Wondering when you should start making your Christmas cake? Take a look at our top tips and advice on baking, feeding and icing your cake.
How long should I soak the fruit in alcohol? Before you bake a Christmas cake you need to first make up the festive fruit mix, once done you should soak the fruit in a good liquor such as sherry for at least three days before baking.
When Should you bake? A traditional Christmas cake should be a real show stopper so preparation is key when it comes to baking. For most the “maturing” of the Christmas cake is priority and we feel the earlier the better, we suggest if you are making the rich fruit type you should start this process 3 months ahead of Christmas and “feed” it occasionally with your favourite brandy/sherry/whisky – we always use a good sherry!
If you (like us last year) want to leave your cake until a little nearer the time then 6 weeks before is perfect. The tradition of Stir-up Sunday, the last before advent, and the official time to mix up the festive dried fruit is also a very popular time to bake up your Christmas cake.
How often should you feed your Christmas cake? Once a week should be more than sufficient as you don’t want your cake to become soggy. Ensure to prick the top of your cake, and feed with 1-2 tablespoons of your favourite alcohol.
Tip: Wrap the cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment (parchment paper) before wrapping in foil as the fruits in the cake can react with the metals in the foil.
When should you ice your Xmas cake? A few days (or even a week) before you are ready to ice you should put the layer of marzipan on first, this allows any oils and wetness to dry out. Icing should be left until the last few days or even on Christmas Eve itself.
Tip: If time is against you (which can happen over Christmas) then using white marzipan instead of golden will take lesser time to dry out.
Whether you love a boozy-filled rich cake or something a little lighter, your Christmas cake will take pride of place on your table and we’re sure even Mary Berry herself would want a slice.
Check out our easy Christmas cake recipe here.
Do you have any Christmas cake advice? Have you already started yours? Let us know your thoughts and comments below.