Last Minute Layered Christmas Cake

Do you like Christmas Cake but know of family or friends who balk at the idea of a traditional Christmas Cake? Yes then problem solved with my easy layered Christmas cake!

Filled with flavor from top to bottom, the fruit is layered on the bottom so non-fruit lovers can just skip it altogether and because the spice mix and whisky create instant depth this cake can be made at the last minute however the flavor does seem to deepen over time and will easily last a week if kept in a cool environment and in an airtight container. Served with my Christmassy Spiced Christmas Custard it is oh so very comforting. Rather than just regular sultanas and currants, I've added mixed peel, naked ginger and dried cranberries which creates a beautiful full flavor.

Even though this recipe is very successful as a Christmas cake, you could serve this with your afternoon tea or coffee any day of the year and it travels great too!


3/4 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup mixed dried fruit or sultanas

1 cup boiling water

1/8 cup whisky

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond essence

1 + 1/2 cups self-raising flour

2-3 tablespoons mixed peel finely chopped

1/4 cup naked ginger finely chopped


  1. Grease and line with baking paper a 23cm/9" round cake pan.

  2. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

  3. In a medium sized sized saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the dried cranberries, mixed dried fruit OR sultanas, whisky and boiling water and cook through several minutes until plumped. Turn off and allow to cool (some water will still be in the pan, that is fine.)

  4. In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, butter and sugar and using an electric beater, beat until well-combined and pale.

  5. Add the vanilla extract and almond essence to the egg mixture and quickly combine with your electric beater.

  6. Next add the self-raising flour, mixed peel and naked ginger and use your electric beater or silicon spatula and mix well again to combine.

  7. Add the cooled dried fruit/water mixture and mix well.

  8. Pour into your lined cake tin and bake for 40-55 minutes or until golden-brown and the top springs back when you press it or a skewer inserted come out clean.

  9. Allow to cool and eat as is, or with my Spiced Christmas Custard yum!