Ma Harvey’s Christmas cake


  • Serves 12 people

  • 500 gm (3 cups) sultanas
  • 500 gm (3 1/3 cups) raisins
  • 250 gm currants
  • 250 gm finely chopped candied orange
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) brandy or rum
  • 200 gm (1¼ cups) blanched almonds
  • 450 gm butter
  • 450 gm brown sugar
  • 9 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
01   Combine dried fruit, candied orange and brandy or rum in a large bowl, cover and macerate overnight or longer if desired.
02   Finely chop 150gm almonds, reserving remaining almonds to decorate. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add eggs a little at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in fruit and chopped almonds, then add flour and baking powder and stir until well combined.
03   Line the base of a 23cm square cake pan with a double layer of brown paper and sides with 4 layers of brown paper, grease top layer of paper. Cut another piece for the top, lightly grease, snip a few holes in it and set aside.
04   Preheat oven to 130C. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth top and decorate with reserved almonds.
05   Cover with prepared brown paper and bake on lowest oven shelf for 5 hours. Turn heat off and cool cake overnight in oven.
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