Sri Lankan-Style Christmas Cake

Preparation time:
35 mins
Cooking time:
3 hours
Recipe provided by: New Idea

An exotic addition to Christmas this year!


1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup currants
½ cup chopped mixed glace fruits (pear, apricots, peaches), firmly packed
½ cup chopped red glace cherries
¹/³ cup mixed peel
¹/³ cup finely chopped glace ginger
¼ cup brandy
200g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
6 egg yolks
2 tblsps rosewater
1 tsp almond essence
1 cup pistachios (120g)
½ cup ginger marmalade
1 cup fine semolina
¼ cup plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 egg whites

To Decorate:

330g packet royal icing
Sugar-frosted rose petals (see tip)


1 Combine fruit, peel, ginger and brandy in an extra-large bowl. Stir to combine. Stand, covered, overnight and stir occasionally.

2 Next day, line base and side of a 20cm round x 7.5cm deep cake pan with three layers of brown paper, then three layers of baking paper, extending 5cm above edge of pan.

3 Beat butter, sugar and rind in a small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks, one at a time. Add rosewater and essence. Beat until combined. Stir butter mixture into fruit mixture with nuts and marmalade.

4 Sift combined semolina, flour and spices over top. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined.

5 Beat egg whites in a clean, small bowl of an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into fruit mixture in two batches. Spoon into prepared pan. Level surface.

6 Cook in a slow oven (150C) for 1 hour. Reduce oven to very slow (120C). Cook for a further 2 hours, or until cooked when tested. Remove from oven. Wrap hot cake and pan in a clean tea towel. Cool completely in pan.

7 To decorate, make icing according to packet directions, using 70ml water.

8 Remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack. Pour icing over centre of cake. Using a spatula, push icing towards edge of cake, allowing it to drip over the side. Top with sugar-frosted rose petals.


TIP: To make sugar-frosted rose petals, brush petals with egg white and coat in caster sugar. Leave to dry. Make sure you use rose petals grown without pesticides or fertilisers.

New Idea
Cass Stokes
Oliver Ford & Andre Martin

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