First things first with for your Christmas cake recipe; put all the dried fruit, orange juice, zest and rum into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, this helps get all the fruit nice and juicy!
Now for the baking, pre-heat your oven to 150℃/130℃/Gas Mark. Grease and line a 8” round cake tin with parchment paper.
Pop the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Add in the Orange Extract, then the eggs one at a time. Finally pop in the golden syrup and give your mixture a big stir.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, ground almonds and spices together and then fold through the wet mixture. Finally stir through the chopped almonds and your cooled dried fruit.
Pour your cake mixture into the cake tin and bake for 2hrs 45 minutes - 3hours or until a skewer popped into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and brush generously with rum or brandy. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely. If you are making in advance once your cake is cooled wrap tightly in foil and place in an air tight container, feed weekly with rum or brandy if you.
Now it’s time to decorate your Christmas cake, this can be done up to 2 weeks before Christmas! Pop your cake onto a cake board and secure in place with a blob of apricot jam. Lightly dust your work top with icing sugar, knead and roll out the marzipan until it is large enough to cover your entire cake. Brush your cake with apricot jam and place the marzipan over your cake smoothing it over the top and down the sides so it sticks in place and trim any excess around the base. Top tip; to help lift the marzipan onto the cake, drape over your rolling pin and lift onto the cake. Leave your marzipan to dry out on your cake for about 24 hours.
Now it’s time to ice your cake, lightly dust your work top again with icing sugar and roll out the Fondant icing until it is large enough to cover your cake. Brush the marzipan layer lightly with apricot jam and place the rolled out fondant over the cake smoothing it over the top and down the sides. Trim off any excess fondant.
Time for the finishing touches, using your festive cutters mark out a design on your iced Christmas cake. Once you’re happy with the design cut out the fondant icing with the cutter, use a cocktail stick to help lift the fondant icing out. Fill your cut out festive shapes with Glamour & Sparkle sprinkles.
Finally, to finish choose a beautiful Christmas ribbon and tie it around your cake. Merry Christmas!