Smalls Friendly Christmas Cake

Updated: Nov 29, 2019

A light, zesty, irresistible fruit cake that will be loved by grown ups and little ones alike.

Stir up Sunday always marks the beginning of festive spirit in the Bakefulplay household. It’s the most wonderful weekend of the year! Like all good Christmas traditions, Stir Up Sunday dates back to the Victorian era. The last Sunday before Advent, when the family would come together to make, steam and store their Christmas puds. Every member of the family should take a turn at stirring the pudding, each making a wish as they do so.

I have always baked to the max on Stir up Sunday weekend, using the opportunity to make our Christmas cake too. However, Smalls don’t tend to be fans of the traditional Crimble cake. My biggest says it has ‘funny fruit.’ That’ll be the booze lovely! So here is our Smalls friendly fruit cake recipe. It can be made and kept for up to a month, but it also tastes great made fresh for the day, so complete flexibility. It will look lovely with just a nice red ribbon tied around its middle or fully iced.


140g butter / Stork 140g golden caster sugar 175g plain flour

2 eggs 1 orange 1 lemon 1tsp almond essence 50g toasted, flaked almonds 400g dried fruit of your choosing .


15cm deep cake tin

Greasproof paper

Set Up

This can be a speedy cake to prepare if ingredients are pre-weighed and combined. Butter, zest and almond essence can be combined. You could even pre mix all this with the sugar in the main mixing bowl to make it super easy. You can combine all the fruit and nuts in one should you wish. It just depends how much your wee one likes to tip and pour ingredients into the bowl. If you can have your cake tin greased and the bottom lined with greaseproof paper, then the whole thing can be done and in the oven within minutes.


1. Cream together the butter / Stork, sugar, zests and almond essence.

2. Add the eggs and mix until combined before adding the juice of both the lemon and orange.

3. Stir in the flour and then add the dried fruit and nuts.

4. Scoop into the waiting cake tin and bake at 160° for 30 minutes before turning the oven down to 150° and baking for a further hour and fifteen minutes.

5. To test if the cake is done, push a knife or skewer into the centre. It should come out clean. Leave it to cool in the tin until almost cold and then to cool completely on a wire rack or chopping board.

To store the cake wrap tightly in greaseproof paper, tie with string and keep in a tin.

A tutorial for decoration the cake can be found on my You Tube channel. Equipment I used is linked below. Click the images for quick purchasing. Affiliate links. This action plan of how I divided the decorating might also be useful. The process is very flexible. You could ice, make and decorate all of the components in advance and just get the smalls to stick it all together at the end. Alternatively, allow them to enjoy all the pretty, messy bits. There's so much fun to be had together.

Equipment used in the tutorial - click to purchase.

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