Paul Hollywood’s Christmas Cake recipe is a rich fruit cake that is simple to make and packed full of traditional Christmas flavours. Great British Bake Off Judge, Paul Hollywood, provides the expert instructions for this special holiday treat.
Who is Paul Hollywood?
Paul Hollywood is a baker and a judge on The Great British Bake-Off on UK television. He is best known for baking bread so when I received his book ‘How to Bake’ to review, I was surprised and delighted to see that there are also recipes for other types of bakes.
How to Bake by Paul Hollywood
In this review, I take you through each of the chapters in the book to give you a clear idea of what to expect in terms of technique and the recipes that are included.
Getting started with Bread
This is a great way to start, this chapter is a comprehensive guide to baking bread.
The chapter covers everything from different types of flour, through techniques and tools. It includes step by step pictures as well as written instructions.
Croissants, Danish & Brioche
Biscuits, Puddings and Cakes
Tarts and Pies
Who is it for?
Pros and Cons
Ease of use
How to Bake by Paul Hollywood is published by Bloomsbury RRP £20, Popular On line Retailer £8.86
Baking Paul Hollywood’s Christmas Cake
I like to test each review book and make a recipe. As I hadn’t yet made my Christmas cake, I decided to try Paul Hollywood’s Christmas Cake recipe.
All quantities and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page
What is Paul Hollywood’s Christmas Cake like?
The recipe is easy to follow and turned out well. It is full of different types of dried fruit and includes dried apricots and glace pineapple and prunes. I really liked the chunky pieces of almond which gave the fruit cake texture.
The cake is much lighter in colour than the one I usually make. However, it is moist and very delicious. I had some cake mixture leftover and was able to bake a bonus cake in a small loaf tin.
This meant it was easy to try the cake without cutting into the larger cake I am keeping for Christmas. The cake cuts very well and holds together. The texture of the cake is quite dense but moist and not overly sweet.
I am a bit fan of apricots as you will know if you have made my Apricot Tea Bread recipe. I also love prunes which add a really rich flavour to the cake, if you like prunes then try my Chocolate Prune & Walnut Cake.
More Christmas Cake Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
Last Minute Whisky Marmalade Christmas Cake is light and fruity rather than the rich dark fruit cake that is traditionally baked for Christmas and you can make it and eat it straight away without waiting for it to mature.
Christmas Fruit Cake is a traditional bake for the festive season in the UK. This step by step recipe produces a darker Christmas Cake and is an easy bake even if you have little experience.
Homemade Marzipan Stollen is a delicious semi-sweet bread studded with dried fruits and nuts and filled with marzipan. It is a traditional Christmas holiday bread from Germany and this festive loaf has a long and interesting history and it is simple to make
More Christmas Cake Recipes
Tin Can Mini Christmas Cakes – Eats Amazing
Pumpkin Fruit Cake – Fab Food 4 All
Rosca de Reyes, Spanish Epiphany Cake – Fuss Free Flavour
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Paul Hollywood’s Christmas Cake
- 450 g sultanas
- 225 g raisins
- 225 g dried apricots chopped
- 115 g prunes chopped
- 55 g glacé pineapple
- 225 g glacé cherries chopped
- 225 g chopped candied peel
- 115 g blanched almonds toasted and very roughly chopped
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 70 ml brandy
- 225 g unsalted butter softened
- 200 g light muscovado sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 280 g plain flour
- To finish
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 500 g quantity marzipan see page 255, or a 500g packet ready made marzipan
- Icing sugar for dusting
- 500 g quantity royal icing see page 255, or a 500g packet ready-to-roll fondant icing
- Combine all the dried and glacé fruit, candied peel and almonds in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and juice, and the brandy. Mix well,cover and leave for several hours or overnight.
- Heat your oven to 150˚C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm round deep cake tin with a double thickness of baking parchment, cutting it so that it stands a good 5cm proud of the top of the tin.
- In a very large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together for several minutes until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little of the flour with each to prevent the mixture from splitting.
- Stir in the fruit mixture. Sift the remaining flour over the mixture and fold in, using a large metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 3 hours, then check by insert a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not, give it a further 15–30 minutes. Leave the cake to cool before removing it from the tin.
To marizpan your cake
- When your cake is completely cooled – and ideally after a couple of days – you can marzipan and ice it. Warm the apricot jam gently in a saucepan with a splash of water to thin it down, sieve, then brush all over the cake.
- Roll out 300g of the marzipan to a large circle, about 4mm thick. Using the cake tin as a guide, cut a round of marzipan to fit the top of the cake and position it.
- Roll out the other 200g marzipan with the trimmings and cut 2 long strips to fit around the side of the cake. Position these, then smooth the marzipan and mould the edges together.
- If you are using ready-to-roll icing, roll it out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to a thickness of about 5mm. Lift it over the marzipan, smooth down and trim off the excess at the base.
- If you are using homemade royal icing, smooth it over the cake with a palette knife. You can leave it smooth or swirl it into peaks with the back of a spoon or your palette knife, as you choose. Leave to set.
- Wrap a ribbon around the side of your Christmas cake and finish as you wish with festive decorations.