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Rated excellent by our customers

Real Foods Vintage Christmas Cake Recipe

This is our Vintage Christmas Cake recipe, that we used to give out to customers in our stores in the late 70s. Many traditional Christmas cake recipes recommend maturing the cake over 2-3 months, and this one is no exception, although the cake is delicious to eat right away as well. But many recipes are made with a whole host of ingredients that modern bakers today can’t use, be it for health or ethical reasons, such as wheat (containing gluten), or dairy. Our vintage Real Foods recipe allows you to cater for a modern world full of food intolerances and ethical choices that weren’t so prevalent even just a decade ago. Don't just follow this recipe ... Be adventurous and creative ... use coconut, chestnut flour, cashews, hazels, pecans, sunflower or sesame seeds, apple rings or peaches or pears ... just remember to keep proportions of dry goods and liquids correct, and do share your favourite variation with us. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY HOGMANAY

Customer Rating:
5.0 (1 votes)

Posted by: Ann Smyth




> 2 hrs

Skill Level




Courses etc.

Baking Sweet
Christmas Recipes

You will need

9oz wholemeal flour (biscuit or organic pastry flour) More products
8oz vegetable spread

Sorry unavailable

More products
8oz raw cane muscavado sugar OR More products
6oz malt OR More products
6oz honey OR More products
6oz pear and apple spread More products
5 medium free range eggs

Sorry unavailable

More products
4oz ground almonds More products
4oz flaked almonds More products
grated rind of an orange More products
1 tbsp molasses More products
1 tsp cinnamon More products
1/4 tsp ground mace More products
1/4 tsp ground ginger More products
1/4 ground nutmeg More products
2 tbsp fruit juice or brandy More products
4oz glace cherries (choose natural ones that contain no dye) - chopped and rolled in flour More products
4oz mixed peel - rolled in flour More products
4oz apricots - chopped finely More products
4oz pitted dates - chopped and rolled in flour More products
4oz crystallized or dried (sugar free) pineapple - chopped More products
1 1/4lb mixed fruit (raisins, currants or sultanas) OR More products
substitute other fruit such as finely chopped figs or dried bananas
Serve with glass of Norfolk Punch or red wine (optional)

Coming soon

More products
4oz crystallized or dried (sugar free) pineapple - chopped More products

Need help converting measurements? View our recipe measurement conversion tables here.


  • Cream margarine with sugar (or other sweetener).
  • Add previously beaten eggs little by little and beat well.
  • Fold in ground almonds.
  • Fold in spices, orange rind, brandy, molasses and flaked almonds.
  • Add flour gradually - do not beat mixture - delicately fold it in.
  • Gradually fold in all fruit - add a little more flour if necessary.
  • Line 8" round cake tin with heavy brown paper, then oiled greaseproof paper.
  • Put mixture in tin and level top, making a slight dip towards centre.
  • If not icing, make a design on top with nuts. (After baking this can be glazed with a mixture of honey or apple juice and arrowroot or tahini, simmered until it starts to thicken.)
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven, Gas Mark 2 for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  • For A Smaller Cake:  use half ingredients and 6" round tin and bake at Gas Mark 2 for 1 1/5 to 2 hours.
  • For A Larger Cake: use half as much again and 10" round or 9" square tin and bake at Gas Mark 1 for 4 to 5 hours. Cover top with heavy brown paper for some of the time to prevent burning.
  • For a Gluten Free Cake - use a shop-bought or homemade combination of rice flour, potato flour or soya flour instead of wheat flour. (Roll sticky fruits in this too.)
  • For A Sugar Free Cake:  instead of sugar use 6oz malt extract or pear and apple spread and miss out cherries, peel, sugared pineapple and ginger. Substitute more naturally sweet fruit like dried bananas, mango or dates.
  • For A Cheaper Cake: substitute flaked peanuts and ground peanuts for almonds, more raisins, sultanas and dates for apricots, ginger and pineapple, and fruit juice for brandy.
  • For A Very Moist Cake: every two weeks prick top of cake with a large darning needle and pour over 3 tbsp brandy. Keep in airtight tin.
  • Marzipan: should be put on 48 hours before royal icing.  Choose natural or raw cane marzipan (without colouring).

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Shopping List

Dark Raw Cane Muscovado Sugar
Real Foods
Malt Extract
Rayner's (340g)
Pear & Apple Fruit Spread
Suma (300g)
Blanched Fine Ground Almonds
Real Foods
Flaked Almonds
Real Foods
Real Foods (each)
Molasses Black Strap
Rayner's (340g)
Ground Cinnamon
Real Foods
Whole Mace Blades
Real Foods
Ground Ginger
Real Foods
Ground Nutmegs
Real Foods
Mixed Peel Orange & Lemon
Real Foods
Sweet Jumbo Apricot Turkey
Real Foods
Pitted Dates Free Flow
Real Foods
Mixed Vine Fruit Raisin,Sultana & Currants No..
Real Foods
Non Alcoholic Punch Drink
Norfolk Punch (700ml)
Coming soon
Zambian Clear Forest Honey ORGANIC
Wainwright's (380g)
Red Glace Cherries Natural Colour Whole
Real Foods
Diced Pineapple with SO2 added sugar
Real Foods
Fine Plain Wholemeal Flour ORGANIC
Doves Farm (1Kg)