Freshly baked Christmas cake with holly decoration

Last Minute Christmas Cake

December 01, 2023

An easy, simple recipe with few ingredients; this cake has all the smells and flavours of a traditional well-matured Christmas cake, but can be made just a day or so before cutting. The perfect last minute Christmas cake if you’re short of time.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes | Baking Time: 75 minutes

You'll also need: 20.5cm/ 8in round deep cake tin or springclip tin greased and lined (or use a ready made cake liner). 


  • 250g Marriage’s Organic Self-Raising Flour
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten to mix
  • 300g luxury mincemeat
  • 1 tbsp Brandy or orange juice
  • To finish – optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling OR 100g mixed whole nuts (Brazils, walnuts, almonds, pecans) plus 4 tablespoons apricot jam melted with 1 tablespoon water



Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas3.


Using a free-standing or hand-held electric mixer or whisk, beat the butter and sugar until very creamy and light in texture. Gradually beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the mincemeat, Brandy and flour and mix in thoroughly using a large metal spoon.


Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly, you can scatter with course sugar at this stage.


Bake in the heated oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.


Stand the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool completely before turning out.


Wrap the cake in fresh greaseproof or foil and leave for at least 24 hours.


If you want to decorate your cake with a nut topping pick out the best looking nuts from the pack, then heat the jam with the water until melted and very hot. Brush the top of the cake with warm apricot jam then arrange the nuts on top. Brush with more jam, gently reheated, so they are glued in place. Leave to set before cutting.


Store in an airtight container in a cool spot – not the fridge – and eat within a week.