so if necessary you can put some paper over the top to stop it browning too much toward the end of cooking.
  9. Cook this cake late October or Early November.

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