Half Size – Mama’s Never too Late Christmas Cake

  • Because of not being able to see many friends or family these last 3 years, I have not made an English style Christmas Cake for ages.
  • I have just been making one for my friend who is about to celebrate a significant birthday and loves fruit cake.
  • I found that the usual amount was quite a lot and I had forgotten how hard it was to mix it all up.
  • I thought that next time I would just make a half sized one.
  • Rather than halve the amounts ‘on the hoof’  I thought I would write this up with the half sized amount.
  • Decided it was better to do this now whilst things are fresh in my mind.
  • Of course I will not have the timings for baking but I can give estimates and check these later when I make this size of  cake.
  • It is a very moist cake and therefore it will only keep for about 2 months.

  • *
  • However if you want to add marzipan & icing then you should make it about 2- 3 weeks in advance, to give time for this to be done.


  • 450g mixture of currants, raisins & sultanas
  • 100g chopped mixed peel
  • 100g glacé cherries cut in half
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon & 1 orange
  • 1 medium cooking apple, peeled and coarse grated
  • 100g fine grated carrots
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 60 ml strong cold tea (I use a scented one like Earl Grey)
  • *
  • 175 g Butter
  • 175 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of black treacle
  • 3 large eggs – beaten
  • *
  • 200g plain flour – sieved
  • 1/4 level teaspoon salt
  • 3 level teaspoons mixed spice
  • ½ level teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼  grated nutmeg
  • ½ tablespoon cocoa  – yes cocoa! – sieved
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds 


  • Put all the fruit, rinds, carrots, rum & tea into large bowl,  mix and leave for 15 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 2 – 150oC.
  • Grease and line the cake tin – 20cm or 18cm square.
  • In another  large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar, beat in the treacle and eggs.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together & fold them in using a large metal spoon.
  • Fold in the fruit mix using a large metal spoon
  • *
  • Put all the cake mixture into the tin to fill the shape and smooth the top.
  • 20 cm square – try 1hr 30mins
  • 18 cm square  -try 1hr 15 mins 
  • The above are guides as it does depend on your oven – you need to check earlier.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • *
  • Wrap in several layers of foil to store.

Decorating the cake

  • It depends on who is coming and whether there are  lots of marzipan & icing lovers on how much I decorate the cake.
  • *
  • Sometimes I just dust the top with icing sugar.
  • See the full sized recipe for more details.
  • Cut down the amounts to suit the cake size.

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I love cooking and baking. I love trying out new recipes and currently am trying out many old favourites from my Polish cookbooks and family recipes. I am trying out many variations, often to make them easier but still delicious. I collect glass cake stands and china tableware, mainly tea plates, jugs and serving dishes, many of which I use on a daily basis. They are an eclectic mixture from the 20th & 21st century.

2 thoughts on “Half Size – Mama’s Never too Late Christmas Cake”

  1. This sounds lovely, though I would call it a cross between a traditional Englush Christmas cake and a carrot cake. I’m not sure that it needs decoration, but I would use the one traditionally meant for carrot cake, say cream cheese and icing sugar.
    I suppose if you were keeping it for longer then marzipan and icing would seal it better. It wouldn’t last long in my house!

    Liked by 1 person

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