Spiced Rum Christmas Cake

Amy Massey
by Amy Massey
20 Servings
6 hr

This cake recipe has quickly become a tradition that everyone in my household looks forward to at Christmas time. A traditional british Christmas cake would traditionally be soaked in brandy for a number of weeks in the lead up to Christmas. As I am not much of a brandy lover, I decided to spice things up slightly with my own favourite tipple, which is sweet, spiced, golden rum. The flavours work really well together and it produces a less potent version of the traditional dessert.

I usually start preparing this recipe around Halloween and continue to "feed" rum to the cake once a week every week until Christmas week.

This cake is a fantastic treat to cut into on Christmas eve and enjoy right the way through to new year.

The cake will keep for up to 3 months after being cut, having been preserved by the rum.

A sweeter, Caribbean inspired twist to a traditional, classic British Christmas cake.

A huge medley of fruits are soaked in sweet, golden spiced rum before being baked in a cake.

The final resulting cake is decorated in traditional Christmas icing and marzipan after weeks of being lovingly prepared.

Recipe details
  • 20  Servings
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 5 Hours Total time: 6 hr
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For the fruit mixture
  • 425g currants
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 150g glacé cherries, quartered
  • 75g candied mixed peel
  • 150g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsps golden spiced rum
For the cake
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 300g softened, unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
  • 300g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 60g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 5 medium eggs
  • Remainder of a bottle of spiced golden rum
For the icing
  • 4-5 tbsps apricot jam
  • 300g golden marzipan
  • 400g ready to roll Royal icing
  • Coloured icing sugar pens to add a design, if desired
  • Ribbon, for decoration, if desired
For the fruit mixture
Mix all of the dried fruits in a large bowl very well and then stir in the spiced rum.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to soak for 24 hours.
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celcius.
Put all of the cake ingredients except the almonds into a bowl and mix very well until combined.
Stir in the nuts and the soaked fruit and any liquid left behind from the fruit.
Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper on the bottom and sides, leaving around 2 inches of paper sticking above the top of the tin.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Cover the top of the cake with a circular piece of greaseproof paper, 2 sheets thick, with a small hole cut out of the centre.
Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake slowly for 4-5 hours, until it is firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean when pushed though.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
When the cake has completely cooled, remove from the tin but leave the greaseproof paper around the sides and bottom.
Remove the baking paper from the top and pierce the cake several times with a skewer, then pour 1 or 2 tbsps of spiced rum over the top.
Put the greaseproof paper disc back on top of the cake and wrap the whole cake inside a layer of tin foil.
Store in an airtight container, in a cool dark place.
Once per week, remove the cake from its wrapping and repeat the process of skewering the cake and pouring over a little extra rum.
Repeat this process once per week for 6-8 weeks.
For the icing
A few days before you want to serve the cake, spoon the apricot jam over the cake and spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
Roll out the marzipan to desired thickness and place it over the cake.
Smooth the marzipan over edges of the cake and press down against the jam firmly. Trim any excess marzipan off.
Roll the Royal icing out to desired thickness, then brush a little water over the marzipan. This will help the icing stick to the marzipan.
Place the icing on top of the marzipan.
Smooth the icing over the cake and press it down firmly until it sticks.
Trim any excess icing off.
Run your hands all over the cake to fully smooth the icing all over.
Decorate as desired with the coloured icing pens and fasten a ribbon around the edge.
  • My mom made something very similar to this and she was from Austria. This is delicious. This is truly a labor of love. I have only made it a few times. Seeing your recipe, now I want to make one! Won't be ready till February but who cares? Thanks for sharing. Pinned!

    • Amy Massey Amy Massey on Dec 11, 2022

      Thanks for your lovely comment! And I agree, who cares what time of year it is if it brings you happiness. Hope you love it!