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4.67 from 127 votes
Aunty Rosaleen's Traditional Irish Christmas Cake. A cake made for generations that just keeps getting better.
Aunty Rosaleen's Irish Christmas Cake
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!

Course: desserts
Cuisine: Irish
Author: My Aunty Rosaleen
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups (15oz/426g) sultanas
  • 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
  • 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
  1. The night before, steep the fruit, candied peel, orange zest and lemon zest in whiskey. Allow to sit covered overnight at room temperature. This lets the fruit plump up and all the flavors macerate.

  2.  The next day, preheat the oven to 280oF (140oC) 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.. 

  3. 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. 

  4. In a large bowl combine the flour and spices, set aside. 

  5. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

  6. Add in the eggs one at a time then fold in the dry ingredients. 

  7. 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.

  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 280oF (140oC) for one hour, then reduce the temperature to 240oF (120oC) 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.

  9. 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 for up to 3 months. Don't worry, the booze will keep it from turning bad and it will actually get better with age.

  10. * 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.