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Decadent Chocolate Christmas Cake



  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g raisins
  • 300g pitted chopped prunes
  • 300g chopped figs
  • 150g glace cherries
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup treacle
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • ¼ cup of cocoa
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
  • 140g chopped almonds
  • 140g chopped brazil nuts
  • Extra 1/2 cup port or brandy for pouring over cake

This recipe is very rich and decadent with the addition on bittersweet chocolate added to it. Traditionally Christmas cake is made several weeks prior to when it is eaten so it has time to improve the flavour.



  1. Soak all fruit, zest of orange, orange juice and brandy in a bowl for several hours until all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven on bake to 150C (do not use fan bake as this will dry the cake out). Line the sides and base of a deep 23cm-round tin with two layers of baking paper (help prevent drying out), bringing it 5cm above the rim of the tin.
  3. In a bowl combine the flour, spices, cocoa, chopped chocolate and chopped nuts.
  4. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until is pale yellow light and creamy. Then beat in the treacle.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the fruit to the creamed mixture and mix together.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until just combined but do not over mix.
  8. Spoon a layer of mixture across the base of the tin and gently spread so the lining doesn’t move. Spoon and spread the rest of the mixture into the tin.
  9. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the top to help prevent the cake from drying out.
  10. Wrap brown paper around the tin and tie with string. My Nan always did this to prevent it from drying out and I have done it ever since.
  11. Bake for 2-3 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Check at two hours and then every 20 minutes. 
  12. Once cake is cold pour over port and wrap in clingfilm/gladwrap and place in a tin and store in a dry place.

I do not decorate this cake with almond paste & icing since the chocolate is quite rich. You can decorate the top of the cake before you bake it with glace cherries and blanched almonds to give it a traditional look. 

This year I made my cake in small individual cake tins, as pictured, so that I could give them away as gifts to friends. I had been hunting everywhere for these tins to make mini wedding cakes and the only place I found that produces them was Alan Silverwood products in the UK so I imported a set! You can also buy them in Sydney from Iced Affair. Of course you can always cut your large cake into individual squares and wrap as small individual cakes which is what I used to do before I went mad and bought this product.  

Note: Small cakes as shown (made 14 from the 16 individual tins) – bake for minutes 45 – 55 minutes only

You can substitute any of the fruit as long as you keep the quantities the same. I use prunes & figs since they produce a more moist cake.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Salome Watton #

    Yummy! Guess what I’m eating. This is such a delicious cake, I think it is my favourite recipe on your blog. I might try the little ones next year and give them as presents!

    December 19, 2010

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