12 Days of Christmas Baking - Christmas cake


Shaun and Willa Arantz of Racine Restaurant opened a cherry little bakery in Orange earlier this year. And now, with their amazing baker Ted, turn out incredible breads, pastries, one hell of a venison pie  and yes, Christmas cake.

It really is that good. And best of all, apparently it's not too late to make one of your own for this Christmas so here's the recipe and lets get baking...

Racine Bakery's Christmas Cake

225g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
200g butter
200g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp marmalade
¼ tsp vanilla essence
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1kg mixed dried fruits
100g blanched almonds, chopped roughly

Heat the oven to 150C. Grease a 20cm/8inch round or an 18cm/7inch square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.

Cream the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the sugar, treacle, marmalade and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.

Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre. Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a skewer. If not ready, bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool. Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbsp of brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.

Store the cake wrapped in foil or clingwrap and in an airtight tin or plastic container, holes side up. For a rich and moist cake, spoon over a few tablespoons of brandy every week until you are ready to ice and decorate your cake.


  1. I am so enjoying this 12 days of baking series, and this one especially caught my eye - I have a thing for Christmas cake and I've always wanted to eat at Racine. I've yet to make it to Orange though, but it is on my list!

  2. just wanted to tell you Sophie that I get excited every time I see LOCAL IS LOVELY in my inbox, I can't get enough...thankyou

  3. I have been a bit slow with my comments lately Sophie but I am loving your Christmas series. It all looks so good!

  4. Soph - your blog is a beautiful and inspiring place to visit, keep up the great work and Happy Christmas. X


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