My Christmas cake

Packed with dried fruit, cocoa, stout & spice

My Christmas cake

My Christmas cake

Serves Serves 16 - 24
Time Cooks In3 hours 30 minutes plus cooling & decorating
DifficultyNot too tricky
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 355 18%
  • Fat 8.5g 12%
  • Saturates 4.9g 25%
  • Sugars 58.3g 65%
  • Salt 0.2g 3%
  • Protein 4g 8%
  • Carbs 69.5g 27%
  • Fibre 1.5g -
Of an adult's reference intake
recipe adapted from

Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

By Jamie Oliver
Tap For Method


  • 200 g unsalted butter (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g mixed Medjool dates and prunes
  • 500 g mixed dried apricots, cranberries, peel, currants
  • 1 apple
  • 1 clementine
  • 100 ml stout
  • 200 g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon each ground ginger, mixed spice, ground cinnamon
Tap For Method

The cost per serving below is generated by and is based on costs in individual supermarkets.  For more information about how we calculate costs per serving read our FAQS

recipe adapted from

Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

By Jamie Oliver
Tap For Ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 150º/300ºF/gas 2. Grease a 20cm square cake tin with butter and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper, lining the sides high.
  2. Tear the stones out of the dates and prunes, then place all the dried fruit in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Decant the mixture into a large bowl, coarsely grate in the apple, finely grate in the clementine zest and squeeze in the juice. Pour in the stout, mix well and leave aside to soak for a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, blitz the butter and sugar together in the processor until pale, smooth and fluffy. With the processor still running, one-by-one crack in the eggs, then pour in the milk in a steady stream, blitzing until smooth. Scrape this mixture into the bowl of fruit and fold together with a spatula. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cocoa and spices, then fold together again. Transfer to your prepared tin and bake for around 2 hours, or until cooked through and an inserted skewer comes out clean – if it needs a little longer, simply cover the top with greaseproof paper to prevent it from catching. Leave to cool for 30 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Now the fun bit, the decoration. To make royal icing, whisk 3 large free-range egg whites in a large bowl until fluffy. Sieve 700g of icing sugar separately, then, a spoonful at a time, fold it into the egg whites. Once combined, stir in the juice of ½ a lemon and ½ a teaspoon of glycerine. Beat until it forms stiff peaks, then use it to decorate the cake.


GET AHEAD: You can make this advance and feed it up to four times with a thimble of good quality festive booze. Just be sure you wrap it really well in baking paper between each feed.

EASY SWAPS: You can leave out the stout or swap for any festive booze, such as sherry, whisky or rum – but remember: the higher the quality the better the result, so treat your cake to the best you can afford!


How long before Christmas should you make the cake?

A good two or three months in advance is ideal. This allows time for the fruits and flavours to mature as you feed the cake regularly in the lead up to Christmas Day, giving the beautiful richness that Christmas cake is known for.

Why is my Christmas cake dry?

Feeding your Christmas cake in the weeks before Christmas should avoid it drying out. It will also help add moisture back into the cake if it dried out during the baking process.
recipe adapted from

Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

By Jamie Oliver