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Amaretto Christmas cake

A rich, moist fruit cake filled full of juicy fruit and a generous amount of Amaretto! This is my favourite Christmas cake recipe.
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Amaretto Christmas Cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 16
Author Nickki Thompson


  • 200 g dried figs or prunes chopped
  • 300 g sultanas
  • 350 g raisins
  • 200 g glace cherries rinsed, dried and halved
  • 50 g crystallized ginger chopped (optional)
  • 125 ml Amaretto plus 1 tablespoon extra for soaking the cake
  • 300 g butter
  • 250 g soft light brown sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 large Orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons treacle
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 medium eggs, beaten
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g ground almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 160C/140Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2.It's definitely worth taking the time to line your cake tin correctly to protect the cake during its long baking time.
    Grease a loose bottomed 23cm round cake tin (10cm deep) and line the base and sides with non stick baking paper. Cut out a circle of baking paper, using the base of your tin as a template. 
    To line the sides, cut a strip of baking paper a little longer than the circumference of the tin and about 3 inches higher. Fold it 1 inch along its length, then using scissors make little snips up to the fold line, making a fringe along the length. It should now fit snugly inside the cake tin. Finally, fit your circle over the top, covering the fringe.
  • Place the dried fruits in a large saucepan with the Amaretto, butter, sugar, Orange zest and juice, lemon zest, treacle, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg. 
    Gently bring to a simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture sit for at least 1 hour. I've often done this in advance and left it overnight. 
  • When you're ready to bake the cake, pour the soaked fruit mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, then stir in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Stir until everything is well combined. 
    Pour into the lined tin and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
    Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • When the cake is completely cold, poke a few holes in the cake, drizzle with a little Amaretto, then wrap in a double layer of baking paper and foil and store in an airtight container.