Non-Traditional Christmas Cake - No Cherries

READY IN: 3hrs 40mins
YIELD: 1 cake




  • Combine sultanas, currants, and chopped dried fruit in the largest mixing bowl you have. Add the orange zest, juice, crushed pineapple (with juice) and brandy. Mix well.
  • Cover and leave overnight to soak, stirring occasionally. (I left this for two days with no problems).
  • Turn the oven onto 180 degrees C and toast the almonds until just brown. Remove from the oven, let cool, and add to the fruit mixture.
  • Turn the oven down to 150 degrees Celsius.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating to combine. The mixture might curdle but this isn't a problem.
  • Stir through the vanilla and almond essences, then add to the fruit mixture with the ground almonds. Stir well to combine.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and spices together. Mix through the fruit mixture. (My grandma told me that a light hand is necessary & not to overmix - otherwise the cake turns out tough & dry - who am I to argue with grandma?).
  • Spoon into a prepared baking tin (mine measures 7in x 9in), then bake for 3 hours.
  • If the top starts browning too quickly cover with baking paper.
  • Remove from the oven after 3 hours and cool. Gently pierce the top of the cake with a skewer in 10-12 places, then trickle over 3T of the extra brandy.
  • Wrap in tin foil and baking paper, and store in an airtight tin for 3-4 months. Feed regularly with brandy to keep the cake moist and flavourful.