Lyle's Classic Christmas Cake

Lyle's Classic Christmas Cake

Special occasions deserve special cakes. This rich, luxuriant pudding is perfect for your memorable Christmas dinner.




1½ hours


3½ hours



  • 12 tbsp Whisky or brandy
  • 1 Medium orange, juiced & zested
  • 1 tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • 3 tsp Dr Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 450g Raisins
  • 225g Dried cranberries
  • 110g Prunes, roughly chopped
  • 50g Glacé cherries, halved, rinsed, dried & finely chopped
  • 110g Chopped candied peel
  • 50g Blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 250g Unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 125g Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • 125g Tate & Lyle Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 250g Self-raising flour
  • 5 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp Salt


  • 225ml Whisky or brandy


  • 3 tbsp Smooth apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 600g Dr Oetker Ready To Roll White Marzipan
  • Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar, to dust
  • 700g Dr Oetker Ready To Roll Regal Ice White Icing
  • Silver edible cake pearls
  • Edible cake glue or Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar & water


Create a very special Christmas cake:

  1. Shake together the whisky or brandy, the orange juice and zest, vanilla, 1 tablespoon of Lyle’s Golden Syrup and the mixed spice, using a large saucepan. Add the raisins, cranberries, prunes, cherries, candied peel and nuts. 

  2. Stir, bring to just under the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes. Stir once or twice, until the liquid has been absorbed and the fruit has plumped up nicely. Leave to cool.

  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120° Fan, 275°F, Gas 1 with the shelf set on the middle. Cream together the butter, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and the Tate&Lyle Dark Muscovado Sugar, in a large mixing bowl, then add the flour, eggs and salt. Mix well until smooth, then stir in the fruit mixture until well combined.

  4. Spoon into a 20cm (8”) round cake tin (greased, with the base and sides lined with a double thickness of baking parchment). Level the surface and make a gentle hollow in the middle (you don’t want the cake to peak too much). Bake for 3 hours then cover with a double thick layer of parchment paper. Bake the cake for a further 20-30 minutes or until the centre springs back nicely when lightly touched.

  5. Cool the cake in the tin for 30 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Peel off the paper. 

  6. Optional: Got time to do a special job? Feed the cake with whisky or brandy at intervals over a month to enrich it. To do this you will need to poke holes in the cake with a fine skewer or cocktail stick and then drip about 2 tablespoons of the alcohol over the top each time. Wrap in foil between feeding the cake and store in an airtight container – it will last for up to 3 months. Transfer the cake to a 25.5cm (10”) round cake board.

  7. Heat the jam and water in a small pan for 2-3 minutes, stir to combine, then brush all over the cake.

  8. Roll out the marzipan on a surface dusted with Icing Sugar to slightly larger than the cake. Cover the cake, cut away the excess and leave out to dry. One day later, brush the marzipan with water and cover the cake with the rolled-out fondant (slightly larger than the cake), cut away the excess and leave out to dry.

  9. Thinly reroll the excess fondant – you should have about 95g (3½oz) left. Stamp out 8 snowflakes with a 6cm (2½”) cutter, dipping each one into a little Tate&Lyle Icing Sugar each time. Use the edible ‘glue’ to stick the snowflakes around the edge of the cake. Alternatively make your own edible glue: Mix 1 tablespoon of Tate&Lyle Icing Sugar with a drop of water. 

  10. Stick the silver balls onto the snowflakes. Leave to dry for a minimum of 2 hours before storing in an airtight container.

  11. Wind a ribbon around the base of the cake, cut to fit and secure with icing. Serve!


You can also try this recipe for a smaller wedding or christening cake.