British Christmas Cake

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Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge and developed over the years into todays version as more ingredients became available to home bakers. A traditional English Christmas cake is made with currants, sultanas (golden raisins) and raisins which have been soaked in rum. However, in modern times the addition of other dried fruits has become quite common. In the Victorian era coins were occasionally added to Christmas cakes as good luck pieces for those who found them. 


2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing cake pan
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract or Madagascar Vanilla Paste
4 cups rum-soaked fruits* such as golden raisins, raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried apple or apricot diced or glace' cherries or fruitcake mix
1 teaspoon British Baking Spice
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher Flake Sea Salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting pan)
Powdered sugar for dusting


*To soak fruits, place them in a bowl with the rum and leave overnight, until they are soft. Drain well using a strainer and use in the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350° F with the baking rack in the middle of the oven.

Grease and flour a bread pan or bundt cake pan. Rub butter all around the insides of the pan, sprinkle with flour and swirl the pan to coat it with flour. Turn over the pan and tap to remove the excess flour.

Cream butter and sugar until the mixture reaches a pale cream color about 5 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and British Baking Spice into a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy.

Add extract to eggs and continue to whisk until incorporated—about a minute.

Pour whisked eggs into the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar mixture and stir gently using a rubber spatula. Keep stirring until incorporated. The mixture will look appeared separated but that alright.

Add the rum-soaked fruits to the egg-butter-sugar mixture and stir to fully incorporate.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly to incorporate. Do not over mix or beat the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to get all the batter from the bowl. Lift the pan a little and let it drop back to the surface about 2 to 3 times, this is to remove any bubbles in the batter

Bake for 90 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove pan from oven and let cool on a wire rack in pan for 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes, carefully, gently and quickly invert the pan, removing the cake. Cool completely before either cutting and serving or performing either of the below optional steps.

Optional - If desired once cake has cooled completely you may pierce cake all over with wooden skewer and pour left over rum from soaking fruits over cake and let soak in, at least a few hours.

Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired when completely cooled and all rum has soaked in.



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