Monday, 23 November 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway - Darcie Boleyn talking about Christmas Cake! - #CarinaChristmas

To help kick off #CarinaChristmas I am delighted to welcome Darcie Boleyn to Rachel's Random Reads, and she is talking about that always great topic of Christmas Cake. And if once you have read that, scroll further down, and she is giving away an e-copy of her book.

One of the things I love the most about Christmas is the build up. The day itself is wonderful but it just wouldn't be the same without the excitement of the preparations. 

In the past, I've made my own mincemeat for mince pies, I've made chutneys to serve with cheese and cold meats on Boxing Day and I've created my own decorations for the Christmas tree. However, this year, I started preparations even earlier and made my own Christmas cake!

I used the recipe that Katie Warham uses in Wish Upon a Christmas Cake. Ideally, it should be made a few months in advance to ensure that it has time to mature before covering with marzipan then icing.

Today I'm going to share the recipe with you, but it’s a secret recipe, so don’t tell anyone!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Darcie XX

Katie Warham’s Christmas Cake

1kg of mixed dried fruits – raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, cranberries, currants, 50g stem ginger - chopped zest and juice one lemon, zest and juice one orange
150ml of a spirit of your choice – brandy, whisky, rum or sherry – plus extra for feeding
250g butter
200g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon black treacle
175g plain flour
100g almonds, 100g flaked almonds, 150g chopped pecans
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice, ½  teaspoon ground cloves
4 large free range eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


(1) Place all of the dried fruits and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl or pan then mix in your choice of spirit along with the lemon and orange zest and juice. Cover with a clean cloth or tea towel and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Stir regularly to ensure that the fruit plumps up nicely.

(2) Mix together the almonds, pecans, flour, baking powder and spices in a bowl.

(3) In a different bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and treacle together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour with each. Finally, gently fold in the dry ingredients.

(4) Tip the creamed mixture into the fruit. Stir well with a wooden spoon.

(5) Prepare a 23-25cm and 8 cm deep cake tin: grease then double-line the inside of the tin with greased baking parchment. Allow the parchment to come about 1cm above the top of the tin. Cut a double circle of parchment with a  diameter approximately 5cm bigger than the tin. Fold and cut a hole in the centre about 4cm across.

(6) Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Even out the surface and make a slight indentation in the centre with the back of a spoon. Put into the middle of the oven and carefully balance the circular disk of parchment on top of the tin. (This stops the top of the cake over-browning and drying out, but it won’t work in a fan oven as it tends to blow the parchment off.)

(7) Bake for 3 hours and 45 minutes. 

(8) Place on a rack and allow to go cold in the tin – preferably overnight. 

(9) Remove from tin and take off the side parchment, leaving the bottom in place. Pierce all over with a skewer andcarefully spoon over 5 tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Wrap carefully in a double layer of parchment then in two layers of foil so that the cake is completely covered.

(10) Leave to mature in an airtight tin in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months. 'Feed' every 3 to 4 weeks with 4 additional tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Rewrap carefully each time.

(11) 2 weeks before serving, cover with marzipan and allow to dry for 5 days. 

(12) Before serving, ice with fondant or royal icing, and decorate as desired.

About Darcie Boleyn

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an over-active imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn't yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop. 

Author Links  - Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Purchase links: Amazon UK |

Giveaway to win an e-copy of Wish upon a Christmas Cake (Open Internationally)

Darcie Boleyn has kindly offered readers of Rachel's Random Reads a chance to win an e-copy of Wish upon a Christmas Cake as part of #CarinaChristmas. The prize will be supplied as an Amazon voucher to the value of the book. 

Giveaway open to everyone, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 4/12/2015. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Darcie, for the giveaway and the recipe. My review of Wish Upon A Christmas Cake has also been posted today, so please check it out.

For more #CarinaChristmas click here


  1. Great post, never made a Christmas cake but we are more mince pie fans. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. My husband made one of our Christmas cakes this week. Now to make the youngest her birthday cake


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