Nana’s Dark Christmas Cake

Nana’s Dark Christmas Cake
Preparation time: 1 & 1/2 hrs Cooking time: 3 hrs Medium


Old fashion recipe that makes quite a few cakes but is excellent and holds many family memories for me <3


  • 2 lbs Thompson Raisins (not Muscats or Sultanas)
  • 2 lbs Currants
  • 2 lbs Pitted dates - chopped
  • 1 lb Candied Red & Green Cherries
  • 1/2 lb Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 lb Chopped Blanched Almonds
  • 3 cups Butter (room temp)
  • 2 tsp each - Vanilla Extract
    • Lemon Extract
    • Almond Extract
    • Rose Water
  • 5&1/3 cups Brown Sugar - 1 kg bag
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 cup Sour Milk
  • 8 cups Sifted White Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1& 1/4 tsps Nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp Cloves


  • Prepare fruit and nuts the night before and combine with a light dusting of flour (approx 1 cup) in a large deep pot. Let sit at room temp overnight, covered.

  • Day of baking, prepare your pans ( 3 deep layer cake pans or 5 loaf pans) by greasing and lining with brown paper and then grease paper inside pans again. ( I just use parchment paper now with no greasing the pans or the paper itself, just line pans with it)

  • Cream butter until soft and creamy. Add flavorings one at a time while creaming. Gradually add brown sugar and beat well until mixture is light and fluffy. -Beat egg yolks well until thick and pale lemon in color. Gradually add to butter sugar mixture, beating thoroughly.

  • Mix flour, baking soda and spices in a large bowl. Sift a few times to blend well together.

  • Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to butter sugar egg yolk mixture, making 3 or 4 additions beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

  • Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and then gently fold into batter.

  • When batter is well blended, fold in fruit and nuts and combine well. (At this point I generally fold the batter into the fruit nut mixture that is already in a large deep pot sitting from the night before as you will need a very large bowl to mix the batter ingredients all together but there wont be any room to fold the fruit nut mixture into that bowl. Also at this point I use my clean hands to do the folding work as batter with the fruit and nut in it will be very stiff and thick and a wooden spoon or spatula just doesn’t do a good job at mixing at all.)

  • Carefully spread fruitcake batter into prepared lined pans. Smooth down the tops very gently to fill pans to the corners well.

  • Bake in a low over, 300 Degrees, for 3 to 4 hrs. Watch your cakes the last cooking hour for doneness and remove from oven before overcooking them.

  • Allow baked cakes to sit in pans for 45 mins before removing. Remove paper and cool thoroughly.

  • Wrap well and store in cool dry place for a couple of weeks to one month before using to age and tenderize cakes.

  • My family has always brushed the cakes well on all sides with Cherry Brandy before wrapping well in saran wrap and letting sit to age, before using. ** Excellent flavorful Christmas Cake to serve as is with tea or coffee or warmed up and served with warm custard poured on top, as a dessert like plum pudding for Christmas :)

*** Very old recipe that my Grandmother always used to make her Christmas cakes every year, then my Mom and now me for years. I also made this fruit cake for my Sister’s and then My wedding to be all cut up, wrapped and placed in Wedding Cake Favor Boxes at our weddings to give to our guests to take home with them :)

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