Tuesday 19 December 2017

Christmas fruit cake traybake slices

You've got to a couple of days before Christmas and found you have no Christmas cake in the house. You could go out and buy one but a bought cake is never the same. A full fruit Christmas cake takes over 4 hours to bake so if you're in a hurry that's a lot of time to devote to cake baking. Instead you could opt for this traybake. Once cut up it makes elegant slices perfect for a coffee morning or afternoon tea. As fruit cake also keeps well they make great Christmas presents and a batch of these are being dispatched this week to Master JibberJabber's school.

To cover the cake you can the ready rolled icing and marzipan. It is more expensive but it is quicker and you can get away without using a rolling pin. The blocks of icing and marzipan are cheaper but you will also need some icing sugar to stop it from sticking to the board when rolling out. If you have any icing left over you can cut out some shapes such as holly leaves, snowflakes or Christmas trees to add an extra festive touch.

Equipment: Large bowl, electric whisk, Baking tin 13in x 9in (33cm x 23cm) lined with baking parchment, wire rack, rolling pin, small saucepan, pastry brush.


1lb 9oz (725g) Dried mixed fruit
4oz (115g) Glacé cherries, quartered
3tbsp (45ml) Brandy, rum or sherry
6oz (170g) Unsalted butter, soften or baking spread
6oz (170g) Dark brown, soft sugar
4 Eggs
6oz (170g) Plain flour
¼ tsp (1.25ml) Ground nutmeg
¼ tsp (1.25ml) Mixed spice


400-450g Ready rolled marzipan or 454-500g block of marzipan
400-450g Ready rolled icing or 454-500g block of white icing
Icing sugar for dusting if using block marzipan/icing
2-3tbsp (15-30ml) Apricot jam


1. Put the mixed fruit and glacé cherries in a large bowl and cover with the alcohol. Mix in and leave for at least an hour.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Gas mark 3.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar then add in the remaining ingredients including the soaked fruit and mix well.
4. Transfer to the prepared tin and level out the top.
5. Bake for around 1-1¼ hours until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. Roll out the marzipan.
7. Heat the apricot jam and spread half of it across the top of the cake.
8. Lay the marzipan on and repeat the process with the icing.
9. Cut into slices as required.

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