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Aunty Rosaleen’s Irish Christmas Cake

4.66 from 132 votes
Join in my family tradition and make an Irish Christmas Cake this holiday season. It's my Aunty Rosaleen's recipe and I'm excited to share it with you!
Aunty Rosaleen's Traditional Irish Christmas Cake. A cake made for generations that just keeps getting better.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

One of our Christmas Traditions in Ireland is to eat fruit cake. A big part of that tradition is to make our Christmas Cake in October, giving your cake enough time to mature its flavor and age. This Christmas Cake is rich and moist, and very delicious. This recipe is from my Aunty Rosaleen who is a fantastic baker. She kindly shared it with me and I’m sharing it with you.

If you haven’t already, make sure to learn How To Feed A Christmas CakeThe process for a perfect Christmas Cake does take some time and some patience, but it’s absolutely worth it. Not only did I grow up making these in Ireland, but as a professional chef, I’ve mastered them. For other Traditional Irish Christmas recipes don’t miss my Traditional Mince Pies, my from-scratch recipe for Traditional Mince Meat, and my Mum’s Christmas Pudding.

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Part of the tradition of making Christmas Cakes is to make a wish when storing the ingredients together. I have very clear memories of mixing the big Mason & Cash bowl in the kitchen with my mum. We would line up to make a wish.

As I said, these cakes get better with age. Store it in a tin or airtight container in a cool dry place (up to 24°C/76°F) for up to 6 months. Don’t worry, the booze will keep it from turning bad and it will actually get better with age. In a very warm climate with high humidity, refrigerate it. 

Decorating Christmas Cakes!

If you want to successfully decorate a Christmas Cake, here are a few things you might need:

Then, follow my simple Christmas Cake Decoration tips!

Aunty Rosaleen's Irish Christmas Cake

4.66 from 132 votes
Join in my family tradition and make an Irish Christmas Cake this holiday season. It's my Aunty Rosaleen's recipe and I'm excited to share it with you!
Author: My Aunty Rosaleen
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Join in my family tradition and make an Irish Christmas Cake this holiday season. It's my Aunty Rosaleen's recipe and I'm excited to share it with you!
Author: My Aunty Rosaleen

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups(15oz426g) raisins
  • 1 ½ cups(8oz/225g) glace cherries
  • ½ cup(2 ½oz/71g) chopped or sliced almonds
  • cup(2oz/60g) candied peel
  • 1 cup(8floz/225ml) whiskey (or apple juice/orange juice*)
  • 1 ⅔ cups(13oz/367g) muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup(10oz/ 300g) butter ,room temperature
  • 5 eggs ,room temperature
  • 2 cups(10oz/282g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg , ground

Instructions

  • The night before, steep the fruit, candied peel, orange zest and lemon zest in whiskey (or apple juice/orange juice*). Allow to sit covered overnight at room temperature. This lets the fruit plump up and all the flavors macerate.
  •  The next day, preheat the oven to 280°F (140°C) on the conventional setting, no fan assist. Butter and line a 10 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep cake tin, set aside* SEE NOTE.. 
  • Rinse the cherries off then pat with a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.  Quarter the cherries then lightly toss in flour (this will keep the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking). Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl combine the flour and spices, set aside. 
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time then fold in the dry ingredients. 
  • Lastly, fold in the boozy fruit mix, chopped almonds, candied peel and cherries. At this point traditionally you make a wish while you stir. As kids my Mum always allowed us do this.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 280°F (140°C) for one hour, then reduce the temperature to 240°F (120°C) and continue to bake for about 2 1/2 hours. Monitor carefully in the last 30 minutes or so, your oven might be a little hotter than mine.
  • Once baked let it cool down completely on a wire rack. Wrap it up well in baking paper and store in a tin or air tight container in a cool dry place (up to 24°C/76°F) for up to 3 months. Don't worry, the booze will keep it from turning bad and it will actually get better with age.

Recipe Notes

* You can use a 9-inch square pan, or, two 9-inch by 5- inch loaf pans for this amount of batter. The bake time will change, about 2.5 hrs for loaf pans, you need to monitor it at 2 hours.
*However, without alcohol as a preservative, do not make it more than 1 month ahead of serving. In a very warm climate with high humidity, refrigerate it. 



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Bushra
Bushra
3 years ago

Hi
Can yo please let me know what all spices required for mixed spice.
Can you please let me know the ingredients, quantity and method to make homemade mixed spice.

I am from India.
And I am biggest fan of all your recipes.
Love from India.

MARY ELLSWORTH
2 years ago

I used Welch’s frozen grape juice [undiluted] instead of Whiskey. Turned out MARVELOUS ! Thank you for the recipe !

Clayton Hutchings
3 years ago

Is the cook time for aunty rosaleen Irish Christmas cake 2/1/2 or 3/1/2 hours

Julia Edwards
Julia Edwards
2 years ago

Hi Gemma great fan of ur recipes. Can u come up with a recipes using chickpeas flour ..flax seed flour oats..jst no wholewheat or white flour..trying to eat healthy

Lillian
Lillian
2 years ago

Do you use the orange and lemon fruit or just the zests?

Asha Pillai
Asha Pillai
1 year ago

Can I make this in the microwave please?

Lim Meow Khai, Francis
Lim Meow Khai, Francis
2 years ago

Hi Gemma
I am new to bakery. This Irish Christmas cake looks yummy
Would like to try to make it for Christmas 2020.
May i have video as guidance on the process.

Francis Lim @ Kuala Lumpur @ Malaysia

Fiona
Fiona
2 years ago

Do I need to feed regularly with whiskey or just use is at the point of cooking?

Barbara
Barbara
2 years ago

Hi Gemma, I just made this Christmas cake and gave some to my mom and sister. They both stated that it was the best fruitcake they ever had!! 😁 Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! 😀

Erika Cain
Erika Cain
3 days ago

Gemma, for the glace cherries, is that 225g drained weight without any of the syrup?

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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