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Christmas cake

Serves   20
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 2-3 hours

This cake can be made closer to Christmas without soaking the fruit. It makes enough for 2 cakes. The addition of the chocolate gives it a rich flavour. Add some molasses and use the dark beer and everyone will be asking you for the recipe.

Christmas Cake




  • 200g Pams Prunes
  • 330ml beer, stout or cold tea
  • 150g Pams Mixed Peel
  • 400g Cinderella Sultanas
  • 400g Pams Currants
  • 250g Pams Butter
  • 250g Chelsea Brown Sugar
  • 2tsps Hansells Vanilla Essence
  • 6 eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 3 tsps mixed spice
  • 70g chopped walnuts
  • 100g dark chocolate bits
  • 1 pomegranate
  • ALSO NEED: baking paper

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  1. Heat oven to 160?C (not fan bake).
  2. Blitz or chop the prunes and mix with the cold tea or beer.
  3. Put into a large bowl with the dried fruit. Leave to soak.
  4. Double-line 2 cake tins – 23cm round or 20cm square - with enough baking paper  to come a couple of cm’s  above the top of the tin. Lightly oil the tins first so the paper sticks closely to the sides.
  5. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy and then add in the eggs one by one.
  6. Mix in the flour, mixed spice, nuts, chocolate, soaked fruit and liquid from the bowl pour into the cake tins.
  7. Bake for 2-3 hours. You will need to check the cakes after 1½ - 2 hours and cover the top if needed to prevent it getting too brown.
  8. Cook the cake until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. When cool you can decorate the cakes with prunes, walnuts and pomegranate seeds or your favourite Christmas icing.


  • Add 2 tbs of molasses for a richer flavour.
  • Cut the pomegranate in half and knock all the seeds out.
  • If you aren’t going to decorate the cake straight away freeze the seeds mixed with a little syrup or apricot jam; in a clip lock bag until you are ready to use.
  • Pomegranate seeds work well in salads and sprinkled over pulled roast lamb.