Mum Phipps’ Rich Christmas Cake

December is here and now is the time to get the Christmas Cake made so it can mature ready for eating.  OK, so it doesnt have to mature, and I have been guilty of making the Christmas Cake at the last minute, but honestly, it is so much better if left to rest for a few weeks before cutting.  Mum Phipps (aka Ruth, Grandma, Great grandma etc) introduced this recipe to me in 1980 and it has been a favourite ever since being used for many celebrations in the family other than Christmas including Alisha & Chris‘ Wedding in 2009.  Alisha’s friend Carmen made the cake and had to check with Mum Phipps at the Wedding that she had “done it right” and the cake was OK.  The list of ingredients is a bit longer than I normally like in a recipe but thankfully most of it comes from the staples part of my pantry.

Day Before Baking Day

  • 1 desertspoon Vanilla Essence
  • ½ teaspoon Almond Essence
  • 2 teaspoons Mixed Spice
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1.5 kg Mixed fruit (Cake fruit mix)
  • 250 grams Dates (chopped)
  • ½ Cup Rum
  1. Mix all together and cover with lid or gladwrap.
  2. Leave to soak overnight at room temperature.

Baking Day

  • 500 grams Butter
  • 500 grams Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Treacle (or Golden Syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon Marmalade
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 60 grams Self Raising Flour
  • 350 grams Plain Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Rum (for after cooking)
  1. Turn oven on to 150°C and prepare tin with several layers of paper. I use a 250cm square tin.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  3. Add Treacle and Marmalade then beat in Eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift baking Soda, Salt and both Flours. (I don’t normally sift stuff but for this I do)
  5. Add dry ingredients to butter mix alternately with Fruit mix (I do this in 4 lots of each)
  6. Bake for 3 – 4 hours  or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. When baked poke many many holes with carving fork or skewer and pour on 2 Tablespoons of extra rum.
  8. Cover lightly and leave in tin for 12 hours.
  9. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to decorate.

This is an awesome cake made according to the recipe, however, I have been known to make a few minor variations

  • Use Scotch rather than Rum
  • Add other dried fruit as part of the fruit mix ie Crystalized Ginger, Dried Apricots, Chopped nuts…whatever you like really.

If you have never made your own Christmas Cake…this is your year, this recipe is easy….give it a go and let me know how it comes out.



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