My all-time favourite Christmas cake, inspired by Nigella, is moist, delicious, and easy to make. This recipe doesn’t require any great skill, simply add all ingredients to a saucepan on your stovetop and let the heat do the work. This super moist Chocolate Christmas cake is always a crowd-pleaser, even friends that say they hate Christmas cake, love this version. I have made this numerous times with both gluten-free flour or spelt flour it still taste amazing. By replacing the liquor with espresso coffee, it is now alcohol-free.

Ingredients

  • 350g prunes
  • 250g raisins
  • 150g currants
  • 2-3 zest & juice of oranges
  • 125ml espresso coffee or (coffee liquor eg Tia Maria/Kahlua)
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g real chocolate (25g inside and 25g chunks on top) - optional
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175 ml runny honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g spelt flour (swap for plain or gluten free if preferred)
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Silver decorations for the top (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150˚c/130˚c fan.
  2. Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm/8in, 9cm/3½in deep, round loose-bottomed cake tin with large moistened scrunched baking paper. Add foil to the base to allow for any leakages.
  3. Place all the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, coffee (or liquor), orange juice and zest, mixed spice and cocoa, ad chopped chocolate chunks into a large wide saucepan.
  4. Heat the mixture slowly, gently stirring until all the butter has melted. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for approx. 30 minutes. (this step is important - if you add the eggs too early this mixture will curdle)
  5. After the mixture has cooled add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  6. Bake for up to 1 3/4 - 2 hours.
  7. After 1 3/4 hours check the centre of the cake with a skewer, the cake should still be slightly gooey and uncooked.
  8. Place the cake on a rack and allow to fully cool before removing the cake tin.
  9. Once cool decorate the top.