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8 Great English Christmas Fruit Cake Recipes, from Classic to Modern

The festive season calls for the aromatic warmth and indulgent flavors of great English Christmas fruit cake recipes. From timeless classics to innovative modern twists, here’s a roundup of eight beautiful cake recipes sure to elevate your holiday spread. 

We start by soaking a large bowl of dried fruit in brandy or rum for that quintessential richness. After scraping the batter into the prepared cake tin and baking, more alcohol is added before we let the cake cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and mature in a cool place before indulging. Allow enough time to let your cake mature for at least a few weeks if possible, but if you can’t, there’s a fantastic last minute cake at the end of this list, that can be baked and served within 24 hours of coming out of the oven. 

Get your dried fruit, citrus peel and parchment paper ready and let’s explore these new recipes. 

Classic English Christmas Fruit Cake Recipes

Nothing beats the nostalgia of traditional British Christmas cakes; here are three perfect ones to cover different tastes.

1. The Ultimate Traditional Christmas Cake Recipe

My own recipe for the ultimate traditional British Christmas cake, this is the fruit cake I turn to over and over again when I want a classic, densely textured fruit cake that’s packed with dark and candied fruits and soaked in rum or brandy (or orange juice if alcohol isn’t your thing). It’s a large cake and I give conversions for baking it in a square cake tin, loaf tin or different sized round tins if you want to change things up.

a slice of Christmas traditional fruit cake on a small white dessert plate. Dried fruit is visible inside the cake slice, and the remainder of the cake is out of focus on a platter in the background.

2. Moist Traditional Fruit Cake

This recipe offers a simple, classic approach to the beloved Christmas fruit cake. Moist, rich, and packed with traditional fruits, it’s the perfect choice for those who appreciate a cake with more conventional vine fruits and less candied fruit. There’s also a very detailed tutorial on lining a cake pan for maximum fruit cake baking success.

English Christmas fruit cake recipes; one from a collection of recipes showing a round Christmas cake viewed from above, presented with sugared rosemary leaves and pomegranate arils in a wreath pattern around the edges.

3.Old Fashioned Fruit Cake

This old-fashioned fruit cake recipe is a more golden hue than the darker, heavier cakes above. Filled with timeless ingredients and a higher ratio of cake to fruit, it’s a delightful and lighter blend of flavors and textures that other traditional English Christmas cakes, and is ‘pre-decorated’ with toasty blanched almonds before baking.

Easy English Christmas Fruit Cake Recipes

Short on prep time? Opt for an easy Christmas cake recipe that doesn’t compromise on taste. You can make things faster and utilize a stand mixer for your cake batter rather than a large mixing bowl and a spatula. Just because they’re easy doesn’t mean you have to skimp on presentation; both of these gems are beautiful as well as delicious. 

4. Easy Christmas Cake Recipe with Marzipan and Fondant: 

For those seeking ease without compromising taste, this recipe is a winner. Combining simplicity with deliciousness, this Christmas cake is ideal for busy holiday preparations without sacrificing the festive spirit. Get the kids involved with brushing on apricot jam, cutting out and placing the holly leaf fondant decorations as a fun advent activity. 

5. Easy English Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

This Christmas fruit cake combines simplicity with richness and plenty of orange and lemon zest for citrus flavor. With an emphasis on straightforward preparation and a looser, easier-to-mix batter than some others, it promises a delectable outcome.

A Boozy Christmas Cake

Some of us just love a boozy Christmas cake loaded with soaked fruit and a generous splash of alcohol. To make it even more decadent, brush the top of the cake with additional alcohol after baking for an extra boozy kick. Although many classic Christmas cake recipes include some alcohol, this one offers a different, nutty twist on the traditional. 

6. Amaretto Christmas Cake

For a touch of sophistication and warmth, this boozy Christmas cake infused with amaretto and crystallized ginger offers a delightful twist. The aromatic notes of amaretto elevate the traditional fruit cake, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy a hint of nutty indulgence in their festive desserts. Small slices are a must for this one!

A Vegan English Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

Indulge in the holiday spirit with a vegan twist! Swap out traditional ingredients for plant-based alternatives without compromising on taste. In many recipes you can use plant-based dairy and egg substitutes in the wet mixture to veganize your cake. This cake mixture is vegan as written and it is absolutely glorious. 

7. Vegan Christmas Cake

This vegan version of the classic English Christmas cake recipe proves that plant-based treats are just as indulgent and flavorful as their more conventional cousins. Filled with orange peel and spices, brown sugar and nuts, this dense fruit cake embodies the essence of Christmas while catering to a vegan lifestyle.

A Late-to-the-Party Last Minute English Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

Running short on time? Fear not! Even if you’ve missed stir-up Sunday and you’re short on time, a last-minute fruit cake recipe comes to the rescue. Utilize a round cake tin and bake the mixture at a slightly higher temperature for a shorter cooking time (just make sure to use a double layer of greaseproof paper or brown paper in your prepared tin, so the cake doesn’t dry out). 

8. Simple Last Minute Christmas Fruit Cake

When time is of the essence, this last-minute fruit cake recipe comes to the rescue. Despite its quick preparation, it doesn’t compromise on taste or sticky, dense texture. This cake ensures that even those who join holiday preparations at the eleventh hour can enjoy a delicious treat that can be served up the very next day.

Each of these English Christmas fruit cake recipes carries its own charm and flavors, ensuring a delightful addition to your festive table. Whether you stick to the classic recipes or venture into new culinary territories with a more modern cake, choosing a recipe from this list will ensure a delightful cake for your Christmas day or festive season celebrations.

Cheers to the joy of baking and savoring these delightful treats alongside perfect Christmas puddings and mince pies!

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