Animal Aid

Fig and Cointreau Christmas Cake

  • 450g (1lb) sultanas and 225g (8 oz) raisins (or use 675g dried mixed fruit)
  • 225g (8 oz) dried figs (chopped into quarters)
  • 50g (2 oz) glacé cherries
  • 500 ml (bit less than 1 pint) orange juice
  • 230 ml (8 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 225g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg (or use 1 tbsp mixed spices)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz) Cointreau (or use rum if you prefer)


  1. Pour the orange juice into a large bowl. Add the fruit and vanilla essence and leave to stand for at least an hour.
  2. Mix the flour, spices and sugar together. Add all the other ingredients (except the alcohol) and mix.
  3. Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22 cm) cake tin. Place a piece of grease proof paper or foil on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4 (175 C) for an hour. Remove grease proof paper.
  4. Lower temperature to gas mark 3 (160 C) and bake for a further hour. Test the cake by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. It might need longer.
  5. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then splash alcohol over the top. Remove from tin and wrap in foil when cool. Improves if stored for a few days.

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