It’s Stir-up Sunday on 25th November, the traditional time to make the Christmas cake to get it out of the way before the insanity starts. The time for family togetherness, the time for little ones to have fun stirring the mixture, before making a wish, then getting raw cake on the carpet.

My stir up Sunday cake recipe is based on Nigella’s chocolate fruit cake and St. Delia’s traditional Christmas cake and is a luscious chocolately dense fruity moistness. Just remember to leave out the alcohol if that’s an issue (use fruit juice or strong tea instead).

Turn on the Christmas carols, and let’s get started. Aprons on!
Lazy Person’s Chocolate Christmas Cake (loosely based on Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson recipes)

Stir Up Sunday: Chocolate Christmas Cake

  • 9oz raisins,
  • 2oz sultanas,
  • 2oz currants (or use 13oz of mixed dried fruit)
  • 12oz pitted, dried soft prunes, chopped finely
  • 4floz brandy/port/gin/whisky/Southern Comfort/dark rum/any spirit you happen to have in the cupboard/strong black tea/orange juice
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6oz butter (can be cold straight from the fridge)
  • 3oz dark muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar (or granulated and 1tbsp treacle)
  • 6fl oz honey
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zested
  • 35-50g good quality cocoa (use 50g if you want a real chocolate hit, less for children)
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate, plain or with Christmas spices. I like Montezuma’s Maya Gold
  • 3 eggs
  • 5oz self raising flour
  • 3oz ground almonds
  • 2oz glace cherries (leave out if you don’t like them)
  • Glass of red wine
  1. Get the eggs out of the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/300F/Gas Mark 2.
  3. Line the sides and base of a loose-bottomed of an 8 inch wide, 3 ½ inch deep cake tin. Wrap a collar of brown paper around the sides, finishing a good 2 inches above the top of the tin. I have a thick brown paper bag I use every year
  4. Put the dried fruit, prunes, alcohol/tea/juice, spices, butter, sugar, honey, orange juice and zest, cocoa and half the chocolate into a large saucepan. Heat on low, stirring until it it all melts. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat, put a lid on and leave to cool for half an hour
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, flour, ground almonds, glace cherries and the rest of the chocolate, chopped
  6. Pour into your tin and bake for 1 ½ – 2 hours until it is firm and a tester in the middle of the cake comes out a teensy bit sticky.
  7. Leave it to cool.

Will keep in a cool, dark, place, well wrapped (not in foil!) until Christmas. if you can wait that long. Oh yes, and that wine? You drink it afterwards 🙂

I made this for an 89 year old’s December birthday. Went down well, I can tell you!

Bio – Rosie Slosek runs The Money Haven, supporting one man bands in the UK with hassle and fear-free accounts mentoring, with a home made brownie for every client. She is passionate about cake being an important part of self motivation.

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