With the festive season upon us, try this delicious recipe for Rum & Raisin Christmas Cake.

We love the classic combination of dark rum and raisins with the addition of sweet glacé cherries in this delicious Christmas cake. Be sure to soak your fruit ahead of time to make it extra-juicy!


900g raisins

100g glacé cherries, halved

150ml dark rum

2 unwaxed oranges (zest and juice)

250g unsalted butter (softened)

250g light muscovado sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 medium eggs

200g plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice


  1. 1-3 days before baking your cake, put the raisins, cherries, orange zest and juice, and rum into a lidded container, stir and seal.
  2. Preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment: use double thickness, ensuring the parchment comes an inch above the tin. Wrap the outside of the tin with another double layer of parchment and secure it in place with string.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together, add in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one-by-one, adding a sprinkle of the flour each time to prevent the mixture from curdling.
  4. Stir in the remaining flour, mixed spice and soaked fruit including any leftover liquid from the container. Transfer the mixture to your prepared tin and ensure the surface is level. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to140C/120C fan/gas mark 1, place a double layer of baking parchment loosely on top of the cake to protect it and bake for a further 2-3 hours, checking it regularly after 2 hours by inserting a skewer, when it comes out clean the cake is done.
  6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, once fully-cooled store in an air-tight container or wrap in baking parchment and foil. ‘Feed’ your cake every week or so by poking holes with a skewer and drizzling with Rum.
  7. A couple of weeks before Christmas, Ice your cake – we like to use a layer of marzipan, topped with fondant icing. Enjoy!


    • If you prefer not to use alcohol, this can be substituted for black tea.
    • Feel free to substitute the raisins and glacé cherries for any dried fruit you like.
    • If you can’t find unwaxed oranges, you can use waxed – to remove the wax, rinse your oranges under hot water and scrub with a vegetable brush or a brand-new scourer.
    • You can make this cake ahead of time and store it for up to 6 months in a cool dark place.

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