Sunday, November 23, 2008


This cake could easily be made now, and frozen without it's icing, ready for Christmas. It is full of all things Christmassy, dried cranberries, apricots, ground almonds and orange. Making a Christmas cake isn't for everyone and we all know it's quite a time consuming task.

I decorated the cake with glace icing and then simply brushed the bay leaves and green grapes with egg white, dusted them with caster sugar and left them to dry. Even if you don't make the cake, frosted grapes are delicious!

I nearly forgot to say, if you do make this cake, don't put the mixture into a paper cake liner as I did, otherwise you will end up with cake liner marks on your cake and it really isn't a good look for a special occasion cake.

You can either make this cake in a 2lb loaf tin or halve the mixture and use two 1lb loaf tins. Either way, they need to be greased and lined.

For the cake:

175g butter, 175g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 300g self-raising flour, 100g dried cranberries, 200g chopped ready-to-eat apricots, 50g ground almonds, grated zest 1 orange.

1. Heat the oven to Gas 3, 160°C, 325°F.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs adding a little of the flour if the mixture curdles. Stir in the flour with the cranberries, apricots, almonds and orange zest.
4. Dollop into the tin, smooth the top and bake for approximately 1½ hours(the 1lb loaf tins will take less time to cook), until golden, risen and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

For the decoration:

1 orange, 100g caster sugar, 4-5 green grapes, 6 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons orange juice. Or alternatively, you can use a glace icing.

1. Put 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar into a small pan, boil for 2 minutes until syrupy. Add the remaining sugar, stir well then drizzle over the cake.
2. Decorate with the frosted grapes, bay leaves and curls of orange peel (this can be made by using a potato peeler and paring off one long strip of orange rind, cut the strip of orange rind into 3 or 4 strips and wind up tightly).


Jan said...

Now that's a fancy looking cake I must say!
A really great job you've done there Maggie - the picture is excellent.

Antonia said...

That is just beautiful, Margaret. Absolutely gorgeous, in fact. I love the decoration, to say nothing of the lovely flavours in the cake itself.
P.S. I have an award for you waiting on my blog.

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

hi margaret
nice cake with glace icing and frosted grapes..looks perfect for the recipe..good detail description, as well.

The Caked Crusader said...

Love the frosted grapes - they look so elegant!
Agree with you about the lining. I tend to use them out of laziness!

Anne said...

Looks really good, never would have thought to do that with bay leaves!

Happy cook said...

Wow love this cake, it looks so delicious, love the frosting too.

Sam said...

Sounds delicious, I love the decoration too.

Swati said...

The cake is so so delicious.. love all the ingredients that have gone into it..

Rosie said...

A great delicious cake M and the fruit looks like little gems in the sponge. Thanks for the tip re-liners ;)

Rosie x

Trekkie said...

Looks fabulous - as usual.

Cakelaw said...

What a gorgeous cake - the frosted fruit decorations are exquisite. makes a change from the traditional Christmas cake.

anudivya said...

Oh boy! That is so pretty... like a piece of art. The decorations look so cute.

Maria said...

Margaret this is one gorgeous cake and perfect for Christmas!