My current favourite Christmas cake is Last-Minute Mincemeat Christmas Cake. But I got to thinking about something slightly simpler, that could also be enjoyed at Christmas. Then I saw a recipe on Mary Berry’s site and decided that I could do a version of that with just a couple of changes.
That recipe was for two small loaf cakes, whereas I wanted a large one. It also used currants when I wanted to include glacé cherries. So I decided I would try the recipe with just a couple of variations. However I must say, in terms of the fruit used, it is a matter of personal preference. As long as about 150g to 200g of dried fruit are used, whether, currants, raisins, sultana, chopped mixed peel etc, it will make a very tasty cake. Of course mincemeat is required as well. The quality of mincemeat can affect the flavour, but certainly almost any shop bought version will suffice.
Even better would be homemade mincemeat. I have a recipe for that which you can see here. The mincemeat, as well as using lots of different fruits, has some spices in as well, which gives a great flavour to the cake to complement all that fruit.
As an alternative to Christmas cake this recipe is very good. It offers the flavours of Christmas, but with a less dense texture to the cake and is quicker and easier to make.
The method is the same as for most quick-bread recipes. Simple mix the dry ingredients together and then do the same with the wet ingredients. Then combine both wet and dry and fill the loaf pan. Then it is time to bake the loaf cake. For this particular loaf cake it should be baked for about 75 minutes. In the recipe I suggest between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes, since different ovens might have temperature variations.
Although I didn’t do this you could also feed the cake with a little brandy or rum(or similar) after baking. That would be an extra special treat. The cake will keep for 4 or 5 days, if it lasts that long. But it is keep longer if fed with alcohol and wrapped and stored in an airtight container.
My Loaf Cake
My loaf cake baked very well. I did place some foil over the top after about an hour, to prevent further browning on the top. I tested the cake with a skewer after 1 hour and 15 minutes and it came out clean. So I removed the cake from the oven and left it in the pan for 10 minutes. Then I removed it from the tin and placed it on a wire rack to cool completely. Once it had cooled I sliced it and had a taste. That taste was wonderful, with such a fruity flavour and a wonderful texture.
Just as I had hoped, it was a great alternative to the more traditional type of Christmas cake. Offering the flavours but with a lighter texture in the mouth.
Indeed, having made one and shared it with family I immediately made another one just for myself. I sliced it and froze some slices so I can have some whenever I please over the next few weeks. I shall also make it again for Christmas.
Another great loaf cake is Moist Coconut Pound Loaf Cake.
Mincemeat Loaf Cake – Easy BakingCourse: Cakes, ChristmasCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
225g(1 1/2 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) self raising flour (for plain flour see note below)
225g(1 cup) mincemeat
150g(10 tbsp+2 tsp) softened unsalted butter
150g(3/4 cup) light brown sugar
2 medium eggs(large in USA)
100g(3/4 cup) sultanas, soaked and drained
75g(1/2 cup) glacé cherries, chopped into quarters
3g(1/2 tsp) salt
15 – 30 ml (1 – 2 tbsp) milk to slightly loosen the batter(if required)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Grease a 900g/2lb loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat to thoroughly incorporate.
- Stir in the mincemeat as well, until fully combined. Set the bowl aside.
- Mix the salt into the flour, then add in the cherries and sultanas and mix around until fully coated in flour.
- Tip the flour mixture into the wet ingredient and fold in with a spatula until just combined. If the batter is very thick you can add a little milk just to loosen it a little. (the consistency of the mincemeat may vary, hence sometimes the need for a little milk).
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread to make it level, and ensuring it completely covers the base and reaches into the corners.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake the loaf cake for 75 to 90 minutes, until a skewer, when poked into the centre, comes out clean. If the top is browning too quickly you can cover it lightly with some aluminium foil.
- Remove the baked loaf cake from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container. This cake also freezes well if required.
- If using plain flour use the same amount but add 9g(2 1/4 tsp) of baking powder and stir in thoroughly.