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Paul Hollywoods Christmas cake on cake plate

Paul Hollywood's Christmas Cake

Paul Hollywood
This is a classic, richly fruited Christmas cake – deliciously moist and substantial. It tastes wonderful just as it is, but of course the addition of marzipan and snowy white icing make it much more festive and spectacular.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
soaking time 6 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs 20 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine British
Servings 16 slices
Calories 741 kcal


  • 20 cm cake tin
  • Large bowl or stand mixer
  • Measuring spoons
  • weighing scales
  • Pastry brush
  • small saucepan
  • baking parchment
  • rolling pin


  • 450 g sultanas
  • 225 g raisins
  • 225 g dried apricots chopped
  • 115 g prunes chopped
  • 55 g glacé pineapple chopped
  • 225 g glacé cherries chopped
  • 225 g chopped candied peel
  • 115 g blanched almonds toasted and very roughly chopped
  • 1 orange juice
  • 1 orange finely grated zest
  • 70 ml brandy
  • 225 g unsalted butter softened
  • 200 g light muscovado sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 280 g plain flour

To decorate

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 300 g quantity marzipan
  • 1 tbsp Icing sugar for dusting
  • 300 g fondant icing
  • 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)


  • 450 g sultanas, 225 g raisins, 225 g dried apricots, 115 g prunes, 55 g glacé pineapple, 225 g glacé cherries, 225 g chopped candied peel, 115 g blanched almonds, 1 orange juice, 1 orange finely grated zest, 70 ml brandy
    Combine all the dried and glacé fruit, candied peel and almonds in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and juice, and the brandy.
    Paul Hollywood Christmas Cake Ingredients
  • Mix well, cover and leave for several hours or overnight.
    Paul Hollywoods Christmas Cake mixed
  • 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.
  • 225 g unsalted butter, 200 g light muscovado sugar
    In a very large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for several minutes until pale and fluffy.
  • 5 large eggs
    Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little of the flour with each to prevent the mixture from splitting.
    Christmas Cake butter sugar egg
  • 280 g plain flour
    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.
    Christmas Cake mix in cake tin
  • 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.
    Paul Hollywood's Christmas Cake baked

To marizpan your cake

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
    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.
  • Turn the cake upside down on a cake board. Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam.
    Brush Christmas Cake with apricot jam
  • 300 g quantity marzipan, 1 tbsp Icing sugar for dusting
    Roll out 300g of the marzipan to a large circle, on a surface dusted with icing sugar. It should be about 4mm thick.
    marzipan and rolling pin
  • Use the cake tin as a guide and cut a round of marzipan to fit the top of the cake then position it. 
    Cut marzipan to fit Paul Hollywood's Christmas Cake
  • 300 g fondant icing, 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
    Roll out the fondant out on a surface lightly dusted with cornflour (cornstarch) to a thickness of about 4mm. Use the cake tin as a guide and cut a round of fondant icing to fit the top of the cake.
  • Brush a little water over the marzipan, then position the fondant icing to match the marzipan
    Fondant on Christmas cake
  • Wrap a ribbon around the side of your Christmas cake and finish as you wish with festive decorations.
    Paul Hollywood's Chrismtas Cake marzipan and fondant


Calories: 741kcalCarbohydrates: 124gProtein: 9gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 91mgPotassium: 723mgFiber: 6gSugar: 81gVitamin A: 1010IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 3mg